The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ruled Tuesday that Gov. Mark Dayton‘s campaign team inadvertently failed to include several 2012 campaign trips with the state airplane on a year-end report.
The complaint, which was filed by the Republican advocacy group Minnesota Jobs Coalition, pointed to three October trips in which the Democratic governor used the state plane for a mix of government business and campaign activity.
On Oct. 20, according to the complaint, Dayton flew to Brainerd for both state and campaign events, and on Oct. 24, Dayton went to both a state event and a DFL rally in Bemidji, and later in the day flew the state’s aircraft to International Falls for a DFL fish fry. At the time, Dayton said his campaign would reimburse the state for use of the plane, but the complaint said those trips were improperly reported in a January report instead of a 2012 year-end campaign report.
“Instead, it wrongly and misleadingly listed the 2012 expense as a January 3, 2013 travel reimbursement to the State on its 2013 quarterly report to the Minnesota State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board,” the complaint read.
The campaign finance board ruled that the Dayton campaign did fail to disclose the three trips in its 2012 report, but added that the mistakes were “inadvertent” and caused by “human error.” The board cannot issue a punishment for reporting errors deemed inadvertent. Dayton’s campaign has since amended the inaccurate reports.