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To Which US House Candidates Are Minnesota's Politicians Contributing?

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Tim Walz and 6th CD DFL Challengers Reed and Clark receiving early support in 2009 from state's politicians

Depending on the fundraising strategies pursued by and opportunities presented to U.S. House officeholders and candidates, some politicians seek to build their campaign warchests through individual contributions (e.g. Michele Bachmann, Keith Ellison) while others rely more heavily on Political Action Committee money (e.g. Collin Peterson, Jim Oberstar).

Receiving the financial support (and eventual endorsement) from fellow politicians and officeholders is particularly critical for new candidates, especially those vying for the party's nomination.

Although the 2010 election is still a year away, several former and current Minnesota politicians and other notables have already inserted themselves into the game, by contributing tens of thousands of dollars in itemized funds to the 2010 campaigns of U.S. House candidates.

These contributions have come from two former U.S. Senators, two former U.S. Representatives, five 2010 gubernatorial candidates, several state legislators, and local governmental officials across Minnesota.

Perhaps the most hotly contested U.S. House race in 2010 will be in the state's 6th Congressional District, where former Independence Party Lieutenant Gubernatorial nominee Maureen Reed and State Senator Tarryl Clark are battling for the right to challenge 2-term Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

A Smart Politics analysis of Federal Elections Commission data reveals that both Reed and Clark are receiving early contributions from former and current Minnesota politicians and other notables in the Gopher State.

Reed, who launched her campaign several months before Clark, has received some financial support from several notables:

· Former 6-term DFL U.S. Representative and 2002 Independence Party gubernatorial nominee Tim Penny contributed $1,000 to Reed back in June.
· Former 2006 DFL U.S. Senate candidate Ford Bell contributed $400 in September.
· 2008 3rd Congressional District Independence Party nominee David Dillon contributed $500 in August.
· DFL State Senator Steve Murphy (District 28) gave $250 in June.
· McLeod County Attorney Michael Junge gave $250 in September.
· Jim Pohlad, principal owner of the Minnesota Twins, contributed $2,400 to Reed in July. Jim's brother Robert gave $1,000 in June.

Tarryl Clark, who announced her candidacy in late July of this year, has also seen several notables donate money to her U.S. House campaign:

· Former DFL U.S. Senator and likely 2010 gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton gave $1,000 to Clark's campaign in August.
· DFL State Senator (and potential 3rd CD candidate) Terri Bonoff has contributed $700 so far this year.
· Former DFL Senate Majority Leader and 2002 gubernatorial nominee Roger Moe gave $500 in September.
· DFL State Senator Tony Lourey (District 08) contributed $2,400 in September.
· Special assistant to DFL U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Christopher Pohlad contributed $1,250 in September.

Among the state's eight U.S. House members, Tim Walz has turned out the most money from the pocketbooks of notable Minnesotans from around the state:

· Former DFL U.S. Senator and likely 2010 gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton has given the $4,800 maximum already this year.
· Former Attorney General and 2006 DFL gubernatorial nominee Mike Hatch contributed $250 in June.
· Former DFL State Representative and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza gave $2,400 in March.
· Ramsey County Attorney and 2010 DFL gubernatorial hopeful Susan Gaertner gave $250 in June.
· Minneapolis City Council member Diane Hofstede contributed $750 in June.
· And a little-known Minnesotan named Garrison Keillor contributed $250 to Congressman Walz back in February.

Most other members of Minnesota's U.S. House delegation have also received political contributions from current or former politicians in the state:

Contributions to Betty McCollum:
· Former DFL State Senator and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Steve Kelly gave $250 in September. (McCollum has endorsed Kelly for Governor).
· DFL State Representative and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Paul Thissen contributed $250 in February.
· Minneapolis City Council member Diane Hofstede contributed $500 in September.

Contributions to John Kline:
· Former Republican U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz contributed $500 in September.

Contributions to Collin Peterson:
· Former DFL Senate Majority Leader and 2002 gubernatorial nominee Roger Moe gave $250 in June.

Contributions to Erik Paulsen:
· Former 6-term GOP Congressman Vin Weber contributed $500 to Paulsen in September.
· Former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Tim Pawenty Bob Schroeder gave $500 in May.

Contributions to Keith Ellison:
· Minneapolis City Council member Diane Hofstede has contributed $350 in 2009.

Contributions to Jim Oberstar:
· Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson gave $250 in January.
· Renville County Commissioner Bob Fox gave $250 in January.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who Smart Politics has noted for receiving the most small donor funds in the state, and being the least reliant on PAC money, has received no money from notable Minnesota politicians thus far this year.

Note: To clarify, the above data does not include committee contributions or individual contributions tallying less than $200 for the election cycle to date, only large donor ($200+) itemized contributions. For example, Tarryl Clark received an additional $5,000 last quarter from the campaign committees of Congressmen Jim Oberstar ($2,000), Collin Peterson ($2,000), and Keith Ellison ($1,000) (as well as $1,000 from Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriots Fund).

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