DFL officials say group didn’t use party voter list

A spokeswoman for the DFL Party says an internal investigation found that officials representing pension funds for retired Minneapolis police officers and fire fighters did not gain access to their voter list.

The issue popped up when several DFL activists started receiving campaign literature that was highly critical of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. Rybak is a candidate for governor and the campaign lit quoted several widows of police officers and fire fighters asking DFL activists to oppose Rybak’s nomination for governor.

The issue revolves around two pension funds that were closed to new members but continued to increase benefits to those already in the fund. Rybak challenged the funds in court and recouped $10 million for the city.

Rybak criticized the lit piece and his campaign manager wanted to know how the pension fund was able to contact DFL activists across the state.

The Star Tribune quoted Larry Ward, director of the Minneapolis Police Relief Association Political Fund, as saying “I think we got it through the voter file but right now you have me at a disadvantage because I really don’t know how we got the list,”

That quote prompted DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez to ask Ward where he obtained the list since only the DFL Party and the DFL candidates for governor have access to it.

Kristin Sosanie, a spokesman for the DFL Party, told me tonight that Ward contacted them and told them the list he referred to in the Star Tribune wasn’t the official DFL Party list. She said they also talked with people who received the campaign literature and determined that the addresses didn’t always match up with the DFL voter list.

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