SD48 Home


Gang of 200
A group that calls themselves “Growth and Justice” appears to be nothing more than a front group for the DFL.
Who are they?  |  Follow the money  |  Article by Katherine Kersten

Joel Kramer, a former publisher of the Star Tribune (and former DFL candidate for Lieutenant Governor), leads a group of 203 wealthy elites who want you to pay more taxes. They bought a full page ad in June and promise to buy more (at $20,000 a crack).

The list of signatories is a who's who of DFL limousine liberals -- Dayton, Mondale, Cerisi, Lillehaug, Quam, Pohlad -- names of people who have historically used their great wealth and privilege to increase the size of government in Minnesota.

Minnesota's high tax climate is making our state less competitive.

Minnesota currently has the #6 highest tax burden in the nation. (Source: U.S. Census)

Minnesota is the 44th least economically free state in the U.S. (Source: Pacific Research Institute)

Top Employers in Minnesota 20 Years Ago... ...and Today.
1. Honeywell
2. 3M
3. General Mills
4. Pillsbury
5. Control Data
1. State Government
2. Federal Government

3. Target Corporation
4. University of Minnesota
5. Mayo Foundation
Source: Corporate Report Fact Book Source: City Business Book of Lists, Minnesota Workforce, and Dept. of Employee Relations

Only four other states have a worse climate for small business than Minnesota. (Source: Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council Index)

Minnesota ranks 41st in overall business climate (down from 39 last year). (Source: Tax Foundation)

Twenty years ago, the biggest employers in Minnesota were all private sector businesses -- today Minnesota's biggest employer is government. (Source: Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal)


• They call themselves “Growth and Justice”. They even have a website.

• Their slogan is “We can afford to pay more state taxes and we can't afford not to.” By “we”, they really mean YOU.

• The co-chairs of the gang:

Jim Pohlad -- Executive Vice President of Marquette Financial Companies. His family just scored a new ballpark -- $1.1 billion -- paid for with TAXPAYER DOLLARS. He wants you to pay more taxes, but apparently has no problem with receiving corporate welfare.
Richard “Dick” McFarland -- Retired chairman and CEO of Dain Rauscher.
Lee Lynch -- Former CEO of Carmichael Lynch. He is on the "Repeal Conceal" Steering Committee and has donated some of his overstuffed checkbook to taking away your right to self-defense.
Joel Kramer -- Former publisher of the Star Tribune, one of the most liberal newspapers in the nation. In 2002, he was Becky Lourey's running mate in her effort to secure the DFL nomination for Minnesota Governor.

Most of the people on the list are solidly DFL. They include prominent (and extremely wealthy) DFL politicians (Mondale, Dayton, Yanish, Fraser).

The group lists Judi Dutcher as one of its key advisors . Dutcher is the running mate of DFL endorsed candidate for Governor, Mike Hatch. Hatch says he OPPOSES new taxes. Is he hiding something from the voters of Minnesota?

• Although there are a few token contributions to Republicans, the lions share of their vast wealth goes to support DFL candidates and causes (Source. Federal Election Commission Campaign Finance Data). More details below . . .

Here are the names of the zillionaires who want to raise YOUR taxes

Bob Anderson
Nancy Anderson
David Andreas
Mark Andrew
Annette Atkins
Peter Bachman
Sara Barrow
Tom Bartel
Sue A. Bennett
Tom Bird
Bruce Bomier
Claudia Bomier
Arnold Brier
Judith Brier
Tyrone P. Bujold
John A. Cairns
Sonia Cairns
Kris Carlton
Martin Chester
Ann Ciresi
Michael Ciresi
Bill Clapp
Sharon Clapp
Jean Illsley Clarke
Richard W. Clarke
Burt Cohen
Rusty Cohen
Bert Colianni
Suzie Colianni
Julie Corty
John Cowles
Sage Cowles
Cassie Cramer
Dan Cramer
Kim Culp
Susan Cushman
Teresa Daly
Bruce Dayton
David Dayton
Judy Dayton
Ruth Stricker Dayton
Cy DeCosse
Paula DeCosse
Joyce DeHarpporte
Ron DeHarpporte
Chuck Denny
Joseph Dolan
Rachel Doran
Anita Duckor
Lois Mary Dunlap

