Entenza hiring AG campaign staff?
As already reported in the pages of the Pioneer Press and on MDE, Matt Entenza is using his wife’s money to pay DFL-leaning 527s to do his dirty work.
D.C. group to hire for DFL campaigns
Committee helped party win 13 seats
Washington-based campaign committee that last year helped the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party win 13 seats in the Minnesota House and incurred a record fine for failing to properly report donations is seeking to hire one or more field workers to assist DFL-endorsed candidates in this fall's St. Paul city and school board elections, committee officials said Wednesday.
The committee - 21st Century Democrats - has long ties to St. Paul. Former St. Paul Mayor Jim Scheibel is vice chairman of the group's board. Last year, House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, DFL-St. Paul, donated $300,000 to the group, making him the committee's third-largest donor.
In an e-mail sent this week to supporters and contributors, 21st Century Democrats announced it was "currently hiring campaign staff to start IMMEDIATELY in Minnesota." The e-mail sought applicants for jobs as field organizers who would conduct voter canvasses, organize phone banks, conduct "opposition research" on other candidates and supervise summer interns.
Despite the reference to summer interns, Scheibel said Wednesday that 21st Century Democrats has not yet adopted a strategy for next year's state election campaigns. He said he believed the e-mail was seeking to hire one or two field workers to assist St. Paul mayoral candidate Chris Coleman and three DFL-endorsed school board candidates in the remaining four weeks of their campaigns.
Kelly Young, the executive director of the committee, said the e-mail's reference to summer interns was a mistake. She said the committee hoped to hire a single campaign worker who would help conduct a coordinated campaign for Coleman and the school board candidates.
In December 2004, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board imposed two fines, totaling nearly $318,000, against 21st Century Democrats for "inadvertent" violations of a campaign-finance reporting law. The board concluded that 21st Century Democrats failed to disclose in Minnesota all the donors to the national committee.
In a separate investigation initiated by the Minnesota Republican Party, the campaign finance board cleared 21st Century Democrats, the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and three Democratic campaign committees of allegations that they improperly accepted and spent the money donated by Entenza. The Republican complaint did not accuse Entenza of any wrongdoing.
Twenty-first Century Democrats challenged that fine, and Scheibel said Wednesday the committee is negotiating to win a reduction in it.
(Source: Pioneer Press, Oct. 13, 2005)
It is well known among insiders of both parties that Entenza, an attorney, is eyeing the Office of Attorney General as a way to launch a gubernatorial bid, à la Mike Hatch.
In the 2004 elections, Entenza used the 21st Century Democrats as his personal field staff for the House DFL Caucus. Ultimately, the group was fined for their actions.