The state’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, is a heavy hitter in Minnesota politics. Lt. Governor, Tina Flint Smith served on their Senior Management team, Governor Dayton’s ex-wife and the state’s largest donor to liberal causes, Alida Rockefeller Messinger, served on their board. When it comes to electing pro-choice candidates, they have a strong track record.
PPM spent nearly $200,000 during the last election cycle to support ten DFL candidates in Minnesota House races and were #16 on the list of independent expenditures for the election cycle.
They spent a little ($982) on Facebook ads for Governor Dayton, but the big bucks were spent on mailers, phone banks, and ads for Democrats including; Rep Barb Yarusso, (42A Shoreview), Rep Yvonne Selcer, (48A Minnetonka), Rep Ron Erhardt, (49A Edina), Rep Paul Rosenthal, (49B Edina), Rep Sandra Masin, (51A Eagan), Rep Laurie Halvorson, (51B Eagan), and Rep Roger Erickson, (2A Baudette.) Those losing races who had PPM support were in districts in St. Cloud, Burnsville, and Albert Lea. You can expect PPM to play again in the 56B Burnsville district where Lindsey Port a self-proclaimed “Pro-Choice Catholic” has announced a challenge to first term Republican Rep Roz Peterson who authored Pro life legislation this legislative session. They’ll likely again support former state Rep. Zach Dorholt who has announced he’ll run again in District 14B in St. Cloud, (Dorholt lost in 2014.)
PPM exclusively used it’s non-profit arm, The Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, for its political advocacy in the 2014 cycle, therefore not requiring donor disclosure. The 501(c)(4) organization must be non partisan and can’t contribute directly to candidates. The fund took in a $25,000 contribution from Middle Class Majority, which is funded by government unions, but the majority of the funding is from PPM memberships.
PPM had $54.3 million in revenue per its 2013 annual report, and $38.8 million in operating expenses. They received $2.675 million in federal taxpayer funding, $2.37 million in state and county level taxpayer funding, and are also indirectly funded by Minnesota taxpayers through the state’s subsidized Medical Assistance program. Minnesota is one of only seventeen states that allows for complete abortion coverage under their government-insurance program. (Thirty-three other states limit Medicaid funded abortions to the rare cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother.) A family of four can earn up to $65,587 per year and qualify for the program. PPM performed over 5,000 abortions in 2013.