Tuesday, September 12, 2006

From where comes your money? 

A recent article in the St. Cloud Times showed the contributions and expenditures of area candidates. As expected here in Senate District 15, the incumbent candidates have fairly substantial leads. But in both cases, a fair amount of their monies come from holdover funding from the special election last December. In the case of Larry Haws (DFL-15B), the holdover was $13,000. Thus he's only raised another $6550 this year, of which $1225 came from PACs and another $250 from Air America Minnesota station operator Janet Robert. As reported in the article, the challenger in this race, Tara Westby, did not have her report available. I wrote to the campaign and its treasurer said he mailed the report on the deadline date; that's not how it's to be done, guys. It's to be received by the deadline. (Some of those folks are former students, so excuse me while I go all teacher on them.) It's now up, and shows her receiving a $500 check from a banker in Wayzata and $500 from the Michele Bachmann campaign. Otherwise her $2500 she has received as of that date were small contributions. (Full disclosure #1, I have contributed to her campaign.)

But I thought the Haws numbers were interesting and decided to look at the data as well for Senator Tarryl Clark in our district and her challenger, (the other) Jeff Johnson. (I'll refrain from linking either candidate's own webpages -- these are all links to their reports.) Johnson has received $1500 of his campaign funds from out of town sources. Some has come from out of state, but much of that appears to be from family members -- there's a retired Johnson in Florida giving $500 -- compared to $3260 of local funds. Most of the names on the list locally are people those of us who travel in the political circles of St. Cloud would know.

The Clark data are much more interesting. There are several reports, some of which overlap, that I refer in this and the following paragraphs. Here's 2006 pre-primary, the 2005 special election, as two I mostly relied on from the Campaign Finance Board. She has collected over $10,000 in donations for which we have names and addresses between her special election last year and this year's election, and again about 40% of it comes from outside the district. That is all well and fine, I guess, but her contributor list is sort of the who's who of the Minneapolis DFL. The Kaplans are there; Amy Crawford of the Phillips Family Foundation; Kelly Doran; other folks from the Ready4K movement (which should be watched carefully by the early childhood ed crowd). Becky Lourey.

So too is Matt Entenza and Lois Quam, the money fountain of the Cities DFL machine. Whose candidate is she? And did they ask her to vote for the stadium? Maybe not them, but checks from the carpenters union, the electrical workers' union, the laborers union, (and of course Education Minne$ota) -- a goodly $11k in PAC money overall! -- might be influential.

The worst influence out of district money may have on Jeff Johnson is that he'll talk to his dad. The influence on Tarryl Clark, though, could be talking to Sam Kaplan and Matt Entenza.