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The outsiders: how big money flows through Minnesota elections

REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by GoodDay Allgood on 10/31/2014 - 10:53 am.

    Club for Growth

    A sick group called Club for Growth is funded by the Kochs as a means of avoiding paying taxes on Right-Wing election contributions. But it is likely that the main purpose is to defraud the elections throughout the United States for Tea Party and/or Republican candidates. It needs to be thoroughly investigated because its corruption seems all-pervasive.

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/02/2014 - 08:25 am.

      Calling oneself a “Majority” ain’t necessarily so!

      I notice the Chamber of Commerce defines itself as a Majority. Is it?

      Did the “Club for Growth” make the list under another name?
      I don’t see it appearing on the chart.

      Judging by the barrage of TV commercials I’ve seen – there is a very lot of parity in the
      advertising budgets of the parties & maybe even the other outside groups running attack ads.

      I guess that Tony guy really did bankrupt the Republican coffers an election cycle or two ago.

  2. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/31/2014 - 11:48 am.

    It’s difficult to understand why this article portrays Minnesota-based labor unions as “outside” entities contributing money to our state political campaigning. “Outside” would mean entities not from Minnesota, right? It’s simplistic and misleading to suggest that anything that is not money given to a candidate’s individual campaign is “outside” money–a state party, or even a legislative district party, is not “outside” the game the way that East- or West-coast billionaires whose Dark Money is hidden behind the fake facade of social welfare PACs are “outside.”

    • Submitted by Steve Carlson on 10/31/2014 - 12:07 pm.


      Outside means non-candidate, non-party spending. Unions are outside entities. And no, it’s not misleading. They’re using the same structures and methods as the groups you’re decrying.
      Everyone plays the money game,but for some reason some people seem to think their s**t doesn’t stink.

  3. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 10/31/2014 - 12:00 pm.

    Why are any of them allowed to lie?

    Why are any of these outside groups permitted to run false ads that are basically lies? Both parties do it and I believe there is a law in the criminal code: 609.765 CRIMINAL DEFAMATION.
    I believe these should be enforced and the law amended to allow voters to bring criminal charges to a neutral prosecutor or judge.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/01/2014 - 07:33 am.

    In passing…

    One: I very much like Ken Kjer’s notion of bringing charges against false advertising in the political arena. It’ll never happen, of course, if it’s the voters who have the responsibility for bringing the charges, and “citizen’s arrest” has never worked very well, but I’m fine with the state’s attorney-general, or a county prosecuting attorney, having the authority – and the chutzpah – to bring charges. It would be inhibiting initially, and there would be plenty of screams of protest that freedom of speech was being trampled. Then – like everything else political – the pros would figure out a way to make TV ads present their candidate *without* lying outright about their opponent. And if they didn’t figure it out right away, the video of campaign managers being hauled off to jail would quickly get the attention of both candidates and campaigns.

    Or, we could follow a couple of the European models and prohibit TV advertising altogether. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s likely to happen any time soon, but it would be the simplest and, in my view, the best solution.

    Second: I love the graphic leading this column. Kudos to whoever it was on the MinnPost staff that chose that image. It’s absolutely nonpartisan, and absolutely right on the mark.

    Third: Interesting to note the counterintuitive totals of funding by “outside” groups favoring the DFL. Counterintuitive, that is, until we remember where most of the money of the society resides. Then it makes sense that the DFL would need help from “outside” sources.

  5. Submitted by Nathan Fisher on 11/01/2014 - 02:37 pm.

    New York Times vs. Sullivan

    It’s not exactly a parallel case but prosecuting criminal defamation for statements against a public figure is going to be real time consuming and costly, and there is a high burden of proof. Your conviction rate will probably not be high enough to be the deterrent you’d like.

  6. Submitted by Pat Brady on 11/03/2014 - 07:53 am.

    My take away from this article is that the pacs of government workers and labor know how to coordinate an unifying message and more bang for the buck.
    The pacs of the high roller business men and special business interest are willing to go it alone and control their own money spending.They are reluctant to co- ordindate with others.

    Even the methods of pac spending reveal the underlying ideology of the two poltical parties.

  7. Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/02/2014 - 08:16 am.

    Big Money Comes to Town: Is THIS how the other states live?

    I guess we’re getting a taste of the usual state of affairs in other states.
    Surely the contentious ones & maybe the reddish ones.

    Advertising Agencies love it.

  8. Submitted by Jon Lord on 11/03/2014 - 08:33 am.

    Freedom of speech

    It shouldn’t include misleading people should it? It does because it’s interpreted as ‘free market speech’, or basically snake oil talking points and it’s up to the individual to know what’s true and what isn’t. Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware…let the listener beware. It’s why we ‘still’ allow fake medical ads in the media before checking out the truth behind the advertising once enough complaints are registered, even then the ads go on. It’s true of political ‘speech’ also. It’s considered on us if we don’t check out the truth of what’s said. The Supreme Court ruling, by a slim majority, has ruled that anything goes in regards to free speech, a corporation is a person, and money is free speech. Only in America…how bizarre.

  9. Submitted by Jon Lord on 11/04/2014 - 06:46 am.


    Mr. Johnson told a whopper during an interview on WCCO just the other day, in effect stating that no one has ever been prevented from working due to a pre-existing condition here in Minnesota suggesting that we have always had laws against that happening. I couldn’t believe I heard that from a running politician hopeful! It’s hardly a true statement. Not even close. There is no proof to that effect anywhere. It’s dishonest to state that, plain and simple. It’s a shadowy talking point but very dishonest one from his side of the political spectrum but like most conservatives, especially TP conservatives, he doesn’t know or care about issues that haven’t affected him. It certainly doesn’t stop him from suggesting he does.

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