Candidates discuss the

by Coralie Carlson

Melanie Evans
Maybe independent candidate for state Legislature Eric Hanson and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Hubert H. “Skip” Humphrey III have the same accountant.
Both the mass communication senior and the attorney general failed to report their campaign finances by the Oct. 26 deadline.
Hanson is running for District 59B — which includes the East Bank of the Minneapolis campus — against Democrat incumbent Phyllis Kahn and Republican Robert Fowler, a third-year law student. But according to state records, the three candidates had very different budgets in their campaigns for the same legislative seat.
The body of Fowler’s $5,044 budget came from individual contributions and public subsidies — a fact he said makes him proud.
“I wanted to finance my campaign on small contributions,” he said.
Fowler has $150 left after pouring his funds into newspaper and cable advertisements. But he said the slim budget is not a major concern.
“There’s really nothing left to spend it on,” he said, “I’ll get by somehow.”
On the contrary, Kahn carries a balance of $14,359.31 after Oct. 19. The incumbent started the year with nearly $5,000 and raised additional funds from individuals, lobbyists, public subsidies and political committees.
Both Kahn and Fowler reported their expenditures, unlike their independent competitor.
Yet despite his incomplete forms, Hanson said his fund raising was relatively simple.
“The only people that spent more than 50 bucks were me and my mother,” Hanson said. His mother contributed $300 of the $550 campaign budget. Hanson said the remaining funds came from his own donation and selling “Hanson for House” T-shirts.
He said the campaign spent most of the money on lawn signs and literature. While other campaigns rolled over $1,000 budgets for the next campaign, Hanson’s team donated the leftover $30 to Reform candidate for governor Jesse Ventura.
Hanson, who trails in the race, said he’s not overly concerned about missing the filing deadline.
“Honestly, if the only thing that keeps me from the House of Representatives is not filing the campaign finance form, God, I’ll walk around town naked for a week,” he said.
Hanson joins gubernatorial candidate Hubert H. Humphrey and 61 other candidates running for office this season who failed to file their campaign contributions by the October deadline. The remaining 234 candidates made the due date.
Campaign finance officials said they expected Humphrey’s campaign to file their disclosure late Wednesday evening. The candidate’s aids blamed the tardiness on glitches in the new electronic version of the filing form developed by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board and released in June.
“It’s unfortunate that a board product is causing him a problem,” said Jeanne Olson, executive director for the state’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
The state tracks the campaign contributions and expenditures for candidates, lobbyists and political action committees — including those from the University.
Five lobbyists registered with the state on behalf of three University associations; the University of Minnesota, the Office of State Relations and the school’s faculty association.
But none of the University’s three associations contributed money to the gubernatorial campaigns on behalf of the University. The reason: The University does not donate to political campaigns.
“It would be a conflict of interest for us, as a public land grant institution, to endorse any political ideology,” said Richard Pfutzenreuter, associate vice president for the Office of Budget and Finance.
“It’s just inappropriate,” he said.