“We can either have democracy in this country, or we can have extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” – Justice Brandeis

“The government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result.” – Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

“No one will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“For this nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American's vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished.” – Ronald Reagan

Clean Elections Minnesota is a non-profit, non-partisan group of Minnesotans concerned that the power of Big Money, Dark Money, and Corporate Money is overwhelming the public interest in local, state, and national elections—especially since the Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Citizens United. We're dedicated to educating ourselves and others about ways to maintain and enhance the democratic power of ordinary citizens to resist the rise of oligarchy locally and nationally—and we're committed to putting ideas into action. Although our main energies are devoted to education, we maintain a presence at the legislature when it's in session. We also have a growing presence as panelists and speakers.


To contribute online, click the donate button. To donate by mail, make a check payable to Clean Elections Minnesota and mail to Clean Elections MN Treasurer, 292 Ryan Avenue., Saint Paul, Mn  55102.

Latest Posts

Zoom conversation with author David Litt

April 13, 7:00-8:00 pm CST: David Litt, Obama speechwriter and author most recently of Democracy in One Book or Less–How It Works, Why It Doesn’t, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think, will be interviewed by Pulitzer Prize winning, former Strib journalist, Dave Hage. If you watched last year’s conversation with Nancy MacLean, you will remember Dave as the adroit interviewer. Since then, Dave has joined the Clean Elections MN board. For more about Litt and Democracy in One Book or Less, click here for a review. For even more about the book, join the “Democracy Talks” discussion on January 28. Everyone welcome. Click on “Democracy Talks” under the “Resources” tab above.

Clean Elections Minnesota is the organizing sponsor of the conversation.

What Minnesotans Want from MnLeg

Clean Elections Chair George Beck’s article in the Jan 4 2021 MinnPost outlines what Minnesotans want from the Legislature: an end to anonymous contributions (dark money), unlimited contributions, dominance by special interests, and gerrymandering. Minnesotans expressed their views in responses to questions commissioned by Clean Elections for inclusion in the annual survey conducted by St Cloud State University. Read the article here.


January 4, 2021. The January 4 MinnPost includes an article by Clean Elections Chair George Beck’s article about what Minnesotans want from the Legislature: an end to anonymous contributions (dark money), unlimited contributions, dominance by special interests, and gerrymandering.These are Minnesotans views expressed in responses to questions commissioned by Clean Elections for inclusion in the annual survey conducted by St Cloud State University. Read the article here.

Saturday, October 3: MinnPost publishes “If we want our government reformed, we first need elections reformed”: an article about our survey of all 2020 candidates for the Minnesota Senate to learn their support (or lack of it) for five democracy favors we favor. As the subtitle suggests, “If you’re one of the 85% of Americans from all political parties who want fundamental changes in clean elections, check out the Clean Election Grades to inform your vote.” You can do so by visiting www.mnelectiongrades.org. Questions in the survey relate to proposed reforms in campaign finance, reducing the power of big money in politics, and better disclosure of big money contributors. It’s easy to find how candidates in your district responded. Just select a district from the display and you’ll see the answers to the five questions (there’s help in finding your district and candidates)–and a grade from A through F. If your candidate didn’t respond, you’ll see an “F.” We think voters deserve answers. Coauthors of the article: Tom Horner (former Independence Party candidate for governor; George Beck, Clean Elections Chair and former Chair, Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board; and Connie Lewis, Clean Elections board member and former VP, Planned Parenthood MN, ND, SD.

Wednesday, September 30: In concert with democracy-reform allies, Clean Elections Minnesota sponsored a Zoom conversation with Nancy MacLean, Duke University Professor of History and Public Policy and author of the prize-winning book, Democracy in Chains, a meticulously researched  study of the radical right’s long-running “stealth attack” on our democracy.  She was interviewed by Dave Hage, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter (ret.) for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. MacLean traces the roots of this Koch-funded, radical right movement to 1950s Virginia and white-supremacist reaction against Supreme Court mandated school integration. Enthusiastic, personable, and–given the darkness of her subject–surprisingly optimistic, MacLean believes the energy young people are bringing to politics gives us reason to be hopeful. She advised her audience of nearly 200 participants, “Take stock of your talents and network…. Find 3 people, 5 people, 10 people: encourage them to vote…enlighten them about the threat.” You’ll believe her when she says, “No one wants to live in the world these [right wing “libertarians”] are creating.” Click here to listen to the entire conversation. You’ll also want to buy the book. The event was introduced by Clean Elections chair, George Beck. Cosponsors were Common Cause MN, American Promise, Minnesota Move to Amend, Indivisible MN 03, Plymouth Area Indivisible, Minnesota Peace Project.

Presidential Election Reform: 2020 and Beyond

How to elect a US President posed a unique challenge for the founders of a republic in the late 18th century. Their original proposal was soon altered by the 12th Amendment to the US Constitution. Since their, more than 700 proposals to change or eliminate it have been put before Congress. Are you concerned that their solution, the Electoral College, as it has evolved, does not count all votes equally and does not ensure that the winner of the popular vote necessarily becomes president? In 2020, a few thousand votes reversed from Joe Biden to Donald Trump could have resulted in the Electoral College vote once again putting a popular vote loser in the White House.
On August 13 of this year, Clean Elections Minnesota co-sponsored a colloquium of distinguished presidential election observers whose proposed remedies to the Electoral College dilemma range from abolishing the College by amending the US Constitution through strategies to ensure the Electoral College vote aligns with the national popular vote. The entire program is available here:


Who: Among distinguished presenters are Walter Mondale; MN Secretary of State Steve Simon; Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold; Jesse Wegman, author, Let People Pick the President (2020); Alex Keyssar, author, Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College (published soon); John Koza, founder, National Popular Vote; Reed Hundt and James K. Glassman, founders, Making Every Vote Count; Mark Bohnhorst, former leader, Clean Elections MN Presidential Elections Team, and others.

Moderator: Andrew Brown, partner, Dorsey & Whitney

Founding Co-Hosts: Making Every Vote Count; Equal Citizens; Clean Elections Minnesota