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Five facts about Mike McFadden’s first debate: “The $3,000 lockout”

Five facts about Mike McFadden’s first debate: “The $3,000 lockout”

One week from today investment banker Mike McFadden will participate in his first and only confirmed “debate.” He has already refused to attend three Republican debates that his fellow candidates participated in, all of which were open to the public and the press.

Here are the facts:

1. FACT: McFadden’s debate is being held by the Freedom Club. Historically, Freedom Club events have only been open to members and “have been closed to the media” and not open “to the general public.” The Freedom Club debate is the first and only debate Mike McFadden has agreed to participate in, despite being challenged by Republican Chris Dahlberg to participate in more.

  • “In the past, the [Freedom] Club’s events have been closed to the media.” [Star Tribune Hot Dish Newsletter, 1/28/14]
  • “It’s unclear whether the debate will be open to the public or media at all…” [City Pages, 1/30/14]

2. FACT: The Freedom Club is an exclusive right-wing group “reserved for high dollar donors.” The only way to achieve membership is to pay a minimum of $3,000 and you must be invited by an existing member.

  • “The Freedom Club PAC paid Sarah Palin $25,000 to host a fundraiser for the conservative group in December… Palin hosted a private fundraiser for a group of roughly 70 Freedom Club members on December 7th.” [MPR, 2/1/10]
  • The Freedom Club has three levels of membership. A Silver Membership for $3,000, a Gold Membership for $5,000 and a Platinum Membership for $7,000. [Freedom Club, 1/31/14]
  • “…and membership in the club costs at least $3,000.” [City Pages, 1/30/14]

3. FACT: The McFadden campaign brushed aside concerns that his first debate locks out Minnesotans and “defended” McFadden’s decision to hide behind a $3,000 pay wall.

4. FACT: Republicans and candidates in the highly contested primary are growing “tired” of Mike McFadden refusing to participate in debates and talk about the issues.

  • “We have one candidate that is not here tonight; I’m going to make a comment on that, just a brief comment, that would be Mike McFadden.  McFadden told us that he would be attending one of his son’s hockey games tonight, and I genuinely respect candidates who take time to go to their children’s events, however, in this case, that is the reason Mike has been using to miss forums and debates throughout this campaign, and I think some of our, well I don’t think, I know that some of our candidates here are a little tired of that. So, that’s why Mike isn’t here.“ [Jim Baker, moderator, Rochester Tea Party Patriot U.S. Senate Debate, 1/16/14]
  • “It is troubling that McFadden has said he’s not going to honor the endorsement and does not appear at events where he’s been invited to come and speak … I’ll leave to others to sort out whether or not they can trust him since he’s never had really any public experience and seems to be unwilling to talk about many of his positions.” [Julianne Ortman, AM1280 The Patriot, 11, 16/13]

5. FACT: Mike McFadden has refused to participate in three Republican debates that were open to the public and press.


The $3,000 Question: Has Mike McFadden asked the Freedom Club to open the “debate” to the public and press?

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