Buying Minnesota With Daddy’s Money, Part II

Yesterday, the Campaign Finance reports for the last Gubernatorial election came out.

And the media finally noticed – sort of – what you learned on this blog last July; Mark Dayton outspent Tom Emmer 2:1, and that most of the money came from “outside groups”.

MPR had the best report, at least compared to the rest of the Twin Cities media:

Democrat Mark Dayton and his allies spent significantly more than Republican Tom Emmer and his allies to win the race for Minnesota governor.

Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a group working to elect Dayton, spent $5.7 million in the race, helped by big contributions from labor unions and Dayton’s family. Most of Alliance’s money was spent on ads criticizing Emmer.

“Most of” it.  Heh.

I’m going to add some emphasis here:

Labor unions spent more than $2.2 million to help elect Dayton, with money coming in both before the election and afterward to help the recount effort. The Democratic Governor’s Association spent $1 million, and Dayton’s family and his ex-wife gave more than $900,000.

Tom Scheck’s piece yesterday included a sound bite from Ken Martin, the head of “Win Minnesota”, a PAC that funneled money to “Alliance For A Better Minnesota” (ABM):

Ken Martin, who ran the umbrella group that financed The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, says donors were energized to elect the first Democrat to the governor’s office since 1986.

“People invest in politics on all sides, and it’s not for any other purpose than to support the candidates that they feel are going to best represent what they believe in,” said Martin. “Frankly, the payoff is a better Minnesota, and they believe Mark Dayton was the candidate to make that happen.”

Martin’s statement implies that there was some huge groundswell of grassroots financial support in $20 and $50 donations from Ma and Pa Minnesota.  There was not; the money to run Dayton’s sleazy smear campaign came from big institutional donors, national Democrat sources, and Dayton and his family.

More emphasis added below:

Alliance for a Better Minnesota outspent the two groups backing Emmer — MN Forward and Minnesota’s Future. Minnesota’s Future, funded mostly by the Republican Governor’s Association, spent $1.4 million on the race. MN Forward, who received contributions from businesses like Target and Best Buy, spent nearly $1.8 million.

Catch that?  That, of course, is why the DFL spent six months caterwauling (with the help of their kissin’ cousins in the media) about the “corrosive effects of corporate money in politics”  Minnesota business managed to contribute all of 2/3 what unions did.

Can’t have that, can we?

By the way, it’s interesting that business donated $1.8 million to the conservative, pro-business Emmer, while…:

On the DFL side, companies including Kwik Trip, Anheuser-Busch, Pfizer and SuperValu gave a total of $88,000 to groups helping to elect Dayton and support him during the recount.

Unfortunately, I already patronize none of these companies.

Dayton’s campaign also outspent Emmer’s. Dayton spent $5.3 million in 2009 and 2010, helped by a $3.9 million in loans to himself. Emmer spent $2.8 million.

That’s a lot of Renoirs.

Naturally, the chattering classes’ objections about “the toxicity of money in politics” referred to corporate money.  Not labor unions, and not trust funds from South Dakota.

13 thoughts on “Buying Minnesota With Daddy’s Money, Part II

  1. Right.

    So when confronted with the facts, what does former(?) Sorospuppet, Eric Black, do? Why he sticks his head waaaaaay up into his ass and pulls out a winnah!

    “How beneath-the-radar spending defeated DFLers running for MN House”

  2. Black’s piece was among the most absurd I’ve read in several years. I know Minnpost wasn’t around when the DFL took the reins in 2006, but I’m positive he would have ran a similar piece then, and I offer as proof his pieces on the beneath-the-radar spending on behalf of DFL House candidates in 2008.

  3. I’m sure that Martin and his ilk were shocked out of their socks when they realized that the quitter that they pushed so hard to elect, was largely made useless when both houses turned over!

    I say we get a pool together to determine the date that Mad Mark will go into hiding or quit. I’ll throw in 5 bucks to get it started.

  4. I had the impression Mark Dayton was in such financial trouble that he had to sell a Renoir to make ends meet. Had to let it go cheap for $18,000 (according to tax returns posted on MPR).

    There’s something resistant to analysis about the notion that a guy who’s struggling to get by simultaneously can give away four million dollars. Where’d he get the money?

    Was he the straw man in a money laundering scheme?

  5. Almost never. More a matter of cost than politics; in the Midway, we have (in order from west to east) Rainbow, Cub, Walmart and Target and (four more blocks east) Aldi. If I want inexpensive, I go to Wallyworld or Aldi or (usually) Rainbow; if I wanna go upmarket, I go to Target (or to Kowalski’s down on Grand if I’m really splurging). Cub is neither as inexpensive as Rainbow nor as cha cha as Target or (heh) Kowalski’s.

    I just never have any reason to go there.

  6. I’ve found the CUB out here quite a bit better than the Rainbow. We also have an independent, and a small Super Value that I like.
    The CUB you have there in the war zone must jack prices to cover their shrinkage.

  7. Cub is neither as inexpensive as Rainbow nor as cha cha as Target or (heh) Kowalski’s.

    That’s unusual. Cub typically kicks Rainbow’s butt on price. Kerm’s theory about shrink is almost certainly the explanation.

    As for the rest, none of it was a surprise to me. Although I still am wondering what Matt Entenza was hoping to get out of the $5M of his wife’s money that he spent. Entenza hit Emmer over and over in his ads, and he even gave Kelliher a shot or two at the end, but he never laid a glove on Dayton. If Eric Black wants to demonstrate his reporting chops, maybe he could look at that angle. I still suspect there’s a story there.

  8. “If Eric Black wants to demonstrate his reporting chops, maybe he could look at that angle. I still suspect there’s a story there.”

    Therein lies the issue, Mr. D; he ain’t got the chops, so don’t hold yer breath waiting for it!

  9. As with The Won, money in politics is a problem only when it’s the Republicans getting/spending it (they told me if I voted for Tom Emmer big money would buy political favor and they were right).
    To the so called reporter community (Doug Grow, Eric Black, et al) -was it a conscious decision to sell your principles out or did it just occur to you today that you sold out? I’m a mere commenter on a blog, lower than a talk show caller, but do you ever do self-reflection?
    Regarding the contributors – It’s past time for SuperValu to mind the store and leave the politics to the union thugs who supply their labor , ie: the indifferent customer dis-service staff at Cub, Albertsons and other dimwitted acquisitions recently made…,-Cut-350-Corporate-Jobs66442
    And I’m sorry to hear Budweiser’s mixed up with Dayton (maybe he was a really good customer) but then again many have told me I need to quit drinking Clydesdale Piss anyway. As for the other two – Kwik Trip isn’t my 1st stop and I have no need for Pfizer’s best known product.

  10. I stopped drinking AB products many years ago, albeit merely from a homer standpoint. I drink Schell’s (including Grain belt because they are using the original recipe since they bought it), Summit and the late, great James Page.

    As a die hard fan of at least three of the local sports teams, I always looked at drinking their piss water as supporting the enemy – any team based in MO!

  11. Pingback: Because Ken Martin Says So, That’s Why | Shot in the Dark

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