The record for fund-raising in the relatively new category of district seats on the Minneapolis school board has jumped again, thanks to an amended report by a teacher-backed political fund.
The Local 59 Political Fund now reports spending just over $15,000 on behalf of Patty Wycoff in the election last fall on the West Side of Minneapolis that was won by Josh Reimnitz in a squeaker. All but $300 of that was an independent expenditure. The new total reported in March is triple the amount disclosed by the teacher fund in January.
The total raised in the race is now more than $67,000, including both campaign and independent fundraising. That's largely swelled by the previously reported $40,000 raised by Reimnitz and his campaign committee, which is a new record for any school campaign, whether city-wide or for one of the board's six district seats. The independent spending for Reimnitz reported in January by the New York City-based 50CAN education reform advocacy arm adds $6,000.
Wycoff raised a mere $7,195, but spent $8,445, according to the campaign report. The increased amount of $15,000 spent by teacher union members somewhat reduced the campaign spending finance gap between the two candidates. But more than twice as much was spent to elect Reimnitz.
Reimnitz had already eclipsed the previous funding record from 2010 set by board member Richard Mammen, who raised $34,523 in running city-wide.
Independent spending late int he campaign by both the union and 50CAN drew cries of foul from the opposite side. Both expenditures came late enough in the campaigns that the amounts and donors didn't have to be disclosed before Election Day.