Common Cause Minnesota is a “non-profit, non-partisan” organization whose every initiative is, mirabile dictu, exactly in sync with the “progressive” wing of the Minnesota DFL.
No huge shock there.
Speech rationing – “campaign finance reform” – has long been one of their main initiatives. Read for yourself. They want – so they claim – transparency in politics.
Of course, as Luke Hellier notes at MDE, they are a 501c4 lobbying organization which, in 2008, took in over $665,000 on donations, entirely from anonymous “individual” sources (check it out starting on Page 13 of this very large PDF file).
Now, the law doesn’t require them to divulge exactly who their donors are – which is kind of a weaselly out for a group that wants government to limit and regulate your First Amendment right to political speech.
At any rate, yesterday they released word that they were going to file a complaint against a series of Minnesota political action committees (PACs) that were playing a shell game with third-party donations, trying to make accountability difficult.
And given how hard Common Cause has been proclaiming their ecumenicism and non-partisan mission, I thought “Halleluiah! They’re going to do something about the epic three-card monte game the Dayton campaign has going on!”
As we discussed last June, the Dayton campaign was being supported by a huge ad campaign from a group called “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”. At that time, ABM’s funding came from a bunch of unions, and a group called “Win Minnesota”, which was largely funded by…the Dayton family; as of last June, the list was…:
- Andrew Dayton $1,000
- David Dayton $50,000
- John cowles $25,000 [former Strib publisher]
- MaryLee Dayton $250,000
- Emily Tuttle (MN) $5,000
- Ronald Sternal (MN) $5,000
- Alida Messinger (NY) $500,000
- James Deal (MN) $50,000
- Roger Hale (MN) $10,000 [Remember him from above?]
- Barbara forster (MN) $25,000
- Democratic Governors Association $250,000 [remember them; they’ll appear later in this story]
Win Minnesota also funded a group which at the time had no name, but which shared an address with Win Minnesota, which has since been named “The 2010 Fund”. 2010 of last June had about $850K in the bank, including money from:
- Alida Messinger (Mpls) $50,000
- Win Minnesota $50,000
- Education MN $250,000
- Laborers District Council $100,000
- MAPE $50,000
- IBEW MN State Council $50,000
- MN Nurses Assc $50,000
- Local 49 Engineers $25,000
- Vance Opperman $50,000 [the “progressive” plutocrat former owner of Thomson/West publishing]
- Afscme Council 5 $50,000
- MN AFL-CIO $25,000
- SEIU MN State Council $50,000
- AFSCME (Wash DC) $50,000;
I’m looking for the updated numbers from all of these funds.
So who does Common Cause go after?
Who would you think? (emphasis added):
Common Cause Minnesota has uncovered a scheme by the Minnesota’s Future political committee and the Republican Governors Association (RGA) to avoid Minnesota’s original source disclosure law by funneling a $428,000 contribution from the RGA to Minnesota’s Future through a shell company. The company, Minnesota Future, LLC was created just days before it received the contribution from the RGA and immediately transferred the funds to the Minnesota’s Future political committee.
Today, three separate complaints were filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Disclosure Board against Minnesota’s Future, Minnesota Future, LLC, and the RGA. The complaints allege that the three groups together violated multiple state statutes ranging from circumvention of campaign finance laws, failing to register as a political committee, and failing to report receipts and expenditures. The three entities could face $5.1 million in civil penalties and criminal prosecution.
“This was a brazen attempt to circumvent Minnesota’s disclosure law,” said Mike Dean, Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota. “The public has a right to know what special interests are behind political ads, especially during a hotly contested election.”
So the public has a “right to know” the money behind “Minnesota’s Future” from the Republican Governors Association…
…but the multiple millions of dollars from the Dayton Family, the unions, and the Democratic Governors Assocication which financed the most vile smear campaign in the history of Minnesota politics (under the cover of a phony grass-roots organization funded by the Dayton family!) isn’t something “the public” needs to know about?
I’ve invited a representative of Common Cause to come on the Northern Alliance tomorrow to discuss what would be brazen hypocrisy from a genuinely “non-partisan” organization.