Minnesota’s Indian tribes have been spreading more political contributions to Republicans since they took over control of the Legislature in 2010. That trend is continuing this year, but with one notable exception: the Senate GOP caucus hasn’t received a dime from the tribes.
Overall the nine tribe-backed PACs have contributed at least $138,000 to candidates and causes in 2012, according to pre-primary campaign finance reports released on Wednesday. (The White Earth PAC’s campaign finance report was not yet available.) Roughly two thirds of that money — $96,950 — went to DFLers.
The DFL House caucus received $34,250 in tribal contributions, while its Senate counterpart took in $30,250. House Republicans shared in the largesse, receiving checks totaling $21,000 from four separate PACs. But the Senate GOP didn’t receive a penny in tribal contributions.
Traditionally the tribes have given disproportionately to DFLers. But that’s shifted since the 2010 takeover of the House and Senate by Republicans. In 2011, for instance, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, which operates casinos in Mille Lacs and Hinckley, contributed $38,500 to the GOP House and Senate caucuses, while their DFL counterparts received just $27,000.