The battle for Minneapolis: election tomorrow!

The pivotal city council races have only days to go before election day. We take a look at some of the last-minute money flowing into these contests.

All thirteen seats on the council are up for election, with control being contested between the “progressive” faction and the “pragmatic” faction of the local Democratic party.

This post will focus on the money game, with updates from the most recent round of financial disclosures at the state Campaign Finance Board. The latest reports cover activity through October 23, with newer large donations having to be declared as they arrive.

The latest report from All of MPLS, the chamber-of-commerce-backed supporters of the “traditional” Democrats (the right, in this context) has the group taking in more than $700,000 and spending more than $500,000 on the candidates they are backing (see the chart at the bottom of the post). Over the past week, All of MPLS has taken in an additional $205,000 mostly ($150,000) from the regional chamber of commerce. Recent individual contributors include some famous names: three Pohlads and a Ciresi.

In addition, the Minneapolis Downtown Council raised and spent an additional $3,100 for “conservative” candidates for city council. Likewise, the city’s Building and Construction Trades Council added another $4,200.

A new group supporting “pragmatic” candidates, under the name MPLS Forward, registered with the MN Campaign Finance Board late last week.

The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation has spent about $20,000 this year supporting city candidates on both sides of the ideological divide.

A coalition of dark money nonprofits is providing financial support to the left side of the spectrum. This table list some of the groups contributing to the left faction:

One group you may not have heard of is Move Minnesota. This St. Paul-based nonprofit advocates for bike lanes, mass transit, and “climate change.”

Who is Move Minnesota? This local nonprofit is the successor after the 2017 merger of two other local transit-oriented nonprofits: Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips.

As I documented all the way back in 2011, Transit for Livable Communities got a $28 million Federal grant to lobby against the public interest on transit issues.

We’ve updated our candidate matrix to included Republican-endorsed candidates.

Good luck to all the candidates on Tuesday.