Amy Eilberg
M.F. Eilers
Jim Erickson
Joy Erickson
Marion Etzwiler
Myron Frans
Arvonne Fraser
Don Fraser
Carol Freeman
Jean A. Freeman
Mrs. Orville L. Freeman
Kristen Marttila Gast
Tom Gegax
Barbara Goldner
Mike Goldner
Jim Graves
Julie Graves
Joan Growe
Kathy Halbreich
Grace Harkness
Jack Harkness
Marialice Harwood
Nevin Harwood
Michael Hasbargen
Vernae Hasbargen
Bud Hayden
Carol Hayden
Anne Heegaard
Peter Heegaard
Kristin Henning
John Hetterick
Kathe Hetterick
Arthur Himmelman
Cecily Hines
John K. Holman
Deborah Hopp
Kimberly Hunter
Linda Ireland
Kathleen Jones
Catherine Jordan
Charles R. Jorgenson
Sally B. Jorgenson
Tom Joyce
Arnold Kaplan
Sam Kaplan
Shirley Kaplan
Sylvia Kaplan
Philip Kaufman
Marlene Kayser
Tom Kayser

Thomas A. Keller, III
Bill Kelly
Pat Kelly
Susan Kinder
Anne Knapp
Katie Barrett Kramer
Laurie Kramer
Matthew Kramer
Mark Lacek
Susan Lacek
Amy Lange
James P. Lenfestey
Susan W. Lenfestey
Judy Lewis
Steven Lewis
Steve Lick
David Lillehaug
David Lucas
Peggy Lucas
Kimberly Lund
Bill Mague
Chris LaVictoire Mahai
Jan Malcolm
Jennifer Martin
Barbara McBurney
Tom McBurney
Cheryl McHugh
Christopher McHugh
Sarah McKenzie
Amy McKinney
Bill McKinney
Alida (Rockefeller) Messinger
Joan Mondale
Ted Mondale
Walter Mondale
Thomas Moore
John Morgan
Allison Moyers
William C. Moyers
Jane Newman
Louis Newman
Dan Oberdorfer
Ben Oehler
Michael O'Keefe
Robert A. Olson
Frank Parisi
Kathleen Flynn Peterson
Steve Peterson
Tom Pettus
Dean Phillips

Karin Phillips
David Pinto
Robert Pohlad
Lois Quam
Charlie Quimby
Linda Quinn
Peter Quinn
Akshay R. Rao
Connie Remele
Lewis Remele
Janet Rice
Becky Roloff
Mark Roloff
Jeannette M. Rupert
Dennis Rysdahl
Terry Saario
Barbara Scoll
Jonathan P. Scoll
Susan Segal
Andrew Sherman
Catherine Shreves
Alan Silver
Janny Silver
Cindie Smart
Jim Smart
Archie Smith
Tina Smith
Jill Stever-Zeitlin
Jake Sullivan
John L. Sullivan
Arlene M. Swain
Tom H. Swain
Jennifer Jewell Thomas
Andrew Toftey
Kathy Tunheim
Emily Anne Staples Tuttle
Ruth Usem
David Vealitzek
Curtis Walker
Scott Walters
Irv Weiser
Marge Weiser
Tene Wells
Barbra Wiener
Medora Woods
Rebecca Yanisch
Steve Yanisch
Charles Zelle
Julie Zelle


Top 20 recipients of Gang of 200 money
2 DFL State Central Committee DFL
5 Mn DFL Party DFL
6 Amy Klobuchar DFL
7 DFL House Caucus DFL
8 John Kerry DEM
9 Democratic Congressional Campaign DFL
10 Teresa Daly DFL
11 Democratic Congressional Campaign DEM
12 Bill Luther DFL
13 Paul Wellstone DFL
14 Betty McCollum DFL
15 Patty Wetterling DFL
16 DFL Senate Caucus DFL
17 Mark Dayton DFL
18 Roger Moe DFL
19 Democratic Senatorial Campaign DFL
20 Walter Mondale DFL

• Not one Republican in the top 20.

• Democrat Amy Klobuchar is #6 on the list, receiving over $200,000. But her opponent, Mark Kennedy received zero -- not one penny for Mark!

• Others receiving $$$ include Hillary Clinton, Emily's List (a radical pro-abortion group), Al Gore . . . and Maria Ruud.

This list includes some of the biggest "Sugar Daddies" of the Minnesota DFL party. Here are just a few . . . .

