EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - ELECTION YEAR 2000


The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board is charged with the administration of the Ethics in Government Act, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A.   During an election year campaign committees of candidates who file for office are required to file three Reports of Receipts and Expenditures:  pre-primary, pre-general, and year-end.  Campaign committees of candidates whose office is not up for election and candidates who chose not to file for office file one year-end report.  Offices open for election in 2000 were: State Senate, House of Representatives, and certain Judicial seats.  Political party units, political committees, and political funds that attempt to influence state elections also filed pre-primary, pre-general, and year-end reports.

This summary is based on reports for election year 2000, as filed with the Board by principal campaign committees of candidates for 67 state senate seats (149 candidates filed), 134 state representative seats (293 candidates filed), and by 20 candidates for elective judicial seats.  Additionally, this summary includes data supplied by 5 constitutional officeholders; 5 judicial officeholders; 20 judicial candidates;  392 committees of candidates who did not file for election in 2000; 334 political party units; and 322 political committees and political funds.  Comparison of total data from election year 2000 by principal campaign committee, political committee, or political fund with similar data from election years 1998 and 1996 is included in this summary.  The data has not been verified or audited. 

This summary includes, for each candidate committee, political party unit, political committee or political fund, total contributions received; total transfers to other candidates, committees or funds; total expenditures; beginning and ending cash balances; and the total amount of public subsidy received by qualifying candidates.   A committee or fund's outstanding loans payable, unpaid bills, or disbursements other than campaign expenditures or transfers to candidates are not itemized but are reflected in the totals reported in the summary.

Campaign committees for constitutional and legislative office must abide by certain contribution limits.  There is no contribution limit for elective judgeship candidates.  Contributions totaling $2,865,399 were reported received by candidates who filed for office for State Senate, contributions totaling $3,749,873 were reported received by candidates for House of Representatives (see page 12), and a total of $625,483 in contributions were reported received by 20 judicial candidates (see page 34).  A listing of the names of individuals, committees, or funds contributing in aggregate more than $100 to legislative or district court candidates and more than $200 to constitutional office candidates and to political committees and political funds begins on page 53.

 Included in the total contributions received by State Senate candidates were 3,311 donations of more than $100 each totaling $1,166,668 (41% of total contributions received).  House candidates received contributions from 3,593 donations of more than $100 each totaling $1,380,859 (37% of total contributions received).  Judicial candidates received contributions from 801 donations of more than $100 each totaling $432,715 (69% of total contributions received).

Most candidates voluntarily agree to limit expenditures in order to receive public subsidies.  These subsidies include direct payments to eligible candidates during election years and the right to participate in the Political Contribution Refund (PCR) program.  Agreements to abide by spending limits in order to receive money from the State Elections Campaign Fund were signed by 98% of registered legislative candidates filing for office.  A total of $3,227,599 in public subsidy was distributed to legislative candidates. 

Campaign expenditures are made for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate and apply toward the expenditure limit applicable to partisan candidates who signed a Public Subsidy Agreement.  In 2000, 149 candidates who filed for state senate reported making total campaign expenditures of $3,916,752 a 4% decrease in campaign spending when compared with total expenditures of $4,104,403 in 1996.  Campaign expenditures by 293 house candidates totaled $4,336,825 a 1% increase in campaign spending compared to total expenditures of $4,280,840 in 1998.

 According to statistics compiled from candidate reports, winners outspent losers in 86% of the state senate races and 80% of the house races.  Candidates in one state senate district and 14 house districts ran without opposition in the general election.

 State senate candidates reported receiving a total of $2,609,694 in contributions from individuals, lobbyists, political committees, and political funds; $1,676,578 from public subsidy; and $255,705 in contributions from political parties. House candidates reported receiving a total of $3,319,073 in contributions from individuals, lobbyists, political committees, and political funds; $1,506,564 from public subsidy; and $430,800 in contributions from political parties.

 Five constitutional officers who were not up for election in 2000 reported receiving $113,069 in total contributions, and making total campaign expenditures of $118,554.   Other candidate committees who did not file for office reported receiving $1,223,023 in contributions, and making total campaign expenditures of $281,126.

 This summary includes selected data from reports filed by political party units, political committees and political funds.  Reports filed by 334 political party committees and 322 political committees and political funds disclosed receipt of contributions totaling $39,865,757 from which they made total contributions of $6,950,106 to state candidate committees and political committees and political funds.  Included in the $39,865,757:  $7,794,784 was contributed to Democratic Farmer Labor party units which made $1,166,117 in contributions to state candidates; $9,683,078 was contributed to Republican Party of Minnesota party units which made $472,240 in contributions to state candidates; $31,163 was contributed to Independence Party of Minnesota party units which made $1,515 in contributions to state candidates; and $172,216 in contributions to all other state parties which made $7,726 in contributions to state candidates.  Contributions made by individuals to qualifying political party units also qualify for a refund under the PCR program.

 The summary includes names of donors who contributed more than $1,000 to candidate committees, political committees, political funds, or political party units during 2000 (page 185) and a list of political committees and political funds that made independent expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate (page 121).