Update: Finance disclosure board dismisses DFL complaint against Sen. Dave Thompson
Claim deemed ‘insufficient’
By Aaron Vehling,
A DFL complaint against state Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, was dismissed Tuesday, Jan. 31, about a week after it was initially made.
Gary Goldsmith, executive director of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, wrote in a letter to DFL Chairman Ken Martin that the complaint “does not provide a sufficient basis for the commencement of a Board investigation.”
Martin alleged on Jan. 23 that Thompson failed to include all required information on his Statements of Economic Interest filed with the Board, leaving out $70,000 in consulting fees he earned from the state Republican Party between the fall of 2009 and early fall 2010, just before he was elected to the state Senate, an amount first reported by Minnesota Public Radio.
“However, the only documentation you have provided is a Federal Communications Commission report showing a payment of $3,750 with a described purpose of ‘General Party Media Consulting’,” Goldsmith wrote. “If you have other documentation of the alleged $70,000 in payments and wish to submit it, the Board will reevaluate your complaint. At this time, your complaint is considered on the basis of the documented $3,750 payment.”
Because Thompson was acting as an independent consultant, he was not an employee and did not have to disclose the payments from the GOP, Goldsmith said in the letter.
Goldsmith wrote that the DFL could re-submit the complaint if it had more sufficient evidence, however “on the basis of your current submission, this matter is closed.”
In a statement, Thompson said he “complied with all disclosure requirements. Therefore, I am not surprised by the Board’s decision. Still, it is gratifying to see a clear statement from Mr. Goldsmith concluding that the complaint does not even provide a basis for an investigation.”
In response to the finance board’s ruling, Martin said in a statement that it “draws attention to a legal loophole that has allowed elected leaders like Senator Thompson to sidestep disclosure requirements that are there to make campaigns and government more transparent. This loophole needs to be closed immediately.”
Aaron Vehling is at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/thisweeklive.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated Wednesday, Feb. 1, to reflect new information and also to reconcile it with the print addition.