John Thompson sued by Campaign Finance Board
The former DFL state representative from St. Paul’s District 67A owes more than $4,000 in fines and penalties to the state campaign finance regulator (CFB). The agency sued Thompson in…
The controversial Hennepin County Attorney is much in the news. Just three months into her first term as the county’s prosecutor, Moriarty has been removed from a high-profile murder case by the state’s Attorney General.
How did we get here? With a big assist from Democratic party dark money.
In 2021, the long-time County Attorney Mike Freeman decided not to run for a seventh four-year term in 2022. Moriarty had been ousted as the county’s chief public defender in 2020, by the state’s Board of Public Defense. Moriarty then switched sides and ran for the position of chief county prosecutor.
The August 2022 primary election for the post was officially nonpartisan, but Moriarty ran with the endorsement of the local Democratic party. She finished first in the seven-candidate open primary field. The top two vote-getters moved on to the November election, where Moriarty prevailed over her opponent, a retired judge, by a margin of 58 to 42 percent.
According to records held by the Hennepin County Elections department, Moriarty raised $294,000 for her election effort. The vast majority of her donors were from Minnesota, the vast majority of those from Minneapolis and elsewhere in the county.
However, during the peak of the 2022 campaign, Moriarty’s campaign took in dozens of donations from out-of-state contributors, many giving the maximum individual amount of $1,000. Eighteen different states and the District of Columbia were represented in the coast-to-coast donor list, from Providence, Rhode Island, to San Francisco, California.
Her haul of $294,000 was matched by outside independent expenditures. We will note two here.
The far-left activist group TakeAction Minnesota reports spending $231,000 on her behalf in 2022, all funded by “in-kind” donations from TakeAction’s 501c4 “dark money” operation. As a registered nonprofit, TakeAction is not required to reveal their donors.
That said, TakeAction’s biggest source of recent funding is the $30 million the organization raised under its brand “Black Visions Collective” in the wake of the George Floyd riots of May 2020.
TakeAction’s other donors include the usual suspects of left-wing foundations, like the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation. The Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation (distributing a 3M fortune) reports giving TakeAction’s 501c3 charity unit $4.2 million over the past five years.
In happier days, TakeAction campaigned for Ellison and Moriarty as a team, in a series of events last fall held around the county,
Another major supporter is the Faith in Minnesota 501c4, a subsidiary of the 501c3 charity ISAIAH. Faith’s campaign arm (“Action”) reports spending $26,000 on Moriarty’s behalf in the 2022 race. A separate Faith in Minnesota unit (“Fund”) reports spending another $29,000 on her behalf last year.
For their part, Faith in Minnesota was an early backer of Moriarty’s bid,
A special purpose entity, People Over Prosecution Political Fund, was formed in 2022 to back Moriarty’s campaign. This entity raised and spent $225,000 backing her campaign last year. The largest single donor to the effort was the dark-money group Tides Advocacy of San Francisco, which donated $70,000.
In Part 8 of the series, we meet the Rockefeller family.
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