In Political sniping over divisive oil pipeline project heats up after court ruling, Bring Me The News' Shaymus McLaughlin sums up a snit fit that Speaker Daudt is having over his perception of Governor Dayton's position on the Sandpiper pipeline.
Bluestem believes that a YouTube posted by the Friends of the Saint Croix Valley that documents the Governor politely (but firmly) disagreeing about the pipeline with environmentalists at the Minnesota Environmental Partnership annual meeting might ease the nagging Daudt.
Here's the video of the exchange between Cathy Hollander of MN 350 and Governor Mark Dayton about pipelines. Dayton is polite but adamant that pipelines must be built. Before the exchange escalates, MEP president Steve Morse ends the debate by moving on to the next question:
Dayton isn't pandering to his environmental allies on pipeline development in Minnesota. He's disagreeing with them--and as the guest of honor at their yearly party.
Apparently the Speaker forgot to attend the August 4 gala. As a consequence, Daudt issued a press release, Daudt to Dayton administration: Let's keep Sandpiper on track, that accused Dayton of working hand-in-glove with "activist groups" that fund DFL legislators in the metro:
It's pretty easy for Democrats in Minneapolis and Saint Paul—where the unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent—to oppose these projects to appease the powerful special interest groups that fund their campaigns.
Teeny tiny greenie money
We're curious which activist groups Daudt is talking about funding DFL candidates. In 2014, the Clean Water Action Fund spent exactly $0 on candidates from all parties, while the Sierra Club's PAC forked over a whopping $12,108.11 in independent expenditures--about what the Minnesota Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund would spend on one middling race.
Conservation Minnesota Voter Fund? In 2014's amended year-end report, we learn the group spent a total of $4,196.00, with $1800.00 going to candidates in amounts so small that they didn't have to be itemized. While the DFL House Caucus received $500 in 2014, Daudt's own HRCC got $600 thrown at them. David Hann's Senate Victory Fund aced that with $500. There's one non-itemized contribution for $100. Heck, the committee started the year with $27,449.20 cash on hand, while closed it with an ending cash balance of $48,358.64.
The CMVC Fund (Conservation MN Voter Center) gave no money directly to candidates, but spent $57,863 on independent expenditures across the state. To put that in perspective, contrast the $1,209.00 spent on independent expenditures in support of Andrew Falk in MN17A (the group did no negative campaigning) with MN Jobs Coalition (right) and Alliance for a Better Minnesota in the west central Minnesota district.
MN Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund spent a total of $609,160.45 on independent expenditures statewide, with a focus on state House races, with $90,779.13 going to defeat Falk, while the Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund spent $4,548,573.75 statewide (governor and House races), with $85,044.99 being spent in 17A to defeat challenger Tim Miller. We've gone into the corporate donors to MJC here before; most of the ABM action cash came from the WIN Minnesota Political Action--with the lion's share of that cash coming from labor. It's not exactly tree hugging.
Environmental groups funding Dayton's re-election? Not much according to his year-end report.
We eagerly await the spectacle of Kurt Daudt's explanation of that one, but in the meantime, we're willing to bet that the Speaker will continue to rattle about Big Green Meanie Money.
Photo: Building the Sandpiper pipeline via Enbridge. We're not a fan of the project, but we can't honestly say Dayton isn't. Only Kurt Daudt can come up with that one.
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