Alida (Rockefeller) Messinger is the ex-wife of zillionaire Mark Dayton. She is one of four children of the late John D. Rockefeller and heir to his massive fortune. She is one of the top donors to Left-leaning 527 groups in the nation.
John Cowles Jr. is a former publisher of the Star Tribune. He and his wife give generously to the DFL and leftist organizations including Emily's List and America Coming Together.
Tom Gegax is co-founder of Tires Plus. Like Mr. Lynch above, Gegax is on the Repeal Conceal Steering Committee. Apparently selling tires makes him an expert on running your life.
Lois Quam is wife of former DFL House Minority Leader Matt Entenza (who is currently running for MN Attorney General). In December 2004, Entenza and Quam revealed that they put over $600,000 into the Minnesota DFL House campaigns -- money that was critical to the DFL taking 17 seats away from the Republicans. As a health insurance executive, Quam has reportedly received over $30 million in stock options.

Top 20 contributors in the Gang of 200

1 Alida (Rockefeller) Messinger
2 Bruce Dayton
3 John Cowles Jr.
4 Tom Gegax
5 Lois Quam
6 Tom Kayser
7 Jim Pohlad
8 Sage Cowles
9 Kathleen F (Flynn) Peterson
10 Ruth Usem
11 Robert Pohlad
12 Sam Kaplan
13 Teresa Daly
14 Emily Staples Tuttle
15 Tina (Flint) Smith
16 Irv Weiser
17 Ron DeHarpporte
18 Lee (Leland) Lynch
19 Marlene Kayser
20 Akshay Rao


Gang of 200 Contributions:
Party Distribution
Total Contributions 

The Gang of 200 appears to be nothing more than a front group for the DFL.

Wealthy, elitist liberals who want nothing less than to raise your taxes . . . and run your life.


Reprinted from Minneapolis Star Tribune, Monday, June 26, 2006
Gang of 200: Feel free to spend your money, not ours!
Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune

Last week, Minnesotans opened their Star Tribune to find that more than 200 of our state's wealthiest citizens had signed a full-page ad. "We can afford to pay more state taxes," read the eye-catching headline. In the ad, the signers announced their eagerness to fork over new tax money to expand a boatload of Minnesota government programs.

I suspect that many who saw the ad had my initial reaction -- a good chuckle at this burst of conspicuous philanthropy. "Go ahead, write a big check," I thought. "Who's stopping you?"

As I read on, however, I discovered that the zillionaires had saved their real zinger for the ad's last line. They want government to compel other Minnesotans to pay higher taxes, too. Under their plan, families earning as little as $45,000 a year could see their taxes go up.

Oh well, do any of us have a better use for that extra cash lying around the house?

The Gang of 200's goal is to raise a whopping $2 billion a year in new tax revenues for the Minnesota state treasury. With ambitions this big, they've got to hit up the rest of us.

What programs would these additional dollars support? Education, health care, transportation -- the sorts of government endeavors that have proven capable of swallowing whatever resources we throw at them, no matter how massive.

The Gang of 200 seems badly out of touch with ordinary Minnesotans. Perhaps these folks have so much dough that they don't grasp (or recall) what it's like to live within a budget. After all, when did they last have to raid the rainy day fund to pay for day care or struggle to make payroll at a small business?

The fact is, the Gang of 200 is at the top of the economic ladder -- a ladder the rest of us are working hard to climb. Bigger tax outlays might be no sacrifice for them, but they sure are for us.

Here are a few questions for the Gang of 200:

• Do you currently employ an accountant or lawyer to help you do tax planning, in order to ensure that your tax bill is as low as possible? If so, will you henceforth instruct him or her to maximize the sum you turn over to the state of Minnesota?

• Have you established residency outside Minnesota, or do you have assets or income in other states -- at least in part because of those states' lower tax rates? If so, will you be returning your wealth to Minnesota, in order to enhance your ability to pay taxes here?

• Your ad proposes a tax on annual income, not on assets already accumulated. Are you willing to propose taxes based on the substantial wealth you already have, like second homes or art collections, rather than what you earn in any given year?

I've got a suggestion: The zillionaire ad-signers say they are willing to pay 2 cents more in taxes per dollar they earn. How about they agree to pay 6 cents more per dollar -- with 12 cents from signer Jim Pohlad and his family (whose new stadium we've agreed to help pay for) -- and leave the rest of us alone?

Better yet, let's have an interim test of the Gang of 200's idea. We'll accept their personal offer of new tax money and funnel their contributions into a government program they believe is underfunded -- public schools, for example.

If this new money makes a measurable difference in Minnesota students' educational performance -- say, higher test scores or better graduation rates -- we'll ask our legislators to consider the zillionaires' broader proposal to increase taxes on the rest of us.

But I won't hold my breath.


Top Previous
Prepared and paid for by sd48webmaster -- Copyright © 2003-2014
Please send comments/questions to