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Continued: Big giving by wealthy shaped Minnesota's ’12 campaigns

  • Article by: RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 14, 2013 - 11:23 AM

Vance Opperman, a former president of West Publishing and now CEO of a private investment company, donated more than $180,000 to state DFL organizations and the anti-amendment campaigns. “Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some,” he said.

Last year’s marriage amendment brought new names into the Minnesota spotlight.

Text_Body: Previously not a big political donor, Mary Joanne Feltl, president of the Minneapolis investment firm Feltl and Co., appeared among the top donors for her $100,000 gift to the campaign to pass the marriage amendment. A Catholic who opposes same-sex marriage, she was not asked by Minnesota for Marriage workers for the check: “I just saw what they were doing, and I sent it to them.”

Movie star Brad Pitt gave $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign National Marriage Fund, which supports gay rights. That HRC fund was based in Minnesota but spent money in this state and all over the country. Spokesman Charles Joughin said the group set up similar funds in the four states that had marriage issues before voters and reported all contributions and expenditures in each of the four states.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent $125,000 directly to Minnesotans United for All Families last year, saying “the barriers to [same-sex marriage] are bound to fall; the question is not if but when.”

As Minnesotans United prepares to fight at the Capitol to legalize same-sex marriage, campaign manager Richard Carlbom is hoping to see more from New York’s billionaire mayor. “We’re actively raising money from all of our previous contributors,” Carlbom said. “That does include Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger • Twitter@RachelSB

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