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Andrew, Hodges lead fundraising by Minneapolis mayoral candidates

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: September 10, 2013 - 4:37 PM
 
Updated at 10:01 a.m.

By Eric Roper and Maya Rao

Months into grueling campaigns for Minneapolis mayor and City Council, campaign finance reports are offering the first peek at where the money is flowing.

The reports, covering January through late August, were posted throughout the day Tuesday. More than $1 million has poured into the mayoral race, with fundraising being led by Mark Andrew and Betsy Hodges (Dan Cohen gave himself a substantial loan). See our print story today for more details on that.

Here is what we know so far:

Some highlights:

Mark Andrew’s donor list includes many old professional contacts, including: Jeff Spartz and Peter McLaughlin, who served with him on the County Board; lobbyist and former Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, for whom Andrew was a staffer decades ago; and Kathy Tunheim, whose public relations firm offered Andrew a lucrative job for which he left his county post in 1998. Additionally, the CEO of the Minnesota Twins, Jim Pohlad, and his family donated $1,500; Andrew’s environmental firm, GreenMark, has done consulting for the baseball team.

Other Andrew donors include former Mayor Don Fraser, Hubbard Broadcasting founder and frequent GOP donor Stanley Hubbard, and Minneapolis DFL Chair Dan McConnell, who is also business manager of the city’s Building and Construction Trades Council. The party declined to endorse a candidate, while the council backed Andrew.

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Betsy Hodges received contributions from employees of organizations that support female political candidates, affordable housing, grass roots organizing, early childhood education and various progressive agendas. Donations also flowed in from people associated with prominent downtown nightclubs.

The City Council budget chair owes other people $53,675 but has just $50,718 cash on hand. That’s on top of $21,500 in loans Hodges made to her campaign.

Her campaign owes $27,717 to two Washington, D.C.-based firms: Well & Lighthouse, which does political consulting, and Pivot Group, which handles voter communications for Democratic candidates. She owes $13,000 to Kristen McMullen, who has directed her financing and previously fundraised for pro-gay marriage group Minnesotans United for All Families.

Hodges’ campaign manager, Andy O’Leary, said the debts were planned, and the candidate’s loan was needed to hire a campaign staffer earlier than expected.

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Don Samuels received contributions from North Side establishments and developers, along with a handful of donations tied to the Vikings — he is the only mayoral candidate who voted for the team’s new stadium.

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Independent mayoral candidate Cam Winton, who raised $72,799, reported nearly $15,000 in contributions from 41 out-of-state donors. Many of those contributions to the Swarthmore, Pa. native and Georgetown University Law Center grad came from attorneys and other professionals in Washington D.C., New York, and other major cities.

In state, Winton received a slew of donations from attorneys at some of the largest law firms in the Twin Cities, including Leonard, Street and Deinard; Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi; and Lindquist & Vennum (his wife Emily, an attorney at Dorsey & Whitney, also gave $500). His father-in-law, Hennepin County Medical Center CEO Jon Pryor, gave $500. Other donors included Obama statewide finance committee member Julia Dayton Klein, DFL fundraiser Vanessa Dayton, Calhoun Square developer Martha Head, and former Target CEO Bob Ulrich.

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The first mayoral report came from former alderman Dan Cohen, who lent his campaign $285,000, using funds from a settlement he received from the Star Tribune in the 1990s. Cohen was city council president from 1967 to 1969.

He’s spent $176,373 so far, largely on ads and marketing and social media consultants. He paid Clear Channel $49,493, CBS Radio $5,103, WCCO $21,332, and the company that owns the Southwest Journal and Downtown Journal newspapers $14,324.

And Cohen spent $8,640 on advertising with the Star Tribune, even as a significant part of his campaign is criticizing the Star Tribune for not disclosing more about its ownership and real estate dealings involving the new Vikings stadium.

Six people gave Cohen $1,175 in contributions, including Minneapolis Charter Commissioner Todd Ferrara and campaign manager Randy Milbrett. Just two of the donors had a city address.

The planning board commissioner and former city alderman received the settlement after suing the newspaper for improperly revealing him as a source in a 1982 political story, and noted in a recent blog post that he was using it to fund his mayoral campaign.

“Thanks, Strib,” he wrote. “I’m sure you never imagined I would be putting the money to such a good use as I am putting it to now.”

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Council Member Diane Hofstede, who is locked in a tough reelection battle with attorney Jacob Frey, raised $29,581 and lent herself $10,000. Contributions to Hofstede include $2,100 from unions, $300 from mayoral candidate Dan Cohen and $200 from Lester Bagley, the Vikings vice president of public affairs.

She received donations from those with business before the city, including $300 from developer Kelly Doran, who is proposing a six-story, 70-unit apartment building in her ward and has opposed a development moratorium she unsuccessfully pushed there.

Hofstede received $800 from employees of Aspen Waste, which is competing for a trash contract against longtime city contractor Minneapolis Refuse Inc., whose employees gave Hofstede $300. Al Hofstede, a lobbyist for Aspen as well as her brother-in-law, also gave the council member $300.
 

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