The Minnesota campaign finance board ruled that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak spent money on a gubernatorial campaign months before he filed the requisite paperwork do to so, according to a board decision made public today.

A May poll paid for by his mayoral campaign "provided support to a gubernatorial campaign by Mayor Rybak, the board said in deciding on a complaint from the Minnesota Republican Party.

On Thursday, Rybak submitted paperwork to run for governor. An aide said Thursday that filing was unrelated to the pending board decision.

The board ruled Rybak's gubernatorial committee owes his mayoral committee the $26,500 cost for the survey. The survey, which Rybak claimed was designed to help his re-election bid, included questions about four DFLers who are running for governor and asked questions of those who live outside of Minneapolis, the board said.

"The Board has reached the conclusion that the survey was designed to gather information that would benefit Mayor Rybak in a gubernatorial bid," the decision said.

The board also ruled that St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also sought "nomination or election to the office of governor" but that he didn't use his mayoral re-election committee to fund those efforts.

Still, the board said Coleman, who announced this month he would not run for governor, probably spent more than $100 of his own funds to support his statewide candidacy. Since he self-financed that effort, he need not have filed a campaign committee but must to submit a report on his spending on behalf of his candidacy for governor, the board said.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger • 651-292-0164