Minnesota for Marriage, the primary group backing a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, has raised roughly $588,000 this year, according to a new finance report.
That’s far less than the $1.4 million the group said it had raised yesterday in a press release. It appears that figure refers to the total amount the group has collected since it launched its campaign last year, not the cash it has raised since Jan. 1 of this year.
The largest donation of $400,000 came from the Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense Fund, an organization that has been collecting money from various diocese and Knights of Columbus groups.
The Minnesota Family Council Marriage Protection Fund kicked-in $150,000 and the National Organization for Marriage donated $15,000.
Twenty-six individual donors donated the rest of the money, giving as little as $25 at a time or as much as $2,500.
Unlike Minnesotans United for All Families, the primary group opposing the amendment, Minnesota for Marriage reports no donations from prominent individuals. Minnesotans United for All Families has collected thousands from members of Gov. Mark Dayton’s family as well as several Minnesota CEOs.
The marriage amendment appears to have divided at least one well-known Minnesota family. A Prairie Home Companion creator and host Garrison Keillor gave $250 to Minnesotans United for All Families while his brother, Steven Keillor, who lives in Askov, Minn., and is a professor at Bethel University, gave $500 to Minnesota for Marriage.
Since the start of the year, Minnesota for Marriage has spent $533,000, with more than $100,000 going to firms associated with Frank Schubert, a strategist who was instrumental in passing California’s Prop 8.
The group has also paid Civis Communications more than $34,000 for consulting. Civis is owned by Robert Cummins, one of the state’s most generous conservative donors.