October 18, 2022

DFL Party Files Complaint Against Jim Schultz for Illegal Coordination with Independent Expenditure Group

Tim Pawlenty was previously penalized an “unprecedented” $600,000 for similar behavior

Today, the Minnesota DFL Party filed a complaint against Jim Schultz’s campaign for Attorney General of Minnesota for illegally coordinating with an independent expenditure group, Minnesota for Freedom.

A copy of the complaint is linked here and has been attached to this email.

Both Jim Schultz’s campaign and the independent expenditure group Minnesota for Freedom have purchased advertisements using Steve Syckes as an agent, violating campaign finance law stating clearly that independent expenditures must be “made without the express or implied consent…[of] any candidate or any candidates’ principal campaign committee or agent…

Once the hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising by Minnesota for Freedom is properly counted as contributions to the Schultz campaign, they clearly and substantially exceed the $2,500 contribution limit for the attorney general race.

Tim Pawlenty faced an extremely similar complaint in 2002 when “a campaign media consultant and a consultant for the party illegally worked together to produce and broadcast [tv ads] to promote Pawlenty’s candidacy with the party’s money.” Pawlenty was fined $100,000 and had his spending limit reduced by another $500,000, which the then-Chair of the Campaign Finance Board called “unprecedented.”

Furthermore, Minnesota For Freedom is funded exclusively by the Republican Attorney General’s Association (RAGA), which accepts large corporate contributions from Exxonmobil, Juul, Koch Industries, Philip Morris, Pfizer, and others. When RAGA’s spending is properly considered as a contribution to Schultz’s campaign, it is clear that Schultz also violated the law by accepting illegal corporate contributions to his campaign.

“If Jim Schultz can’t even follow the law, how can any Minnesotan trust him to enforce it?” said DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin. “Schultz’s flagrant violation of campaign finance law is made worse by the fact that Schultz is illegally coordinating with a group funded by big pharma, big tobacco, and big oil. Given that Schultz has no record of accomplishments to point to whatsoever, this astonishing violation of the law is one of the few concrete things voters actually have to judge Schultz by. I hope Minnesotans seriously weigh Schultz’s brazenly illegal and highly unethical behavior as they cast their ballots.”

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