Who pays for mayoral inaugurals?

Corporations, law firms and other interest groups are bankrolling today’s inaugural celebration for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. In all, they contributed nearly $25,000 to the mayor’s inauguration fund.

While businesses aren’t allowed to give money to candidates’ campaigns in Minnesota, there’s nothing stopping them from supporting inaugurals. Such funds aren’t subject to contribution limits or disclosure requirements, either.

Coleman’s office voluntarily released a list of the major donors to his inauguration.

Top donors ($2,500)
Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.
Mortenson Construction
The Turf Club and First Avenue

Mid Level ($1,000)
Goff Public
Larkin Hoffman Attorneys
McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Minnesota Wild
Ryan Companies
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
Saint Paul Building & Construction Trades Council
Saint Paul Port Authority
Visit Saint Paul
Xcel Energy

Coleman says there’s no need for campaign-style restrictions on inaugural activities.

“These are community celebrations,” Coleman said. “This isn’t about anyone’s personal interest, my interest. This is about bringing people together as a community.”

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was sworn in yesterday. Her transition team is still in the process of raising money for an inaugural celebration on Jan. 11. Spokesman Aaron Wells said Hodges would disclose the donor list after the event.