DFL Party considers returning Davis donations

The chair of the Minnesota DFL Party says he’s considering a request that the party give to charity donations it received from a former nonprofit executive who has been charged with stealing money from his agency.

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said he intends to review donations made by Bill Davis and may return the money. Davis is facing federal charges that he and his son stole $250,000  from Community Action of Minneapolis.

“I’m going to take a look at a long and hard look as to what kind of contributions, when and how and then make a decision,” Martin said.

The allegations that Davis used taxpayer money meant to help low income individuals are “disconcerting,” said Martin.

Martin’s comments come in response to a call from the Republican-leaning, Minnesota Jobs Coalition that the DFL Party and others give up donations made by Davis.

The Jobs Coalition says Davis gave $3,750 to the state party and another several thousand dollars to local DFL units and candidates.

“With Davis’ indictment, it is past time for [Gov. Mark] Dayton and his fellow Democrats to finally do the right thing: donate this tainted cash to heating assistance and weatherization programs for low-income Minnesotans,” Minnesota Jobs Coalition President Mark Drake said in a statement.

Martin said Davis has not been active in DFL politics since 2012. Davis previously served as the DFL Party Treasurer and Democratic National Committeeman.

Martin says when he was elected chair in 2011, the party was in debt, so he conducted a forensic audit of the party’s books and found no evidence that any funds were misappropriated.

It’s common for political foes to demand a candidate or party return donations from an individual involved in a scandal. In many instances, the recipient will give those funds to a charity or nonprofit.

Here is the tally of Davis’ donations to Democrats as compiled by the Minnesota Jobs Coalition:

  • Minnesota DFL Party 2003 $500
  • Minnesota DFL Party 2007 $1,000
  • Bobby Joe Champion 2008 $200
  • Jeffrey Hayden 2008 $250
  • 3rd Congressional District DFL 2008 $150
  • Minnesota DFL Party 2008 $500
  • Mark Dayton 2009 $500
  • 2nd Congressional District DFL 2009 $660
  • 3rd Congressional District DFL 2009 $340
  • 46th Senate District DFL 2009 $120
  • Jim Meffert 2009 $250
  • 2nd Congressional District DFL 2010 $200
  • Jim Meffert 2010 $200
  • 2nd Congressional District DFL 2011 $190
  • 3rd Congressional District DFL 2011 $250
  • Minnesota DFL Party 2011 $1,000
  • Bobby Joe Champion 2012 $300
  • 3rd Congressional District DFL 2013 $250
  • 3rd Congressional District DFL 2014 $375
  • Minnesota DFL Party 2014 $750

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $7,985

$3,785- State contributions

$4,200- Federal contributions