Panel discusses campaign complaint against Kelliherby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board will release its findings Wednesday regarding a complaint against Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher's campaign for governor, according to the board's chairwoman.
The Minnesota Republican Party filed a complaint against Kelliher after it was revealed that she directed donors to help pay for her use of a DFL voter file.
Kelliher and DFL Party officials say she was acting on bad advice from a DFL Party staffer. Kelliher said she would accept any penalty the board orders. The DFL Party returned donations to three donors.
The board met privately Tuesday morning with Kelliher's campaign attorney, her campaign manager and an attorney for the DFL Party. Kelliher's campaign attorney
Jay Benanav said the board didn't ask any questions after he made his five-minute presentation. He said he hopes the campaign isn't penalized for what he called an error.
"We hope that there won't be any fine, given the fact that the campaign acted in good faith. It asked the question of the DFL, and unfortunately got wrong information," said Benanav.
Alan Weinblatt, an attorney with the DFL Party, made a 20-minute presentation to the board, separate from Kelliher's team. He said he told the board that the mistake was made by the DFL Party, not Kelliher.
"The DFL folks made an error. It wasn't an intentional error," said Weinblatt. "It wasn't an error that arose out of trying to evade the law. It was a goof."
Weinblatt also said the DFL made a mistake by assuming that four other donors gave to the party to help pay for Kelliher's use of the voter file. He said those donors said they were making a general contribution to the party, which was not on behalf of Kelliher.
The Campaign Finance Board generally meets privately to discuss campaign finance complaints. Board Chair Hilda Betterman said the findings regarding the complaint will be posted on the Campaign Finance Board's Web site at noon on Wednesday.