Our Accomplishments, 2017 to Now

Clean Elections Minnesota On the Move– Education and Advocacy

2017 Accomplishments

2017 — incorporation in Minnesota

February, 2017 — 501c3 status

2017 — By-laws adopted

January 17, 2017 – a monthly “Notes from the Chair” was initiated by George Beck.

Minnesota Council of Non-profits membership established.

Summer, 2017 — Website (cleanelectionsmn.org) constructed.

Facebook page – likes to 300 in 2017

Clean Elections Board met every other month; a membership meeting with a speaker met every other month.

May 2017 — CEM Brochure completed and distributed at all talks and events.

2017 – Clean Elections conducted a survey of our supporters to determine how they would like to participate with CEM. 

Clean Elections sponsored a talk by Jeff Clements, President of American Promise on February 17, 2018 on reversing the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

2017 survey to all Minneapolis city council candidates on Seattle style election vouchers (public financing) showed strong support.

2017 – CEM adopted a Minnesota Campaign Finance Reform Agenda for use at the legislature and for the public and revised every year thereafter.

Clean Elections co-sponsored an event on redistricting at Hamline University on March 4, 2017.

June 2017 – MinnPost published an article on Board member Ruth Cain and her work on public financing.

October 21, 2017 — Chair George Beck participated in a panel on redistricting, ranked choice voting and Minnesota election legislation for the Minnesota Humanists.

A CEM panel talked to the District 35 DFL about Citizens United, big money, and gerrymandering on October 25, 2017.

Attorney General registration completed in 2017

2018 Accomplishments

Questions for legislative candidates distributed to the public in 2018

Feb. 17, 2018 — CEM co-sponsored a talk by Jeff Clements, author of “Corporations Are Not People” and the President of American Promise.

CEM petition to Campaign Finance Board for a rule on cooperation between independent committees and candidates which led to a 2018 statute.

May 5, 2018 – Redistricting expert Peter Wattson addressed CEM on redistricting in Minnesota and how gerrymandering happens.

CEM co-sponsored the movie “Dark Money” in Minneapolis on September 7, 2018 with the Chair participating in a panel discussion.

Chair talked to community groups about money in politics – 15 talks in 2017-18.

Clean Elections supporters offered 2018 legislative testimony that resulted in the preservation of public financing in Minnesota

Email list to 350 – 2018

CEM board members Jim Herrick and Ron Bardal successfully asked the City Councils of Lauderdale and New Brighton to support the Minnesota Legislature sending a resolution to Congress asking for an amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision.

Quarterly newsletter “The Advocate” established in 2018

Clean Elections members have provided op-eds and Letters to the Editor in the Minneapolis newspaper 2018 to present.

June 26, 2018  — Chair George Beck spoke to the Tax Day Rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on campaign finance reform.

CEM Chair attended a Represent Us conference on small donor financing in Chicago.

Summer and Fall of 2018 – statewide House candidate survey asked candidates about their support for reversing Citizens United, dark money, and public financing. The results showed substantial support for reform, was published on our website, and was explained in a press release.

Fall of 2018 – sample campaign finance resolutions were prepared and presented at 12 precinct caucuses and adopted in the state DFL platform. 

Fall 2018 – Three Board members attended a Minnesota Council of Non-Profits conference on Principles and Practices for non-profits. 

2018 – CEM Legislative Team assembled to work at the Capitol.

CEM and American Promise worked to have resolutions to reverse Citizens United adopted by city councils and county boards.

October 15, 2018 – Chair George Beck spoke to the American Association of University Women on money in politics.

Clean Elections is a member of Common Cause/Minnesota Alliance for Democracy coalition for the redistricting reform effort and other democracy reform.

Meeting speakers in 2018-19 included Kathy Tomsich, League of Women Voters, Vaughn Rowles, Wolf PAC, Common Cause Minnesota Executive Director Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, former Senate Counsel Peter Wattson, and Jeff Sigurdson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.

2019 Accomplishments

April 28, 2019  —Clean Elections sponsored a talk by Hedrick Smith, the Pulitzer Prize winning former New York Times reporter, in Minneapolis. Mr. Smith the author of   “Who Stole the American Dream?” talked to an audience of 300 about “Winning Back Our Democracy.”

Facebook likes to 500 and email list to 400 in 2019.

GuideStar awarded MnCCE its Silver Star of Transparency in 2019

February 23, 2019 — University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson spoke to Clean Elections on “Transparency and Campaign Spending in Minnesota.” 

