Interesting... Minnesota Blog accuses SD Dems as being involved in a Minnesota DFL Money Shuffle
The DFL has been sent reeling by the meltdown of party leader Matt Entenza, who withdrew from the Attorney General race after having spent the last week tapdancing about oppo research he'd run on a fellow DFL member and the current Attorney General, Mike Hatch. Both men had already received endorsement for the statewide offices for which they campaigned -- Hatch is the nominee to run against Governor Tim Pawlenty in his bid for re-election -- and the meltdown may kneecap the DFL in both races.
Entenza got out just as another scandal started to heat up in St. Paul. Someone anonymously sent records, including deposits and cancelled checks, that show Entenza and his wife may have shuffled money around to get past donation limits and financial disclosures. In 2004, Entenza ran afoul of election law by donating $300,000 to a 527 that essentially laundered his money back into Minnesota DFL campaigns. Now it looks like Entenza and his wife sent $600,000 to South Dakota Democrats in order to launder it back into Minnesota. (my emphasis - pp)
The Democrats have tried to make a "culture of corruption" their rallying cry nationwide. Here in Minnesota, we have all of the corruption and dirty politics we can handle, thanks to the DFL.
Read it all here. Someone within the DFL must not care for Mr. Entenza, because you've got to be pretty close to the source to get ahold of that kind of information.
Now, while the SD Dems might be part of the equation, I would note that given the "relaxed nature" of South Dakota's campaign finance laws, I don't think they would necessarily have done anything wrong under this state's laws for the assist, depending on who or what organization moved it here.
I couldn't find it in a quick 5 min check, so I might have to do some more digging tonight to see if I can find it on their financial reports.
Stay tuned. I'm sure there will be more information to come on it. (Or at least a ton of rhetoric.)
*UPDATE* Okay - here are the updates from my poking around (and the flurry of e-mails I've gotten on it) and from the link provided by "anonymous" to http://www.minnesotademocratsexposed.com/, which had the scoop sent to them by an anonymous faxer.
The documents, sent from a Kinko's copy shop, included copies of canceled checks through which Entenza's wife, Lois Quam, gave $55,000 to two South Dakota political action committees in early 2003. The documents purport to show that much of the $55,000 went through the PACs to the South Dakota Democratic Party, then to the Minnesota DFL Party and eventually to the Minnesota House DFL campaign committee that Entenza led. The document also alleged that Quam donated another $45,000 to a South Dakota Democratic House campaign committee.
In December 2004, Entenza acknowledged that he and Quam made about $600,000 in contributions to various campaigns during the two years leading up to the 2004 election. He apparently did not include the $55,000 Quam gave to the South Dakota committees.
But it appeared, at least initially, that while the donations were unusual there was nothing illegal about them or the route the money allegedly took to the House Democratic campaign.
Now, I don't want to one to cast dispersions here, but I have one question that maybe someone can help me with.
Why are the checks written out to these political action committees, when neither one can be found anywhere in any of their PAC Reports?
Because the next time you see any evidence of this money is not in either of these committees.
The next time you find evidence of this money is directly in the SD Democratic State House Fund.
Pardon my asking, but can PAC's endorse over checks to a third PAC without a paper trail being reported on the financial reports?
I'm not finding the documents where it went out from them, so it likely went into their federal account from there, and on to the Minnesota DFL.
Regardless of the correction those three PAC's should probably file with the Secretary of State's office, this really isn't anything other than political theatre and a momentary evening diversion trying to trace the money on this side of the Minnesota/South Dakota State line.
Because over here, there's nothing on the books about moving amounts of money back and forth between various state party political action committees.
If you've ever looked at a Democratic Party filing, you'd know what I mean with the shifting of money back and forth. If you didn't have the checks as some helpful Democrat provided to the Minnesota media and blogs, we'd never have known that the two pacs had endorsed those checks over to the third.
Ultimately as stated in the Pioneer Press:
.... while the donations were unusual there was nothing illegal about them or the route the money allegedly took to the House Democratic campaign.
"It's a lot of paper shuffling, and I can't see a reason to do it," said Edwin Bender, executive director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics, a Helena, Mont., campaign watchdog group.But Bender said the alleged transactions did not appear to be unlawful.