GOP questions Rybak's purchase of voter fileby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Republican Party today filed a complaint with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board against Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak over the use of a DFL voter file.
Rybak's mayoral campaign finance reports show that he spent $13,000 for the DFL voter file before he announced he was running for governor. Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton said he believes Rybak used the file for a campaign for governor not his mayoral campaign.
"I think this is an attempt to double dip where you can raise money for mayor, spend it on your campaign for governor and then raise money for your campaign for governor," Sutton said. "This is something that is actually pretty clear cut."
If the campaign finance board rules against Rybak, his campaign for governor may have to pay his mayoral campaign for the database and count it against the spending limits in the governor's race.
Tina Smith, who manages Rybak's campaign for governor, said both of Rybak's campaigns paid for the DFL list and both had their own legitimate reasons for doing it.
"I'm not going into details of what our campaign strategy is here but I can tell you that we used it for legitimate purposes and when we created the governor's campaign, we repurchased the license to be absolutely positive that we're doing this the right way," Smith said.
In November, the campaign finance board ruled that Rybak improperly conducted a survey for his run for governor before forming a formal campaign committee. The board ordered that the $26,500 his mayoral campaign spent on the survey should be counted as spending for his run for governor.