Hostile Takeover: How Blue Interests Are Buying A Red State
Here’s a little treat for the North Dakota Democrat State Convention this weekend: I thought I’d re-publish my run-down of how the state Democrats are really just an out-of-state special interest group. You won’t hear much about this in the state media, which will be much too busy swooning about the presence of Obama, but the fact that the state Democrats would hardly exist were it not for money sent by big-money liberal interests from outside North Dakota is true none-the-less.
This was originally published in The Dakota Beacon
Let me make one thing clear: North Dakota is being bought by big-money liberal interests from outside of the state. Though this will be denied vehemently by the beneficiaries of this out-of-state largess, it is a statement of fact.
Through financial conduits maintained by North Dakota’s politically connected insiders like Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan – as well as Representative Earl Pomeroy – wealthy liberal interests from all over the country are pouring buckets of money into North Dakota with the singular goal of turning this red state blue. Every election cycle millions of liberal dollars flow into the state, get laundered through a myriad of transfers between PAC’s, the state Democrat party and campaign accounts set up by Conrad, Dorgan and Pomeroy as well as the various state Democrat candidates, and ultimately get used to combat Republicans who, for the most part, rely on contributions from actual North Dakotans.
In this fashion people who are not North Dakotans, who have no real interest in this state or who may not ever even step foot on North Dakota soil, are influencing the outcome of our elections. And while this is a state of affairs that currently works to the benefit of North Dakotans of a liberal bent, it’s a problem that transcends ideology. We should all be worried.
Political influence in North Dakota should be wielded by North Dakotans, not rich political activists from out of state.
How Bad Is The Problem?
According to data from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office both political parties in North Dakota – the Democrats and the Republicans – take significant amounts of money from out of state sources, including the respective national parties. In 2006, for instance, the NDGOP got 32.34% of its political contributions from out of state sources. In that same year, the state Democrat party got 48.38% of its money from out of state sources.
A significant chunk of the Democrats’ “in state” contributions came from transfers of political money that was originally raised by Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan as well as Representative Earl Pomeroy for their campaign accounts or their political action committees. These men made contributions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from their various political accounts to the North Dakota Democrat Party which then dispersed those funds to other campaigns in the state.
But here’s the interesting part: If we consider that these three North Dakota politicians get the vast majority of their money from out of state we’re presented with a much different situation. According to the non-partisan campaign disclosure database OpenSecrets.org, Kent Conrad got 93% of his money from outside of North Dakota during the 2006 election cycle. Byron Dorgan was at 92% and Earl Pomeroy was at 68%. If we adjust their political contributions to the state Democrat party to reflect those percentages, the amount of in-state contributions to the North Dakota Democrats drops dramatically.
After adjustments, North Dakota Democrats got just a little under 20% of their political money from actual North Dakota contributors. That works out, again according to data retrieved from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s website, to a whopping $875,877.48 coming from out of state sources and just $217,602.52 coming from supporters who actually live in North Dakota. This is an approximate 80/20 split for out-of-state vs. in-state money.
Which makes this observer wonder how many campaigns the Democrats could run in North Dakota if they had to rely on financial support from actual North Dakotans. $217,602.52 is not a lot of money. That amount would be just barely enough cover the cost of the state party’s full-time staff and state headquarters expenses.
Put simply, the financial viability of one of this state’s two political parties would be questionable were it nor for big-money out of state interests fueling them with cash. Tags: Domestic Issues, North Dakota News, Politics