While Tony is correct that both union PACs and the Klodts contributed
to City Council and Park Board campaigns, the similarities stop there.
Before awarding PAC contributions to candidates, unions typically
require completion of an exhaustive questionnaire and an in-person
interview -- all with the intent of assuring that candidates share
similar political beliefs and goals as the endorsing union membership.
The same cannot be said of Klodt and its contractors.

As a matter of fact, the Klodts, and many of the individuals employed
by Klodt contractors (who contributed the bulk of Colvin Roy's
campaign receipts), strongly support politicians and political
interests that sharply conflict with the DFL and labor.

Paul and Kevin Klodt, as well as individuals employed by Klodt
contractors (from Colvin Roy's contributor list), made at least twenty
contributions to Republican candidates and interests between 2001 and
2004. The amount reported contributed during this period totaled $
7,975.00. GOP recipients of this largesse included Pawlenty for
Governor Committee, Norm Coleman's Senate Commitee, as well as the
campaign funds of George W. Bush, Gil Gutknecht and John Kline.

This information is available online at www.cfbreport.state.mn.us, as
well as www.opensecrets.org.

At the state and national level, companies working to influence
government for the purpose of increasing their own profits tend to
favor Republicans while union PACs favor Democrats.  However, in
Minneapolis, where Republican elected officials are as scarce as hen's
teeth, these private interests put their money on the sure things --
the incumbents.

Why would suburban Republican developers/contractors be giving money
to Colvin Roy (a Minneapolis DFLer)?  Answer this question and you
begin to understand the issue.

What is important is that we learn from our recent experiences and
that we look to the future as a city.  We need to carefully consider
campaign finance reform, whether that includes public financing, or a
host of more modest revisions such as revised reporting requirements
or improved accessibility to campaign finance information.  We have
lots of work to do and we need to talk openly and honestly about our
electoral process.

Sonja Dahl
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