The long money trail of Excelsior Energy on the Range

This is a quick update to the post earlier about the Duluth News Tribune investigation into Excelsior Energy on the Iron Range. Citizens Against the Mesaba Project (CAMP) released a response that includes this tidbit:

The $1.46 million reported as spent on state lobbying does not include the $220,000 spent prior to 2005, or the amount spent in 2011 that will not be reported until 2012.

Other entities that received payment from Excelsior as consultants and/or attorneys also employed active lobbyists and made campaign contributions.

It is likely that the $98,775 reported for state and federal campaign contributions does not reflect all of the contributions related to Excelsior. Related contributions have been made to local party units, which often pass them on to individual campaigns. Also, it is common for contributions to be made by lobbyists known to be representing a particular entity, issue or project. In addition, family members of Excelsior’s CEOs have been noted on relevant donor lists. 

The $1.8 $1.6 million in lobbying and donations documented by the DNT is probably just some of the money this company and its assigns have used to influence the political process, a sampling of the contributions that could be documented by the newspaper.

The local party unit factor is significant as I’ve sit on two DFL local party unit boards that have accepted Excelsior money. I don’t believe that’s included in the totals for the story.

No, nothing illegal. But this is a worthy consideration for those interested in bettering public policy and politics.

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