In a report about Minnesota Jobs Coalition chair Ben Golnik's new job as executive director of the Minnesota House Republican caucus, Minnesota Public Radio's Catherine Richert reported in Monday's article, Golnik to direct House Republican Caucus:
Golnik is leaving his post as chairman of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, an independent political group that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars ushering in the Republican majority to the Minnesota House. Republicans won in nearly every district the group invested in. . . .
At least $355,000 of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition’s election year money came from the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group based in Washington D.C. that focuses on electing members of the GOP to state legislatures.
Daudt has ties to the group as well. Since early 2014, Daudt has served on Republican Legislative Campaign Committee, an arm of the State Leadership Committee.
Curious from whence that money trickled down, Bluestem did a bit of digging at Open Secrets's listings for the group and in monthly filings by the Republican State Leadership Committee's monthly reports with the Internal Revenue Service.
The Minnesota Jobs Coalition pre-general report and pre-election 24-hour reports of large contributions can be accessed here at the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Open Secrets Database: Tobacco, Energy, Business & Pharma
While some of the money the RSLC gathered came from Minnesota corporations like Northern Oil and Gas ($25,000) and Wells Fargo ($25,000), Open Secrets reveals that the top contributors to the RSLC listed in 2014 reports by early August are:
Rank Contributor Total 1 Reynolds American $1,114,647 2 Blue Cross/Blue Shield $958,513 3 US Chamber of Commerce $615,995 4 US CHAMBER of COMMERCE & RELATED ENTIT $496,245 5 Koch Industries $460,530 6 Las Vegas Sands $450,000 7 Wal-Mart Stores $417,259 8 Devon Energy $400,000 9 America's Natural Gas Alliance $380,030 10 Exxon Mobil $325,000 11 Citigroup Management Corp $276,177 12 Tracfone Wireless $262,603 13 AT&T Inc $255,649 14 Pfizer Inc $253,900 15 Altria Group $230,323 16 COMCAST FINANCIAL AGENCY Corp $225,285 17 Intuit Inc $200,595 18 ABC FREE ENTERPRISE ALLIANCE $200,000 19 Honeywell International $196,535 20 Hewlett-Packard $180,905
Contributions may come from the organizations themselves or its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
This data is based on records released by the Internal Revenue Service on Monday, August 04, 2014.
Reynolds American and Altria are tobacco companies. Sourcewatch describes the United States Chamber of Commerce as a powerful business lobbying organization that gained most of its 2012 funding from 64 entities. The rest are fairly well known corporations in the energy, telecom & cable, retail and pharma industries.
Via the donor search form at Open Secrets, one can find other contributors. (It will be a task for another day, for instance, to move across databases and government agencies to learn just how much free speech Wayzata-based Northern Oil and Gas and its chief Michael Reger purchased in the Republican quest to regain the Minnesota House).
Later monthly reports of the RSLC
The Open Secrets database doesn't include data from monthly reports by the RSLC to the IRS, but Bluestem has downloaded them so readers can learn from whence some of those other dollars trickled down. Here are the last three monthly statements that are publicly available; the report for July was not yet released to the IRS when Open Secrets obtained its data in early August.
Bonus quote: Before Ben Golnik took his new job, leaving the green fields of the Minnesota jobs Coalition's bank account, he told MinnPost's columnist Cyndy Brucato in Hey, big spender: how Minnesota Republicans want to be just like Minnesota Democrats:
“The business groups—the problem is that they are going to they have to lobby the same legislators they are running ads against,” Golnik said. No one affiliated with the Jobs Coalition is a registered lobbyist.
Well then: it's comforting to know that those corporations and business groups who funded Golnik's path to power will have to lobby those suburban DFL legislators that the Minnesota Jobs Coalition failed to knock off.
And that the new rural Republican legislators enter office with absolutely no strings attached but their love for the people dwelling in their districts.
Photo: Fields of gold.
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