A Web of Influence

  • Graphic by: KEVIN SCHAUL and GLENN HOWATT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 9:52 AM

Spending in Minnesota politics may be best described as a web of influence. Nearly all of the state’s top political donors are related to each other in some fashion. Donations between PACs reveal a tightly knit network of groups.

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Spending in Minnesota politics may be best described as a web of influence. Nearly all of the state’s top political donors are related to each other in some fashion. Donations between PACs reveal that they are a tightly knit network.

WIN Minnesota, one of the state’s largest political spenders, didn’t spend a cent directly over the last three election cycles — choosing instead to give more than $5.6 million to other PACs. Alliance for a Better Minnesota, one of WIN Minnesota’s recipients, received nearly all its money from other PACs.

This web of influence highlights how a significant portion of PAC spending went to other PACs, instead of directly to campaigns.

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Highlight PAC networks by category:
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Chart KeyDonationto PAC$10 million intotal spending$100 thousandSpending favoring DemocratsSpending favoring RepublicansSpending with no clearpartisan pattern
Touch a PAC bubble for more information.
Data from last three election cycles (2007-2012). PACs that spent less than $50,000 in this period are not included.
PACs identified as partisan have given at least 70 percent of their spent money to that party’s candidates, as independent expenditures supporting the party or to the party itself.
Source: Star Tribune analysis of Minnesota Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board data