Minnesota Majority’s executive director, Dan McGrath, has engaged in lobbying at the Capitol, but was not required to register with the state, according to a ruling Tuesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. That’s because he did not meet the threshold for lobbying activities that triggers the registration requirement under state law.
Specifically the campaign finance board ruled that McGrath was not paid more than $3,000 annually for lobbying activities. Similarly it determined that Minnesota Majority’s advocacy work at the Capitol didn’t cross the $50,000 limit.
“The response from Mr. McGrath shows that the hourly allocation of his yearly salary as compensation for lobbying activities did not exceed the $3,000 threshold that would have required registration with the Board in 2010, 2011, or 2012,” the board analysis notes. “Therefore Mr. McGrath was not required to register as a lobbyist for Minnesota Majority” under Minnesota statute.
The ruling came in response to a complaint filed by Common Cause Minnesota alleging that McGrath and Minnesota Majority were violating state law by failing to register with the campaign finance board. The complaint cited an affidavit filed in litigation before the Minnesota Supreme Court dealing with the proposed voter identification constitutional amendment in which Minnesota Majority was seeking to intervene. In that document, the conservative advocacy group detailed its role in seeking to pass both voter ID legislation and the constitutional amendment.
The ruling reveals that McGrath initially believed he didn’t have to register as a lobbyist because he primarily provided committee testimony at the behest of legislators. But the law makes no such distinction.
In response to the complaint, McGrath initially registered as a lobbyist on August 4, 2012. But less than three weeks later he informed officials with the campaign finance board that he was still trying to determine if his activities were significant enough to require filing with the state. Ultimately McGrath determined that he did not meet the threshold.