In June, Bluestem looked at the Republican State Leadership Committee's first quarter IRS Form 8872 Report of Contributions and Expenditures in our post, Control of #mnleg is on Republican State Leadership Committee's list: what's in Q1 report.
The Republican State Leadership Committee gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the MN Jobs Coalition in 2014 to flip control of the Minnesota House from Democratic to Republican hands--and vowed in July 2015 to do the same thing for the state senate in 2016.
It's time to take a look at the Q2 report, due July 15, to look for clues on how that's going. Here are the itemized contributions from Minnesota:
This giving from Minnesota contributors supplements that we reported in June:
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 Le Sueur pitched in with $110 in January (page 14) and former Waite Parke mayor Al Ringsmuth, $125 (page 21).
Where in Minnesota was the RSLC spending in the second quarter (April though June)? Here's a pdf of the items--bills for conference calls and direct marketing paid to Republican fundraising and marketing firm, FLS Connect.
This repeats the pattern set in the first quarter. From our earlier post:
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.
If the Republican State Leadership Committee intends to give to the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, its political fund or other political committees and IE funds to flip the Minnesota Senate and retain the House, apparently that spending will come in the third and fourth quarters. The Q3 filing (for getting and spending in July, August and September) is due on October 15.
Other bonbons in the report
The biggest contributor to the RSLC is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce And Related Entities/Institute for Legal Reform, which had given $2,450,235 as of June 30, 2016.
Our dear friends at the Corrections Corporation of America gave a mere $30,000 for the year, which might cost them as the federal government withdraws from the private prison bed rental market. That shuttered prison in Appleton, Minnesota, probably will lose value as the market is suddenly flooded with empty hoosegows. It's a good thing that Dayton and the senate Democrats rejected Tim Miller's notion of buying the joint for $99 million. Already we see in CNBC in that Prison stocks plunge after report Justice Department will end use of private prisons.
Other big contributors come from the noisy set of drug companies, railroads, energy interests and payday lenders the martyrs call the world. Here's the entire 103-page Form 8872 filing, where our readers can perform Adam's curse, doing the work of reading for themselves.
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