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Vote Yes Minnesota opponents speaking out

ST. PAUL - The Vote Yes Minnesota for an $11 Billion sales tax increase campaign recently released their fundraising numbers through the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

The Vote Yes campaign raised $2,386,228.04 while having spent $546,746.69 on the tax increase campaign. The list of donors is a who's who of the rich and famous from Minnesota along with the many special interest organizations that might look to profit from the proposed sales tax increase.

"It is interesting that so many multi-millionaires want to bilk the hardworking taxpayers of Minnesota for extras that are already being funded by millions of dollars through the Minnesota DNR budget, the Lottery, LCCMR, and local units of government," said Rod Grams, chairman of the No Constitutional Tax Increase campaign. "In a time when most middle class Minnesotans are looking to tighten their family budgets due to increased food and gas costs, these folks say let's add more to their tax burden and that's just wrong."

Included in the donations is a $1 million dollar donation from Alida Messinger, a Rockefeller family member and ex-wife of former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton; $470,000 total from ten members of the Dayton family; $100,000 from Ralph and Peggy Burnett of Coldwell Banker Burnett Realty; and not surprisingly, $25,000 from John and Sage Cowles, the family that use to own the Star Tribune newspaper, $25,000 from Jim Pohlad and $20,000 from Mary Pohlad, the same Pohlad family that owns the Minnesota Twins and recently benefited from a taxpayer funded stadium.

Some of the companies and non-profits included in the donations are; $10,000 from Adolfson & Peterson Construction; $25,000 from the Conservation Campaign located in Boston Massachusetts; $38,866.64 in cash and in-kind contributions from Conservation Minnesota; $25,000 from the Freshwater Foundation; $8,000 from the Friends of Minnesota Public Television; $8,872 from the Guthrie Theatre; $25,000 from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, $31,953.82 from the Minnesota Environmental Partnership; and $10,909 from the Minnesota Orchestra.

"You have to question the motives of the individuals and groups donating to a cause that wants to create a special interest slush fund," said Phil Krinkie, President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota. "Are they looking to use this money for their hobbies and are the groups donating hoping to leverage a huge chunk of the $11 billion tax increase for their special interest projects?"