Messinger gives $100K against photo ID; Naegele donates $25K for marriage amendment
October 27, 2012 — 12:58am
Wealthy individuals are giving huge donations to influence the results of Minnesotans votes on two constitutional amendments, bumping up the cash campaigns that have already broken records for expense.
On Friday alone, the campaign against the photo ID constitutional amendment got $100,000 from Alida Messinger, who has given millions to various causes and Democratic campaign over the years. Most recently, Messinger is known for her funding of a coalition of groups working to elect DFL majorities to the Legislature. She is Gov. Mark Dayton's ex-wife and a heir to the Rockefeller fortune.
Also on Friday, the campaign to pass the marriage amendment, which would define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman, got a $25,000 donation from Bob Naegele, the chairman of the Minnesota Wild hockey team. Naegele has made big gifts to conservative causes and gave the pro-amendment Minnesota for Marriage $25,000 earlier this year.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.