Party of the Rich

My colleague Bill Glahn has taken a dive into the data now available on political spending in Minnesota during the 2022 election cycle. He has written several posts on his research at Bill’s most recent findings are disturbing:

23 of America’s richest billionaire families donated to Minnesota Democrats (DFL) in the past three years. Collectively, they donated over $6.2 million to the MN DFL in that time. These 23 collectively hold wealth of nearly $350 billion. …

Each year, the financial magazine Forbes publishes its famous list of the 400 richest Americans. Of the current 400, the following donated to MN Democratic campaigns and political causes in the years 2020-22:

Note that the big money pretty much all comes from outside Minnesota, mostly from coastal leftists. There is no analogous support for Republicans in Minnesota:

On the Republican side of the aisle, the cupboard is much barer. Only 7 of the Forbes 400 gave to Minnesota state Republican candidates or causes in the past three years, giving a total of $70,000. Of the $70,000, a total of $49,000 was donated by Bill Austin [who also donated $14,000 to the Democrats].

That $70,000 is just over one percent of what the super-rich gave to the Democrats. And the $21,000 given by the super-rich who do not also support Democrats was 1/295 of what the super-rich donated to Democrats.

Nor does the Democrats’ largesse stop with the Forbes 400:

Other names that are famous in Minnesota political circles are also missing. Big DFL donors Alida (Rockefeller) Messinger, the Pohlad family (Twins), and Zygi Wilf (Vikings) are all rich and large DFL donors, but not wealthy enough the make the current 400 list.

My organization’s polling consistently shows that there are many more Minnesotans who describe themselves as conservative than who say they are liberal. But rich, out-of-state leftists and public sector unions have figured out that they can buy Minnesota on the cheap. My understanding is that they invest only around $50 million per cycle–a derisory figure. But it is enough to out-spend what Republicans can muster by at least three to one.

So, if you wonder how seemingly normal people like most of Minnesota’s voters can elect officials who drive the state into a far-left ditch, the answer is simple: the far Left buys Minnesota, at a bargain price. I think the same holds true for a number of other states, where left-wing money simply swamps the resources that much-poorer conservatives can muster. This is a basic fact of life in 21st century America: the Democrats are the party of the rich, and that is working well for them.

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