DFL candidate for governor Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the speaker of the state House, and the Minnesota DFL will know Wednesday whether they broke campaign finance laws by crediting her for contributions donors made to the party.
The state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board met behind closed doors Tuesday regarding a Republican party complaint about the matter and heard from attorneys for Kelliher and the DFL.
"We accepted responsibility for the goof," said Alan Weinblatt, attorney for the DFL. He said he spoke to the board for about 18 minutes. Kelliher attorney Jay Benanav spoke to the board for about five minutes. Board members asked no questions of either attorney, as is typical in closed-door meetings, the lawyers said.
After the private executive session, campaign finance board chair Hilda Betterman said the agency would make its decision public at noon Wednesday.
"We made findings relative to the complaint of the Republican party of Minnesota regarding Margaret Anderson Kelliher...and regarding the Minnesota DFL state central committee," she said.
The flap arose after other DFL candidates for governor discovered that Kelliher was allow to steer her contributors to give money directly to the party for her access to the DFL voters' file. Three donors took her up on that option. The donation from one of those contributors was in excess of what the donor would have been allowed to give to Kelliher's campaign directly.
Kelliher got voter access payment credit for another four donations given to the DFL. Weinblatt said those donors didn't know their contributions would be credited to Kelliher.
Some of seven donations have since been returned and Kelliher has paid the DFL $13,000 for use of the database for voters directly. Direct payments were required from the other candidates for governor.
No one from the Republican party appeared before the board Tuesday. GOP Party chair Tony Sutton said he was content to let the board "consider the facts" it presented in the party's initial complaint.