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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Alliance for a Better Minnesota


Political leanings: Democratic

Spending target: Unknown


Alliance for a Better Minnesota is a group funded primarily by labor unions and the family of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mark Dayton. It ran several TV ads attacking the GOP’s eventual nominee, Tom Emmer. It raised nearly $1.7 million prior to the state’s Aug. 10 primary.

The group’s initial funding was funneled through two other state-level groups, but the sources could be traced through disclosures filed under Minnesota’s campaign finance laws.

Dayton’s ex-wife, Alida Messinger, donated $500,000 on May 21, 2010, to a group called "WIN Minnesota Political Action Fund," and various other Daytons donated a total of more than $300,000 to the group this year. WIN Minnesota then passed on $900,000 to ABM’s "Action Fund" on July 7 — making up more than half of AMB’s pre-primary total.

ABM also received — on the same date — another $700,000 from a group called the "2010 Fund," whose report revealed that it was financed by gifts from funds run by labor unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the nurse’s union, AFSCME, and the state AFL-CIO. It has received a total of $250,000 from the state teacher’s union alone, plus $50,000 gifts from Alida Messinger and from the WIN Minnesota group.