A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

MN Forward


 

Political leanings: Pro-business

Spending target: Unknown

 

MN Forward is a pro-business, corporate-funded group backing Republican candidate Tom Emmer for governor of Minnesota. It is also supporting a bipartisan group of candidates for the state Legislature. It had raised nearly $1.2 million by the time of the state primary elections on Aug. 10, 2010.

Several corporations — taking advantage of a recent Supreme Court ruling — initially poured $100,000 each into the fund. The largest single donation was $150,000 from Target Corp., which is headquartered in the state.

The use of corporate money in the governor’s race drew unfavorable publicity for the retail chain. The liberal group MoveOn.org asked members to: "Tell the CEO you won’t shop there if Target continues spending money on elections." It called Emmer a "far right" candidate who opposes same-sex marriages.

Accusations that Target was being anti-gay led Target’s chief executive to write a letter to employees, saying that "our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry," according to the Associated Press.

MN Forward says it is a bipartisan effort to support pro-business candidates. On Aug. 5, 2010, it announced that it is sending glossy mailers to support six state legislators for reelection, including three who are members of the state’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

MN Forward is required to disclose its donors under Minnesota’s campaign finance laws. As of August 11, it had reported donations totaling nearly $1.2 million to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Election Board.