In State Campaign Finance Reports Due in June, Tammera R. Diehm reports for Winthrop & Weinstine's Inside the Minnesota Capitol:
On June 14, 2016, all political committees, political funds, independent expenditure committees and independent expenditure funds are required to file a Report of Receipts and Expenditures for the period covering January 1 through May 31, 2016.
We're eager to learn where and with whom our friends at the MN Jobs Coalition are doing their getting and spending. The group was instrumental in flipping the Minnesota House from DFL to Republican hands in 2014, and its biggest 2014 bagmen, the Republican State Leadership Committee, has put control of the upper chamber on its hit list, as we reported last year in MN Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund's biggest donor in flipping House vows to take Senate.
Unfortunately, the server at the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board has been down for the last few days, so we can't retrieve any old reports filed by the Minn Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund or the last reports by the HRCC, the Senate Victory Fund or the Republican Party of Minnesota's state account.
But we can get a sneak peak of what's up by looking at the Republican State Leadership Committee's first quarterly 8872 report to the IRS. As we noted in November 2015's Merchants of Daudt revisited: Republican State Leadership Committee now less transparent, the RSLC switched from monthly reports to twice yearly reports.
Now the reports appear to be quarterly. We embed the latest report, covering the first three month of 2016, below.
What's in it for Minnesota? On page 9, the "Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus" gave $100 in January, while page 11 lists a $100 contribution by the same in February. (Since the CFB server is down, we can't check to see if this is from the Senate Victory Fund ). [Update: this expenditure not listed in the SVF's Q1 and Q2 reports].
The Minnesota Jobs Coalition gave $2500 on February 26, 2016. We'll wait until tomorrow's filings are online to learn whether this is the MJC itself or the Minn Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund. The former organization is not required to make its financial data available to Minnesota voters, however much it or its political fund might cram our mailboxes with junk lit touting Republican legislators' records and nostalgic images of the interior of a yellow school bus carrying only white school children. [Update: the expenditure was not by the MJC legislative fund].
Minnesota businesses contributing to the RSLC include:
- United Healthcare Group (page 10), $25,000
- CenturyLink (page 16), $5000
- Bayer Corporation (page 16) $25,000
- Bridgetree (page 18) $2500
- FLS Connect (page 21) $2500
- 3M (page 24) $25,000
- Target Corporation (page 31) $12,000
The Bayer Corporation Minnesota address in the filing is that of the company's designated lobbyist Craig Mischo.
Individuals giving came in much smaller donations. A Laura Dean (possibly Representative Matt Dean's wife) gave $120 in March (page 10); Trucking company owner David Pfarr of LeSueur pitched in with $110 in January (page 14) and former Waite Parke mayor Al Ringsmuth, $125 (page 21).
Recipients of the RSLC's largesse in the first quarter in Minnesota include:
- FLS Connect (page 35) $431 Purpose: conference calls
- FLS Connect (page 39) $321 Purpose: conference calls
- FLS Connect (page 43) $40,294 Purpose: Direct marketing
- FLS Connect (page 44) $17,987 Purpose: Direct marketing
- FLS Connect (page 44) $1,604 Purpose: Direct marketing
- FLS Connect (page 44) $416 Purpose: conference calls
- FLS Connect (page 44) $8,762 Purpose: Direct marketing
- FLS Connect (page 50) $24,479 Purpose: Direct marketing
It's not possible from the filing to determine how much of those dollars were spent on races within the state of Minnesota.
According to its website, FLS Connect specializes in "in creating cost-effective, customized voter contact programs." The company was founded in 1999 by Jeff Larson, Tony Feather and Thomas Synhorst, Politics in Minnesota reported in the 2010 article, Larson cuts ties with GOP fundraising firm FLS Connect.
We'll look at the national money in another post. The usual suspects (Koch Brothers and WalMart with $100,000 each, Big Pharma and the like) are contributing--as are the owners of the Appleton Prison, CCA (page 24), $25,000. Heaven knows what other bonbons we might unwrap.
Here's the filing:
Photo: The Money Barn.
Bluestem Prairie is conducting its summer fundraising drive. If you appreciate our posts and original analysis, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
Email subscribers can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.