Letter: Reader asserts ‘dark donut money’

To the Editor:


Recent mailings from the Minnesota DFL to our home declare that Barb Yarusso is bringing “transparency” and “sunlight” to state government, specifically noting “BANNING DARK MONEY - Barb is pushing to require special interests and corporations to disclose their campaign spending and big donors.”

It’s my understanding, based on reports filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board (CF&PDB), that the Grandstand Mini Donuts booth at the Minnesota State Fair is run by the 10th Ward Rural Ramsey County (aka DFL Donut Booth), a PAC registered with the CF&PDB. Based on my review of these reports, I found that one-third of the booth’s reported political contributions were to SD42 DFL, comprising over 7 percent of SD42 DFL’s reported contributions received. I found in other CF&PDB reports that DFL units such as SD42 DFL in turn contributed to DFL candidates such as Barb Yarusso, endorsed by the House District 42A DFL.

To the best of my knowledge, no signs inform fairgoers that the booth is a PAC fundraising operation, so I believe that many, perhaps most, of the booth’s customers likely have no clue they are effectively making contributions to the DFL and its candidates.

The DFL touts Yarusso’s advocacy of campaign funding transparency even while its units and candidates, including Yarusso, benefit from campaign fundraising that I don’t believe is transparent at the “point of donation.” If the DFL and Yarusso truly advocate campaign funding transparency, I think they should start in their own backyard.


Gary Peterson


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