Common Cause Minnesota asks unions, corporations to not make political contributions

Common Cause Minnesota has already had enough of corporate and union cash in campaigns so today they asked the state’s 100 largest unions and corporations to take a pledge not to make political contributions.  The money is already flowing thanks to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.  Candidates were also asked to sign an agreement that they wouldn’t accept corporate and union money.  A decision is expected soon in federal court on direct corporate and union contributions.  Mike Dean said “It is hard to believe that big business and labor would invest that kind of money without expecting something in return.”  The cat may be out of the bag already, but Dean said “We want to give corporations a way out.” 


Dean added that he didn’t know if companies would see boycotts, but he thinks their reputations are being damaged by partisan contributions “Minnesota’s heart of corporate responsibility violates this concept directly.”  The nonpartisan group added that the big money should be going into restoring the political contribution refund program.  There’s no word yet if anyone will take the “Pledge For Clean Elections” in what looks to be the most expensive election season in the state.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Karen Cole on 07/28/2010 - 10:58 am.

    Kudos to Common Cause for this proactive approach forward.

    We all need to pay attention to who signs the pledges and who doesn’t.

  2. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 07/28/2010 - 12:06 pm.

    Ms. Lahammer,
    Two additions would make this information more useful:
    1) some static and trend data on actual political spending by unions vs. corporations (via their PACs)
    2) some data on how much money will be available to be spent by unions vs. corporations given recent Supreme Court activism.

    I don’t have this data, so I will have to guess that any one of many major corporations (say BP) could outspend all unions combined.

  3. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 07/28/2010 - 01:14 pm.

    Here is some data

    Combining the 2007 and 2008 election cycles:

    – $5.8 Billion total contributions to state/national
    – $3.2 Billion contributions from top 10,000 donors
    – $3.1 Million from the union organizations in the top 10,000.

    So from this source, accepting their data and categorization of donors, it appears about 9.6% (1 dollar in 10) of major political spending came from unions.

    The article says “Common Cause Minnesota has already had enough of corporate and union cash in campaigns….”

    Perhaps a more accurate statement would be “Common Cause Minnesota has already had enough of corporate, corporate, corporate, corporate, corporate, corporate, corporate, corporate, corporate, and union cash in campaigns….”

  4. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 07/28/2010 - 01:30 pm.

    Oops, typo in my previous comment, the union total is 312 million, not 3.1 million.

    Stating it as .31 Billion would have produced the column alignment I was after, and demonstrated the ~10% better.

  5. Submitted by NIcole Masika on 07/30/2010 - 09:32 am.

    why are unions being lumped with corporations? they represent working class people

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