Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Update on Franken-Clark connection 

Senator Tarryl Clark left a voicemail at my university office this afternoon while I was in class saying again that she did not receive any funds from Midwest Values PAC MN, the political action committee organized and operated by Al Franken. To see if I could get to the bottom of this, I contacted Andy Barr, political director for Midwest Values. Here is his reply, in full.
Dear King,

Thank you for writing. I just spoke to our compliance officer here at MVP.

We did mail a check, unsolicited, to the Clark for Senate committee on August 16 and our records indicate that it was not cashed. The campaign contacted me this morning, concerned that we had erroneously listed them as a recipient of funds, as they had no record of receiving the check.

I'm not sure whether it got lost in their incoming mail or whether it got lost by the USPS, although, for what it's worth, we apparently had their ZIP code wrong -- we sent it to 56301, and it was supposed to be 56302. (I can't believe mail still gets lost because of a single incorrect ZIP code digit, but I guess it's possible!)

In any case, the campaign confirmed that they were not interested in a replacement check. Accordingly, our next campaign finance filing will reflect this information.

I hope this clears up the matter for you, but feel free to let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Andy Barr
Political Director
Midwest Values PAC
It does raise a couple of questions: First, the address for Clark for Senate has a ZIP code of 56301; 56302 is the ZIP code for post office boxes at the central St. Cloud post office only. All the campaign materials indicate a regular street address for Clark for Senate. They also listed 56301 and the correct address on their filing with the MCFB. I don't know how he would believe the correct ZIP code is 56302, nor how he would know what was on the envelope of a letter that is lost.

Second, are there other instances of "unsolicited" checks being returned to Midwest Values? If so, who? And how was this list created? Obviously Midwest Values thought Senator Clark supported their values and that she would accept their check. What led them to believe that?

Let's be clear about one thing: The Clark campaign is adamant they never got the check, and we have to take Senator Clark at her word. I apologize for the error of believing a check sent is a check received and a check cashed.