|Analysis: Minnesota public employee unions continue political spending spree
Minnesota’s biggest public employee unions continue to throw huge amounts of money into the state’s 2010 gubernatorial and legislative races, according to Freedom Foundation of Minnesota analysis of recent campaign finance reports. The records, filed in late September, indicate that the “big three” public sector unions – Education Minnesota, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), and the state branch of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME Council 5) – have spent more than $1.5 million in the current election cycle in support of candidates, political party units, and other committees. And, in keeping with tradition, virtually all of that money went to support a narrow political ideology and a single political party.
Education Minnesota, the teachers’ union that represents 70,000 educators across the state, has spent $1,087,080 in direct political expenditures in support of DFL candidates and liberal committees in the current election cycle. For Republicans: a grand total of $4,950, or less than 0.5% of the total. Apparently the teachers’ union’s oft-stated commitment to “diversity” does not extend to a diversity of ideas.
MAPE, which represents over 12,000 state employees, has spent $148,250 direct political expenditures since the beginning of the election cycle. Just $250, or 0.17%, of that sum was contributed to Republicans.
And finally, AFSCME Council 5 has spent $297,719 so far in the 2010 election cycle. And it was unanimous: 100 percent of that money was spent in support of Democrats.
For more information on Minnesota’s public employee unions, please seeFFM’s analysis from July of this year.
Accountability Alert: St. Cloud has $5 million airport terminal but no place to go
St. Cloud Regional Airport touts lots of amenities on its website – a café, ATM, free wi-fi, free parking and a $5 million completely renovated terminal whose capacity went up dramatically from 30 to 200 travelers. There’s also a new $750,000 passenger boarding bridge secured with federal stimulus funds to keep travelers out of the elements while catching a flight. One asset, however, the newly renovated airport notably lacks—commercial flights and passengers.
FFM launches Ronald Reagan essay contest with $5,000 grand prize scholarship
Beginning this month, Minnesota high school students are encouraged to enter Minnesota’s newest and most exciting essay contest. Entitled “A Legacy of Leadership”, the essay contest encourages students to explore the leadership, legacies, and values of America’s 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan.
President Reagan is often described as a bold and unwavering champion of freedom and liberty. The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota seeks to encourage students to explore that legacy of leadership and the lasting effects of his presidential policies. We offer this contest with the hope that Minnesota’s next generation of leaders will discover and value the leadership qualities that shaped the ideology and conviction of Ronald Reagan.
Winners of the $5,000, $1,000 and $500 grand prize scholarships will be announced at the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota’s Spring Awards Banquet.
The topic is “What was President Ronald Reagan’s most important public policy achievement?”
Deadline for Submissions: All submissions are due by midnight on January 5, 2011. Please review the complete list of submission guidelines, judging criteria, eligibility requirements, and scholarship rules. If you have any questions, e-mail Reagan@freedomfoundationofminnesota.com
Reminder: Election Preview Event with John Fund of the Wall Street Journal on October 25
Remember to register for the FFM’s Election Preview event, featuring John Fund of the Wall Street Journal and former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber.
RSVP by Friday, October 22nd by emailing Christina Pajak or calling her at 612-354-2160.