Minnesota For Sale: the common good and hard

Tracing the Minnesota influence of a different shadowy international billionaire.

There is a famous H.L. Mencken quote that goes,

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Minnesota provides the best example yet of Mencken’s axiom at work. I’ve previously written about the massive dark money (501c4) political group 1630. Politico and the New York Times report that 1630’s biggest donor is the shadowy-Swiss-billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.

According to 1630’s most recent tax return (2021), the group took in $189 million. In the election year of 2020, the 1630 Fund took in a staggering $388 million. Amounts for 2022 are not yet available.

My colleague, Peter Nelson, dug into the recent tax returns of 1630 and recorded the millions of dollars that have made their way to Minnesota from this left-wing treasure trove.

We’ve highlighted a few of the larger donations. The far-left activist group TakeAction MN alone has taken in more than $1 million from 1630. The Soros-backed dark money outfit Faith in Minnesota (a subsidiary of ISAIAH) has taken in nearly $700,000.

Taking in $225,000 was the 501c4 group Vote Common Good. This 501c4 was founded in 2018 by local progressive pastor Doug Pagitt, and the corporate address listed is Pagitt’s home in Edina.

Vote Common Good’s mission is to defeat something called “Christian Nationalism.” The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported back in 2020 that’s Pagitt’s actual mission is anti-Trump,

More than 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump in 2016 and continue to support him in his bid for re-election.

Pagitt’s campaign hopes to convince wavering evangelicals that the president’s character and actions are so out of sync with Jesus’ teachings that it’s a moral imperative to remove him from office.

The related dark money entities Alliance for a Better Minnesota and WIN Minnesota both received donations from 1630 totaling more than $200,000. Minnesota Youth Collective is another Alliance-related entity.

At the national level, the 1630 Fund has registered no fewer than 10 separate political committees with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). In addition, Politico reports that the nonprofit also works through other political groups. According to Politico, the largest single donation from 1630 went to the fellow 501c4 nonprofit America Votes.

In 2022, America Votes donated $68,000 to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. In 2020, the group gave $100,000 to the Alliance.

Another 1630-linked PAC, Open Democracy, donated $25,000 to Minnesota DFL candidates and party units in 2022. However, in this instance, the money came, not from Wyss or 1630, but entirely from Regan Pritzker of San Francisco. She is a Hyatt-hotel heiress and a distant cousin of the current Illinois governor.

A separately registered entity, ODP-MN, donated a further $84,000 to electing two county-level candidates in 2022. The source of this money was Open’s Federal PAC, which, in turn, is financed by 1630, according to FEC filings.

Last week, on a strict party-line vote, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 3, their omnibus elections bill. Buried in the 28-page bill is a provision that would, purportedly, ban contributions by foreign-influenced corporations. But not all corporations.

As AlphaNews reported, the bill conspicuously excludes nonprofit corporations from the ban. Efforts by Republicans to add nonprofits to the banned list failed, despite highlighting the Swiss connection, the outlet reports.

So the Swiss Wyss can continue to influence election outcomes, in Minnesota and elsewhere.

In Part 10, we dig another layer deeper in our search for the original source of Democratic campaign cash.