Minnesota for Sale 2024

Another election cycle is already underway, and the money is piling up.

I’ve been following the money in state Democrat politics in my Minnesota for Sale series. I’ve assembled the accompanying videos in this YouTube playlist.

We’re tracking some of the early bidders this cycle in Minnesota Democratic (DFL) politics. Here are some of the leading fundraisers from calendar year 2023, as reported to the MN Campaign Finance Board.

The above table is not meant to be a complete list, it omits money flowing to or from individual candidates, for example. The list omits many other entities (more labor unions, lawyers, etc.) raising money on behalf of Democrats. Please note that some of the above entities also give token amounts to Republican causes.

No surprise, the state DFL party was the largest fundraising group in the off-year of 2023. The Alliance for a Better MN network had yet to gear up its operation. The DFL state senate lagged behind as senators are not on the ballot again until 2026.

The state teachers’ union, Education MN, features prominently as it made a massive investment in local school board races last year. There aren’t many professions where you get to elect your own bosses.

The list of big Indvidual donors from last year includes a mild surprise.

Vance Opperman (local rich guy) edges out perennial-champ Alida Messinger (Rockefeller-oil heiress and ex-wife of ex-Gov. Mark Dayton) for the top spot. The above figures do not include donations to Indvidual candidates or local causes.

New York City residential real estate tycoon Gideon Friedman takes the bronze medal. His funding vehicle, the PAC for MN’s Future also appears above. Further down the list is former Enron executive John Arnold of Texas. His More Voices MN vehicle promotes ranked-choice voting in the state.

The only donation we can tie directly to George Soros last year was the $25,000 his Democracy PAC II gave the state party.

We’re just getting started in 2024.