Feehan has yet to explain $476,000 from D.C. groups over 3 years

Hagedorn’s campaign is asking Feehan to provide evidence of the work done for these organizations.

Feehan for Congress/Facebook

On previous disclosures, First Congressional District candidate Dan Feehan, a Democrat running against Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, reported almost $500,000 in income over three years from a handful of Democratic groups.

Feehan was paid around $58,000 in 2017, about $230,000 in 2018, and about $180,000 in 2019 — totaling $476,000. Payments received by Feehan in 2020 have not yet been disclosed.

The issue came up in a September debate between Hagedorn and Feehan, where Feehan denied receiving the payments and said he was currently unemployed. Feehan then amended his 2019 Financial Disclosure Report, completely erasing a previously reported $120,000 from Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) from his income, which he previously signed and verified as true. Feehan also changed the money he received from the New Politics Leadership Academy (NPLA) as a stipend in 2018 from $64,000 to $9,000.

Responding to what happened after the debate, Congressman Hagedorn has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, seeking an investigation on whether or not Feehan performed bona fide work in return for the $476,000.

Recent reporting by Alpha News appears to show that at least one of the groups, the NPLA, intended the money to be a stipend to support its preferred candidates for Congress in the two years between races. The problem is that excessive payments to candidates, not for legitimate work, are illegal.

Leadership for Educational Equity, based in D.C., paid Feehan $290,000 over three years. On LEE’s website, the words “Black Lives Matter” are prominently placed, though it isn’t clear if LEE is supporting the phrase “black lives matter,” or the group Black Lives Matter, which is avowedly Marxist and seeks the destruction of the nuclear family.

On its face, LEE appears to be a left-of-center education advocacy organization (a de-        emphasis on school choice, but not explicitly pro-teachers unions). Emma Bloomberg,        Mike Bloomberg’s daughter, sits on the board of LEE, as do several Wall Street                    luminaries.

New Politics Leadership Academy paid Feehan nearly $120,000 in 2018 and 2019. NPLA is a left-wing group that advocates for left-of-center veterans to enter public service.

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a left-of-center globalist and neoconservative (pro-interventionist) think-tank based in D.C., paid Feehan over $60,000 during the three years in question.

CNAS is headed by neoconservative Victoria Nuland. Nuland was prominent in the              Obama State Department, played a role in the Russiagate scandal, and was slated to be      Hillary Clinton’s secretary of state should she have won. One issue that defines CNAS as      neoconservative is support for military action in Syria, and CNAS counts a handful of          large defense contractors as its biggest donors.

In total, these payments are about $160,000 per year, ostensibly for part-time work. According to Feehan’s previous filings, some of the work only covered several months, putting hourly pay at a stunning $271 per hour. Meanwhile, the state median income in Minnesota is just over $58,000, and the median household income (which accounts for multiple adults working) is around $80,000 per year.

Now, Hagedorn’s campaign is asking Feehan to provide evidence of the work done for these organizations — again, a payment just because someone is a candidate, not because they did actual work, is illegal. Thus far, there appears to be no evidence of deliverables accomplished by Feehan for LEE, when he was paid for about $170,000 in work.

LEE also has an employee — Micah Joselow — who worked for Feehan’s campaign, raising the possibility of an illegal in-kind contribution. Another LEE employee, Christina Beros, received a fellowship from LEE to work on Feehan’s campaign. Generally, LEE seems to have a habit of supporting a wide array of Democratic candidates financially.

There are also questions about Feehan’s work for the other organizations. For example, Feehan’s only known deliverable from the Center for a New American Security was an op-ed written in the Rochester Post Bulletin, ostensibly for CNAS. Again, Feehan was paid $65,000 by CNAS.

“Feehan, who last week altered a false House income disclosure filing, needs to come clean and explain what, if any, bona fide work was performed, what projects completed, studies conducted and for how many hours and when,” Gregg Peppin, a senior advisor to the Hagedorn campaign, said in a statement earlier this month.


Willis Krumholz
 | Website

Willis L. Krumholz is a fellow at Defense Priorities. He holds a JD and MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas, and works in the financial services industry. The views expressed are those of the author only. You can follow Willis on Twitter @WillKrumholz.