It’s always an end-of-election parlor game to figure out which media figures show up on campaign finance reports. Four years ago, it was Fox9 morning anchor Alix Kendall, who gave $250 to Al Franken’s Midwest Values PAC; somewhat embarrassingly, she explained she thought the donation was anonymous.
In the wake of yesterday’s reports from the three gubernatorial candidates, the list of media givers is pretty skinny. (Most of us use our jobs as a handy excuse not to give.) The biggest name is WCCO-AM afternoon host Michele Tafoya, who donated $120 to Republican Tom Emmer between May and July under her married name, Michele Vandersall. AP’s Brian Bakst spotted it Tuesday.
Knowing me for the liberal running dog that I am, I still regularly get emails from Good Neighbor listeners griping about Tafoya’s conservatism. It’s a little hard to get worked up about this donation, though. Talk show hosts are in the opinion business, and while Tafoya isn’t exactly Jason Lewis (or even Dark Star) when it comes to vehemence, if she wants to throw her money in that direction, fine.
According to WCCO-AM program director Wendy Paulson, the station has no policy restricting political contributions by hosts. (I emailed Tafoya via her producer as well as Paulson, but the P.D. is doing the talking.)
Paulson adds that Tafoya has not mentioned her financial support for Emmer on the air. Should she? Full disclosure is generally good, but I suppose it could further polarize Tafoya on a station that generally shies away from that. Needless to say, Tafoya’s influence on the election probably equals Kendall’s.
The other media donation, which has been reported, belongs to outdoors host and former Star Tribune columnist Ron Schara. He gave $500 to Tom Horner.