Minnesota group that pushed for voter ID pleads for cash
- Article by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
- Star Tribune
- August 6, 2013 - 9:21 PM
The nonprofit group that led last year’s failed voter ID constitutional amendment sent out a dire fundraising plea Tuesday, warning supporters that it is days away from shutting down.
“Minnesota Majority has one week left to operate,” it said. “If we don’t raise $20,000 by the end of the week, Minnesota Majority will have to cease operating, for good.”
Political e-mail pleas often exaggerate the circumstances, but the group’s president said the over-the-top cry for cash is based on real needs.
“We need money immediately or I’m going to have to close,” said Dan McGrath, who heads the conservative nonprofit group.
McGrath said that malaise has taken over conservative contributors this year and the go-to big donors are sitting on their money. Several conservative groups, he said, are struggling as a result.
In recent years, Minnesota Majority operated with annual income between $200,000 and $250,000.
But last year, as the main organization campaigning to pass a voter ID requirement, it ramped way up. Doing business as ProtectMyVote.com, it raised $1.5 million, mostly from a single donor. Joan Cummins, a self-described homemaker, married to businessman Bob Cummins, gave $1.3 million.
In part because it grew, McGrath said, the group now needs to spend upward of $15,000 to get a professional audit. But there are other expenses, as well.
“Rent, utilities, database administration, grass roots education, advocacy, lobbying, advertising, printing materials, lawsuits, accounting, media, events, exhibiting in county fairs and the State Fair all costs money,” the fundraising plea said. “And we’ve run out.”
McGrath said a few hours after the e-mail blast went out donations were already starting to roll in.
But, he said, “we’re not there yet. We’re waiting to see.”
Rachel E. Stassen-Berger • Twitter: @RachelSB
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