Republican candidate for governor Scott Honour earned $1.7 million last year and paid about $636,000 in state and federal taxes, according to the federal tax form summary he voluntarily disclosed.
He earned far more than any other gubernatorial candidate and paid far more in taxes. Honour paid more in taxes than any of the other candidates earned, according to tax information others have released.
Honour, an investment banker, also gave far more to charity than any of his rivals. According to the federal documents, he contributed $78,876 to charity.
Honour joins DFL Gov. Mark Dayton as well as Republicans Jeff Johnson and Dave Thompson in voluntarily disclosing his earning, tax payments and charitable deductions. Republican candidate Kurt Zellers released some tax information but not what he gave to charity. Republican Marty Seifert refused to release his tax information.
In addition to his income tax payments, Honour also paid $147,083 in property taxes last year.
Honour has not said how much of his own money he will put into his campaign or if he will personally contribute.
Dayton, an heir to the Dayton's department store fortune, put more than $3 million into his 2010 campaign for governor in 2010 but has said he will not self finance next year's re-election bid.
Image: Scott Honour
Dead men tell no tales. They also collect no pay.
That's a problem for the Minnesota House DFL Caucus' federal campaign arm. Since at least 2003, the federal group has carried $56,025.62 in debt to the Benjamin Group of Madison, Wisconsin, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Rep. Steve Simon, the treasurer of the federal campaign finance group and a DFL House member from Hopkins, says the caucus would be happy to pay it off.
"The company is no more. The owner is no more," Simon said. "Yet the FEC won’t let us take it off the books."
The Benjamin Group is long out of business, Simon says, and, "Mr. Benjamin died." There is no successor group to which the DFL can pay the $56,000, he said.
The solution, derived from legal advice and the FEC? The DFL just has to report the debt cycle after cycle forever and ever.
Republican House Leader Kurt Daudt believes a state presentation on Minnesota's economy prepared for a legislative hearing strayed from factual to political.
"The presentation was designed to look like a re-election campaign advertisement for you," Daudt, R-Crown, said in a letter to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton Monday regarding the state Department of Employment and Economic Development's prepared testimony for a hearing last week.
Asked for a response, Dayton deputy chief of staff Bob Hume completely dismissed the accusation, calling it "ridiculous."
"The Governor would be happy to sit with Representative Daudt, or the entire GOP caucus, and enumerate the games and gimmicks that have been in past budgets," Hume said in a statement. "The bottom line is that Rep. Daudt doesn’t like the fact that the economy is improving because it doesn’t suit his political needs. We have good news to tell, and that’s what we’ve been doing."
The presentation, according to the House Republicans, included slides with titles like "games and gimmicks caused a budget roller coaster," "leveling the playing field for the middle class" and "reforming government through smart investments."
Shortly after the presentation began last week, Republicans objected to its tone.
"I'm not sure it was games and gimmicks," Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, said during the hearing. "I will tell you there were people on each side of the aisle doing the best job they could to try to make the system work in good faith."
Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said part of the presentation was "out of line."
House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said at the time that the committee should set aside the idea of taking credit or not for the state of the economy. To a request that the committee skip the presentation until it was stripped of partisanship, Thissen proposed they move forward with the facts.
Much of the slideshow ended up being set aside during the hearing but it still raised ire.
"The nature of the presentation makes the preparation and use of it an inappropriate use of state resources for campaign purposes," Daudt said in his letter on Monday. He said if the Dayton administration uses the presentation, House Republicans will take "any action necessary" to stop it.
In reaction to Daudt's letter, Thissen spokesman Michael Howard said the original presentation was off focus.
"The request to DEED was to deliver a presentation focused on the strengths and challenges facing Minnesota's economy in the future and their PowerPoint presentation didn't necessarily reflect that focus," Howard said in a statement. "That is why the CF moved away from the PowerPoint presentation and focused more on productive testimony."
See the presentation's slide show, as captured by the House Republicans, below and view the video of the hearing here. The DEED portion of the meeting starts about 1 hour and 12 minutes in.
This post was updated with reaction from Michael Howard, Thissen's spokesman, and Bob Hume, Dayton deputy chief of staff.
When turkeys come to visit the Minnesota Capitol, great hilarity ensues.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty got winged in 2004 and wrestled in 2005, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar got a flapping surprise in 2011 and a turkey made a break for it in 2012.
Former Govs. Jesse Ventura (with his own before and after in 1999) and Arne Carlson in 1996 with calmer birds.
What will happen this year? Follow the live blog below to discover. The turkey arrives at 10:45 this morning.
Republican candidate for governor Kurt Zellers and his wife took in $116,222 last year and paid $13,244 in taxes, according to information released by his campaign.
State Rep. Zellers joins DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican rivals state Sen. Dave Thompson and Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson in voluntarily releasing his tax information. Minnesota requires officials to release very little information about their income but some gubernatorial candidates have chosen to add an extra layer of transparency.
Unlike Dayton, Thompson and Johnson, Zellers has not released any information about his charitable giving, despite a request from the Star Tribune. Update: He paid $5,057 in state taxes, according to his campaign.
Donations to charity, or lack thereof, have a caused a bit of turmoil this year as Dayton tax release disclosed that he gave $1,000 to charity last year from his income of more than $340,000.
Republican candidate for governor Scott Honour, a businessman who is believed to be among the most well off of the candidates, will release his tax information, his campaign said.
Republican Marty Seifert, who officially entered the race last week, said he would not follow suit in disclosing details of his income.