Common Cause Minnesota filed a complaint on Tuesday alleging that Minnesota Majority and its executive director, Dan McGrath, broke state law by failing to properly register as a lobbying organization and disclose costs associated with seeking to influence legislation.
The complaint, filed by Common Cause executive director Mike Dean, highlights an affidavit by McGrath in which he details efforts to place a constitutional amendment requiring voters to produce a photo ID on the ballot. “Given its significant investment of time, attention and money toward the enactment of the Amendment, Minnesota Majority has a substantial and direct interest in the outcome of this matter,” McGrath said in the legal document, which was filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court in litigation related to the photo ID issue.
The complaint, filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, calls on the watchdog agency to impose a $1,000 fine and audit Minnesota Majority’s book to determine how much money was spent on lobbying. “Considering the nature of the scheme to circumvent Minnesota’s lobbyist disclosure laws and the length of time that they have failed to register as a lobbyist, we encourage the CFDB to seek the maximum penalties to send a clear message that these attempts to undermine disclosure will not be tolerated,” the complaint reads.
This is not the first complaint filed by Common Cause in recent months. In May it issued a similar complaint alleging that the American Legislative Exchange Council had failed to properly register as a lobbying organization. It also has a complaint pending with the campaign finance board charging that the state Republican Party failed to properly disclose its finances. The campaign finance board is expected to rule on one facet of the latter issue — specifically, whether Count Them All Properly, a subsidiary corporation devoted to the 2010 gubernatorial recount, confirmed to state campaign finance laws — next week.