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2014 Campaign Finance Dashboard

MinnPost is tracking fundraising totals for candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House in 2014. The data below represents the latest information on file with the FEC and Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Note: Total amount raised is the amount raised by candidates for the entire 2014 election cycle.

Comments (11)

MayDay PAC

You might be interested in a Campaign Finance reform initiative by Lawrence Lessig:

There's some information missing here.

The total take in donations is only one part of the corruption equation. Corruption equals dollars divided by donors. We don't know how corrupt a candidate is unless we divide the candidate's donation dollars by the number of donors.

To give an example, if a candidate has five million dollars in donations taken from a million donors (that's five dollars per donor), how is this candidate corrupted?

To give another example, if a candidate has five million dollars in donations taken from only 500 donors (that's 10,000 dollars per donor), it's pretty clear who this candidate is listening to: a small group of very wealthy people.

It should be every citizen's right to know who our politicians are beholden to. But we can't know this if all we know is the dollar amount each politician takes in contributions.


Any politician who promises to give you something that is *paid for by other taxpayers* is corrupt, whether their donors give a million dollars or five dollars. In fact, given the value of the stuff being given away by liberal democrats, the ROI for the small donor is huge.

College students who give Al Franken $20 with the expectation he's going to "pass legislation" (as he says) to cut the interest on their college loan, or other deadbeats who get government-subsidized health insurance when they could pay for it themselves, are prime examples.

A republican politician who promises to cut my taxes is only giving me my own money back. Or more accurately, the government is collecting less from me, saving them the trouble of sending me a rebate. Giving ME a tax cut doesn't cost YOU anything.

oh no

It truly depends on what those tax cuts are and who they are going to. See, the government does need money to operate so someone has to be taxed. You say, "better you than me".

Here in the uptown area taxes are what pay for the roads being fixed. If you get a tax break and I don't, it'll cost me. If the government lays off the people who send out rebates, it'll cost them also, and it means fewer people paying taxes.

We create cost savings by sharing our resources.

I assume that by "small donors" you mean lower wage earners, whose tax contributions are comparatively small and whose direct contributions to politicians' campaigns, if any, are smaller still. I agree that for these people, the return on their "investment" in government is "huge." But this is true not only for "small donors." It is true for most mid-level "donors" as well.

For all of us who belong to the middle class, it makes great economic sense to share our resources and to provide shared public goods and services, such as public roads, police, fire fighters, libraries, schools, law courts, et cetera. We would have to pay much more if we tried to provide these things individually for ourselves, without sharing them with anybody else. We are also learning quickly what middle-class people in other industrialized countries have known for a long time, namely that it makes great economic sense to achieve similar cost savings in health care by providing public health insurance for everybody. Only very, very few people, those who are extremely wealthy, may find it more convenient to provide all these public goods and services for themselves, without sharing them with anybody else. But this convenience is expensive and benefits only a few, whereas the cost savings of public sharing benefit everybody.

Where you see "corruption," Mr. Tester, I see only cost savings, for everybody except the extremely rich.

On the other hand, if our politicians agree to give their richest campaign donors "their money back," only these donors will benefit. Indeed, I believe many of the richest donors expect to get much, much more than the value of their political contributions in the form of tax cuts; otherwise, they wouldn't contribute so much. They may be greedy and heartless, but they're not idiots; they regard political donations as only another kind of investment, from which they expect to gain more than they lose. Unfortunately, as Jon Lord has helpfully pointed out, when the rich buy themselves the privilege to contribute less than their fair share for public goods and services, the rest of us have to contribute more. This is the effect that corruption has, if we define the word as I do. It shrinks our commonwealth and weakens our democracy, and the only ones who benefit are the extremely rich.

Too bad

Too bad there is little possible to track the PAC money, aside from MayDayPAC money of course.

Ad buys? Canvasing, push polls, etc. How does one do follow the money? I see very little reporting on money that is not tied to parties and candidates and how it compares to what has to be reported by the same.

Citizens United

That was the point of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision:
eliminating transparency in campaign funding.

Follow the Money! For-Profit College$ Bought Congressman Kline

Want to know where the campaign funds come from? There are websites that show, like Open Secrets.

Or do a little research, and follow the money. One very interesting trail is for Congressman John Kline of MN2. Kline chairs the House Committee for Education and the Workforce. There are some very interesting articles published by entities like Huffington Post and USA Today. Just search their websites for the stories, using appropriate search words like "for-profit colleges"

A very interesting USA Today article was published 2013/07/23 detailing how Kline had over $158K in donations from the for-profits in 2013. Kline also had a $5K donation from Sallie Mae PAC, which is the largest student loan funder.

Interesting contrast is that Kline's 2013 donations for that time period seemed to show 0 (yes ZERO) in contributions from individuals.

From that, one could conclude that no college students, parents or public school employees were contributing to his campaign chest.

So why does Kline get re-elected? Is it because his campaign ads funded by the for-profit education industry are so effective that voters want to send him back to DC to be paid $174K / year to be a barrier to enacting legislation that would put more accountability on the colleges that graduate students but don't help them find jobs, or give them a degree that has no value in the workplace?

College loans (debt) are now a Trillion dollar industry. Many students default on their loans, and some of the educational institutions have folded. Student debt is a drag on the economy, as people struggling for decades to repay student loans delay purchases of homes, autos, etc.

The Senate has some champions for education, Like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But they can't keep Congressman Kline from ruling good bills "out of order" in his House committee, thereby preventing them from being voted on by the House Chamber, and sent to President Obama for signature. And so the US Dept of Education is stymied in regulating the education industry.

I, too, would like to see the

I, too, would like to see the hard-to-get figures on money spent on advocacy for and against certain federal and state-wide candidates that is not directly connected to their official campaigns. The secret money, especially, from groups who claim to be "social welfare" entities who hide their contributors' names. That's the weakness of the incredibly bad Citizens United ruling, and its follow-up (removing any money limits on political campaign donations across the country).

We're Number TWO! Eclipsed by China; Foreign Money Seeps In

Did anyone notice USA was eclipsed by China as the Number One economic power this month? No, we were probably too busy gazing at the October sky to watch the moon eclipse.

Well, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported it.

And the Supreme Court has enabled foreign money to seep in to US elections since entities can dump unlimited amounts into Political Action Committees (PACS).

Don't forget, MN2 Congressman John Kline was at the helm of the House Education and the Workforce Committee when the USA fell from number one to number two.

Does that mean he'll "Try Harder?"

Ya sure, you betcha.

Even Fox News has its doubts about this factoid

Our GDP is nearly twice as large, despite our population being one quarter the size of China.