A closer look at the anti-gay marriage amendment fundraising


Campaign finance reports for the groups supporting and opposing the anti-gay marriage amendment are out and the differences could not be more striking. Minnesota for Marriage, the group that supports the amendment, raised $588,000 while Minnesotans United for All Families came in with $3.1 million.

Those numbers are since January of this year.

Since the campaigns began, Minnesota for Marriage has raised $1.4 million. Minnesotans United for All Families has raised $4.6 million.

The contrast becomes stark when looking at the individual donors that have given to each campaign over the last 6 months.

Minnesota for Marriage raised $33,000 from 26 individual donors. Eighty-five percent of those donations were from Minnesota.

Minnesotans United for All Families had 16,234 individual donors, 91 percent of which were from Minnesota.

That contrasts with a statement by Minnesota for Marriage chairman John Helmberger earlier this week claiming that the resources by amendment opponents were coming from out of state.

“Our opponents are raising money from same sex marriage activists across the country,” Helmberger said. “And although we have always expected that they will outspend us, as marriage protection opponents have in every other state dealing with this issue, we are confident that the people of Minnesota will come together to raise the resources necessary to win and not let our state’s definition of marriage be defined by activist judges or liberal out of state organizations.”

In fact, for both sides, the majority of donors have been Minnesotans, but for Minnesotans United, more money has come from Minnesota as a percentage of individuals donors than it has for Minnesota for Marriage. 91 percent is more than 85 percent.

The bulk of the money for Minnesota for Marriage came from the Catholic Church and associated organizations.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy wing of the Archdiocese, gave $400,000.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference got that money from the Dioceses (Crookston gave $28,000, St. Cloud gave $50,000, and Winona gave $50,000), and from the Knights of Columbus.

The national KoC gave more money than any other entity: $100,000. The local chapters of KoC gave a total of $15,775.

The Minnesota Family Council, which is a partner in the Minnesota for Marriage coalition, gave $150,000. MFC also spent $114,840 directly on amendment activities. MFC got the bulk of its money from when its Minnesota Family Institute repaid a loan of $123,566.

And the National Organization for Marriage, which is also a partner in the coalition, gave $15,000.

Major donors to Minnesotans United include Alliance for a Better Minnesota at $182,000. The Human Rights Campaign kicked in $37,000 in cash and another $78,466 in in-kind donations. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force gave $10,000. The Pohlad family, including Jim Pohlad, owner of the Twins gave $305,000.

Project 515, which along with OutFront Minnesota, helped start Minnesotans United, gave $89,550 and another $197,500 in in-kind donations.

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota gave $25,000.