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Sen. Dave Thompson campaign finance complaint dismissed; DFL says loophole should be fixed

Sen. Dave Thompson

A campaign finance complaint against Republican state Sen. Dave Thompson has been dismissed, but DFL officials said the ruling illustrates a loophole in the law that should be fixed.

The DFL had filed the complaint, saying Thompson had not reported the $70,000 he received from the Republican Party as part of his income on his campaign financial disclosure documents.

But the Campaign Finance Board ruled that there was no basis for the complaint, in part, because it appears Thompson was paid as a consultant to the party, not as an employee.

The board’s executive director, Gary Goldsmith, said in a letter: “Under the authority delegated to me by the Board, I have reviewed the complaint and concluded that it does not provide a sufficient basis for the commencement of a Board Investigation.”

 After the ruling, DFL Chair Ken Martin said the ruling illustrates a loophole in the law and should be fixed. He cited legislation sponsored by DFL state Rep. Ryan Winkler, that would force elected officials to disclose all sources of income.

Winkler’s bill, if passed would require elected officials to disclose all sources of income, including pay as a “consultant or independent contractor.”

The proposed bill would also prohibit the House or Senate from hiring officers of either party. Michael Brodkorb had been a Republican Party officer while working for the state Senate Republican Caucus. He stepped down from the party post in October and was fired from the Senate job in December.

Winkler’s bill also would ban public meetings between midnight and 7 a.m., or at times the Capitol or State Office Buildings are closed to the public.

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