Minnesota for Marriage, the primary group backing a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, has raised roughly $588,000 this year, according to a new finance report.
That's far less than the $1.4 million the group said it had raised yesterday in a press release. It appears that figure refers to the total amount the group has collected since it launched its campaign last year, not the cash it has raised since Jan. 1 of this year.
The largest donation of $400,000 came from the Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense Fund, an organization that has been collecting money from various diocese and Knights of Columbus groups.
The Minnesota Family Council Marriage Protection Fund kicked-in $150,000 and the National Organization for Marriage donated $15,000.
Twenty-six individual donors donated the rest of the money, giving as little as $25 at a time or as much as $2,500.
Unlike Minnesotans United for All Families, the primary group opposing the amendment, Minnesota for Marriage reports no donations from prominent individuals. Minnesotans United for All Families has collected thousands from members of Gov. Mark Dayton's family as well as several Minnesota CEOs.
The marriage amendment appears to have divided at least one well-known Minnesota family. A Prairie Home Companion creator and host Garrison Keillor gave $250 to Minnesotans United for All Families while his brother, Steven Keillor, who lives in Askov, Minn., and is a professor at Bethel University, gave $500 to Minnesota for Marriage.
Since the start of the year, Minnesota for Marriage has spent $533,000, with more than $100,000 going to firms associated with Frank Schubert, a strategist who was instrumental in passing California's Prop 8.
The group has also paid Civis Communications more than $34,000 for consulting. Civis is owned by Robert Cummins, one of the state's most generous conservative donors.
Minnesotans United for All Families raised $3.1 million from 16,000 individual donors.
Minnesota for Marriage raised $588,000 from 3 organizations ($555,000) and 26 individual donors ($33,000).
Fascinating numbers. I'm hoping this indicates real weakness and complacency on the part of those advancing this amendment. To only raise $33k from individual donors for a statewide campaign for a full reporting period is pitiful.
I certainly don't see the legislators who voted to put this on the ballot wanting to stand up in support of this amendment now that it's a real fight. This is still going to be an uphill battle to defeat this anti-marriage, anti-family amendment, but as an opponent I like the work we're doing right now.