Businesses, unions, and political activists are taking advantage of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to plough large amounts of cash into campaign ads. How has the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case changed the landscape of political fundraising and advertising in Minnesota in 2010? Has one candidate been particularly helped by Citizens United?
The forum brought together four panelists, including Denise Cardinal from Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Mike Dean, director of Common Cause Minnesota, Gary Goldsmith, executive director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, and Ben Golnik from Golnik Strategies. The event was moderated by Professor Larry Jacobs.
Denise Cardinal is the Executive Director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) — a left-leaning issue advocacy organization started in 2007. Before moving back to her home state of Minnesota in 2006 to be communications director for America Votes Minnesota and then start ABM, Denise served for 5 years as Senior Press Officer for the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. She also spent time in our nation’s capitol as the Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). She’s worked at newspapers in Nevada, Idaho, Iowa and earned a degree in Journalism from Drake University in 1995.
Michael Dean is executive director of Common Cause Minnesota, a statewide nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization that works to promote fair and clean elections, protect the independence of the judiciary, and make government open and accountable to its citizens. Over the last year, Dean has worked to transform a dormant state chapter of Common Cause into an important voice on good government issues in Minnesota. Dean formerly was a senior account executive for Himle Horner, Inc., a public relations/public affairs firm. Specifically, Dean assisted clients in developing viral marketing and advocacy campaigns to more effectively engage key stakeholders on very complex issues. In 2007, his work was recognized by the Public Affairs Council for innovative use of technology on a campaign supporting smoke-free legislation in Minnesota. Dean graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations.
Gary Goldsmith is the executive director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Goldsmith is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.After eleven years in private practice, Gary joined the staff of the Minnesota Historical Society where he managed their contracting and purchasing office. After five years with the Society, he joined the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board staff as Assistant Executive Director where he served for five years. After a time away from the Board, Gary returned in 2006 and was appointed as the Board’s Executive Director in December, 2007. Gary is the public face of the Board and represents the Board in its work with the Legislature and the Governor’s office.
Ben Golnik founded Golnik Strategies a public affairs and public relations firm that assists clients in the development and execution of winning communications strategies. Ben regularly appears as a political analyst on At Issue, a weekly public affairs show on KSTP-TV and is often called on by the press corps to provide insight on political issues. In the 2008 election cycle, Golnick served in a senior position for the McCain Presidential campaign, overseeing all activities in six states. He was also the lead political consultant to the Minnesota House Republicans and served as media liaison for Governor Tim Pawlenty during the presidential primary season. In 2006, Ben was the executive director of the Republican Party of Minnesota and directed the Party’s independent expenditure campaign. Golnik also managed a targeted congressional race in Maine and served as the executive director of the Vermont Republican Party. Ben spent two years in Washington as a legislative staffer for Senator Mike Crapo (Idaho) and has been called on to provide training to political parties in Angola and as an election observer in Afghanistan. Ben graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Jacobs, Lawrence R..
Post Citizens United: What Corporate Contributions Mean for Our Political System.
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