Duluth for Clean Water responds to "dark money" claims, files ca - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Duluth for Clean Water responds to "dark money" claims, files campaign report

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A Minnesota non-profit pushing for safe and healthy water in the Duluth area has now filed the required paperwork, showing its financial contributions to the campaigns of City Council candidates.

The report, filed today by Duluth for Clean Water, shows $521 in cash contributions from June 10th to September 11th. 

The organization, which has publicly endorsed three City Council candidates, came under fire for failing to file the report on time. This led to claims by 8th Congressional District DFL Chairman Justin Perpich of the group being a "dark money non-profit."

The controversial statement prompted a private heated exchange on social media over the weekend, between Perpich and Council President Joel Sipress, that was leaked to the public.

Sipress has since apologized for his remarks, but defended Duluth For Clean Water as hard working, local volunteers.

In a statement Wednesday, DFCW co-organizer John Doberstein says the report filing was late because the group's attorney was out of town on a personal matter. 

That full statement is posted below:

"Duluth for Clean Water’s second campaign filing was made at the Duluth City Clerk’s office this morning. The report shows $521 in cash contributions for the period from June 10 to September 11, 2017, with $284.63 in disbursements, and $476.37 cash on hand. The initial filing made June 9, 2017, showed $1,000 in contributions, $760 in disbursements ($300 to Updegrove for Duluth and $300 to Kennedy for Duluth), and $240 cash on hand. We are informed by the Clerk’s office that both reports (as well as candidate reports, which as of this morning were not yet uploaded either) will be available online later today at http://www.duluthmn.gov/city-clerk/election-and-voter-info/municipal-candidates-campaign-financial-reports/.

Duluth for Clean Water’s filing was made by attorney Greg Gilbert, who was out of town caring for his parents until today. Mr. Gilbert is available to answer any remaining questions about the filing or why it was delayed.

'We hope this puts to rest the disingenuous attacks from 8th CD DFL Chair Justin Perpich,' said John Doberstein, co-lead organizer for Duluth for Clean Water. 'We’re proud of our 100% volunteer efforts to protect Lake Superior, and it’s disappointing that Mr. Perpich seems more interested in pursuing a pro-Glencore/PolyMet agenda than he is in doing his job as Chair of the 8th CD DFL, which is to bring people together. We appreciate all of the support we’ve received,including from Council President Joel Sipress, who clearly has Duluth's best interests in mind.'

Duluth for Clean Water’s status as a Minnesota non-profit can be viewed at https://mblsportal.sos.state.mn.us/Business/SearchDetails?filingGuid=d4f6255e-82da-e611-8168-00155d46d26e "

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