Tom Emmer, center, with kill-the-gays band member Jake McMillan, rightMinnesota Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer apparently violated campaign finance laws when his campaign donated twice the legal limit to a Christian punk-rock group which teaches public-school students that it’s “moral” to kill homosexuals.

The Minnesota Independent made the disclosure in two stories today.

Like Exodus International, this band — named You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Intl., and led by self-styled minister Bradlee Dean — claims to be bringing the “message of Christ” to youth: In this case, a message of righteous murder. According to the Independent:

“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said on YCR’ May 15 radio show on AM 1280 the Patriot. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

Dean endorses efforts by foreign antigay terrorists to attack the United States if the nation does not voluntarily adopt antigay genocide laws:

“If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,” Dean continued. “That is what you are seeing in America.”

Rep. Tom Emmer has appeared on the kill-the-gays rock band’s talk show, posed for pictures, visited Dean’s home, and attended a non-profit band fund-raiser. Fellow Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has twice endorsed the murderous band.

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Despite protests by the Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans, the state party has become more cozy with the band, not less. Emmer has refused to comment on the band’s appeals for antigay bloodshed. Instead, Emmer’s campaign released a statement to the Independent saying “Tom’ position on social issues has been very clear and consistent. He is a supporter of traditional marriage, and he strongly opposes any kind of violence or unfair discrimination against any group.” Unless, apparently, the violence is politically and musically expedient or the discrimination is “fair.”

As for the tax-free, non-profit group’s partisan political activity, watchdogs said they’ve seen worse.

Abby Levine of the Alliance for Justice wouldn’t comment on the specifics of YCR’ involvement in Republican politics, but did offer general guidelines for nonprofit organizations.

“A 501(c)3 can’t support or oppose a candidate. They can’t indicate support for candidates,” said Levine. “If it looks like an organization is supporting a candidate, that would be problematic.”

She added, “There could be legitimate reasons for a nonprofit organization to attend events like you’ve described.”

Donald Tobin, a professor of election law at Ohio State University’ Moritz College of Law, said, “In light of how blatant some nonprofits have been, this seems like it’ the lesser of the blatant.”