April 20, 2019 — Patrick Rosenstiel, a national consultant to the National Popular Vote effort, spoke to Clean Elections about the benefits and progress of NPV.

July 2019 — CEM established Board Expectations to guide the activities of Board members at its July board meeting.

2018 – 2019 – CEM supporters attended Town Halls held by legislators to ask them about campaign finance reform.

Spring 2019 – Clean Elections organized a postcard writing campaign to let legislators know the bills we support

2019 – Treasurer Jim Herrick gave several talks to Kiwanis groups about an amendment to reverse Citizens United and campaign finance reform. Chair George Beck has talked to Senate District 46 DFL, Metro Move-On and the Edina League of Women Voters.

September 24, 2019 – Clean Elections sponsored a well-attended talk by Secretary of State Steve Simon on Minnesota elections.

Nov. 9. 2019 – CEM sponsored a talk by U. S. Rep. Dean Phillips on “Drawing Back the Curtain on Campaign Finance”.

2020 Accomplishments

Jan. 14, 2020 – CEM sponsored a talk by State Demographer Susan Brower on the 2020 census.

Jan. 22, 2020 – Chair George Beck testified to the House Elections subcommittee.

Jan, 25, 2020 – CEM co-sponsored a talk by U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips on “Work in a Divided Congress”.

Feb. 5, 2020 – Board members David Miller and Ruth Cain spoke at a League of Women Voters event on voter information and registration.

CEM Email list to 500 in 2020.

Feb. 11, 2020 – CEM co-sponsored Democracy Rally Day at the State Capitol with other democracy reform groups and heard from legislators, retired Justice Paul Anderson and Prof. Richard Painter among others.

Feb. 25, 2020 – CEM supporters presented resolutions on elections to Minnesota precinct caucuses. 

Summer, 2020 – CEM surveyed all Minnesota state senate candidates to find out their views on election issues like disclosure, unlimited contributions, partial public funding, a national popular vote, and an independent commission for redistricting. The results were published on our website by legislative district.

Sept. 30, 2020 – CEM sponsored a talk by Duke Professor Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains, moderated by Board member Dave Hage.

October, 2020 – CEM sponsored a statewide poll of Minnesotans conducted by St. Cloud State University which asked whether campaign contributions should be public (82% agreed), whether campaign contributions should be unlimited (55% opposed), whether partial public financing should be increased (58% supported) and whether redistricting should be done by an independent commission (65% supported).


2021 Accomplishments

Clean Elections strongly supported a comprehensive election reform bill sponsored by Representative Emma Greenman that would end dark money, create automatic voter registration, restore the right to vote for released felons, mail absentee ballots to all voters, add public financing and expand early voting.  Chair George Beck testified in favor on the bill on January 28, 2021.

CEM strongly opposed S.F. 173 which required a voter ID and required provisional ballots for any one attempting to register at the polls. Chair George Beck testified against the bill on January 27, 2021 calling it “voter suppression pure and simple.”

Chair George Beck participated in programs on ranked choice voting sponsored by Fair Vote Minnesota on February 21, February 28, March 14, March 21, and March 28,  2021. 

March 2, 2021 – CEM sponsored a legislative panel with Senator Jim Carlson and Representative Emma Greenman with Board Member Todd Otis moderating.

March 17, 2021 — Clean Elections supported ranked choice voting with written testimony before the House Local Government committee.

April 13, 2021 – CEM sponsored a talk by author David Litt (Democracy in One Book or Less) interviewed by Board Member Dave Hage.

April, 2021: Board member Ron Bardal issued the 13th edition of “The Advocate,” the Clean Elections newsletter.

May 10, 2021 – The Minnesota League of Women Voters published an article by Chair George Beck in its statewide newsletter.

May 3, 2021 — Chair George Beck testified to the State Government conference committee against provisional balloting and in favor of   released felons voting.

May 4, 2021 – Chair George Beck participated in a panel sponsored by the Humphrey School along with Professor Kathryn Pearson on Money in Politics in Minnesota.

May, 2021 – Board member Dave Hage began researching how CEM can reach more Greater Minnesota voters and prepared a plan of action.

May, 2021— Board member Kathleen Janasz created a Twitter project for CEM that will allow us to reach new potential supporters and legislators.

May 19, 2021 — Clean Elections co-sponsored a Zoom talk by Duke Historian Nancy MacLean and author of Democracy in Chains; Chair George Beck participated in a follow-up Zoom session on What Can We Do Now? on June 3, 2021.