Independent coalition launches campaign to support Mark Andrew

Mark Andrew at a campaign event earlier this year. Credit:

A group called the Coalition for a Better Minneapolis launched a campaign today to support Mark Andrew’s mayoral bid through independent expenditure efforts.

Under state law, groups that form independent expenditures can spend an unlimited amount of money to support a candidate, but they must act independently of the candidate.

Individual donors, meanwhile, are limited to contributions of $500.

Bill McCarthy, chair of the Coalition for a Better Minneapolis, said: “Our goal is to elect a mayor who has the DFL values and experience necessary to continue the great work Mayor Rybak has done over the last 12 years. Whether it was leading the Wellstone reelection as DFL state Party Chair or spearheading efforts to provide domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples as Hennepin County Board Chair, Mark Andrew has a long track record of leadership and real accomplishments.”

McCarthy declined to discuss the specifics of the group’s agenda, including plans for television ads.

According to a study by the National Institute on Money in State Politics released earlier this year, independent expenditures play a major role in Minnesota campaigns. Between 2006 and 2010, $34.8 million was spent on independent expenditures for races throughout the state — “slightly more than half” of the cash given to candidates directly during that time period.

The Coalition for a Better Minneapolis has filed with the Hennepin County Campaign Finance Coordinator and will be filing a pre-general finance report Oct. 29 like the rest of the campaign teams.

Coalition treasurer Kendal Killian said:  “Mark Andrew believes in transparency and so do we. Instead of seeking out loopholes in campaign finance law, we will follow the same reporting rules as the campaigns themselves.”

Andrew leads the field of mayoral candidates in campaign contributions with $272,145 in donations, according to campaign finance reports filed with Hennepin County on Sept. 3.

City Council Member Betsy Hodges reported $188,774, followed by Council Member Don Samuels, $101,602; Jackie Cherryhomes, $76,775; and Cam Winton, $72,800.