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.