A bill that would make several changes to campaign finance laws is headed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk after passing on a vote of 123-0 on Wednesday in the House.
Representative Clark Johnson (D-North Mankato) will retire this year, but says Minnesotans should be proud that the state requires lawmakers to provide information to the public on where financing comes from.
“Of course it always begs the question about these other interest groups that don’t have to share that information, which I think is a continuing problem. But at least we’ve got that foundation for elected officials and people running for office and lobbyists. But again, you know they call it dark money because you don’t know where it’s coming from. So, a lot of the things you see on TV, we don’t know who’s funding it. I think that’s a fair question for the public to know.”
The House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee recommended the changes that include increasing the threshold for when disclosure is required and stipulations for written or verbal disclaimers when goods or services are sold to raise money for a campaign.
“I feel fortunate that the times that I ran, we were running basically a localized campaign. Which I think they really should be. Some of my colleagues run in races that were with this outside money, as much as a million dollars is spent. That’s just horrible. I hope that does not start happening where we live, because it radically changes the nature of the campaign. A lot of mud-slinging and distorted information.”
Last week the Senate passed the bill 57-10.