Kurt Daudt (blogs.mprnews.org).
by Tony Petrangelo
Jan 12, 2014, 11:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 1-12

It’s that time when politicians running for office release their fundraising numbers, so that will be the majority of what appears in The Wrap™ this week.

♣ First up, State Senator Dave Thompson:

State Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville, one of six Republican candidates for governor, said his campaign raised more than $120,000 last year — enough, he said, to show “this is a viable campaign.”

When the candidate themselves say that the amount of money they’ve raised makes them “viable,” it’s a pretty good indication that they didn’t really raise that much money, and in Thompson’s case, this is certainly true. Although, for someone who has said he will abide by the endorsement, money isn’t really the most important thing for him right now anyway. Delegates are.

From the same piece, this is Marty Siefert explaining why his numbers are likely to come in even lower than Thompson’s modest total:

My challenge, compared to all other candidates — they had six full months … to line up commitments from donors. I have never taken contributions from lobbyists, and I had less than 40 days to raise money, while competing against Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

♣ Doubling Thompson’s total was Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson:

His campaign raised more than $240,000 last year, with an average contribution of about $250 from some 1,000 donors.

♣ Moving onto the Senate race, GOP hopeful Mike McFadden announced his fundraising totals, and they continue to be impressive:

GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Mike McFadden’s campaign says the business executive raised $780, 000 in the last quarter of 2013 and is sitting on $1.7 million for his campaign.

While this is less than half the cash-on-hand that Senator Al Franken reported at the end of the third quarter of 2013 (meaning, in all likelihood, he has more now) it is almost assuredly way more money than any of the other Republican Senate hopefuls have raised.

Given McFadden’s disinterest in the party endorsement, this race seems destined to culminate in a primary between McFadden and the endorsed candidate, whomever that may be.

♣ While she says she’s already made up her mind, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon is not ready to make an announcement about whether she will again be Mark Dayton’s running mate in 2014.

But she won’t reveal her plans until sometime after a scheduled Monday meeting with Dayton to discuss the matter, Prettner Solon said. She added that the governor already knows her decision.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but I’d like to have that conversation with the governor,” Prettner Solon said.

If I had to guess, I would guess that she is not running for Lt. Governor again.

♣ The DFL and GOP conventions this year are scheduled for the same weekend, so that should be fun. The DFL has had their convention on the schedule since last June, but the GOP just announced that they will be holding their convention on the very same weekend.

Republican Party chairman Keith Downey said the double scheduling was “out of necessity.” Since the legislative session won’t end until mid-May and Memorial Day is on May 26, the only available weekend before the state’s candidate filing deadline ends on June 3, the only available weekend was the last one in May, he said.

This is only a big deal for political reporters, I doubt anyone else cares too much.

♣ Following up on a story that the StarTribune broke last year, the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board found even more problems with the state’s public campaign finance records then previously revealed:

The Minnesota campaign finance agency disclosed on Tuesday that it had found $26 million worth of data problems in its records late last year.

The data errors were woven through the campaign records going back to 2000, the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board found. The agency said there were problems in about 13 percent of all contributions from one campaign group to another. The other 87 percent of records were correct, the agency found.

♣ I don’t really know what to make of this story. While it doesn’t appear as though Representative Daudt did anything wrong himself, it certainly raises questions about the company he keeps.

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