The chair of the Minnesota DFL Party says he’s considering a request that the party give to charity donations it received from a former nonprofit executive who has been charged with stealing money from his agency.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said he intends to review donations made by Bill Davis and may return the money. Davis is facing federal charges that he and his son stole $250,000 from Community Action of Minneapolis.
“I’m going to take a look at a long and hard look as to what kind of contributions, when and how and then make a decision,” Martin said.
The allegations that Davis used taxpayer money meant to help low income individuals are “disconcerting,” said Martin.
Martin’s comments come in response to a call from the Republican-leaning, Minnesota Jobs Coalition that the DFL Party and others give up donations made by Davis.
The Jobs Coalition says Davis gave $3,750 to the state party and another several thousand dollars to local DFL units and candidates.
"With Davis’ indictment, it is past time for [Gov. Mark] Dayton and his fellow Democrats to finally do the right thing: donate this tainted cash to heating assistance and weatherization programs for low-income Minnesotans,” Minnesota Jobs Coalition President Mark Drake said in a statement.
Martin said Davis has not been active in DFL politics since 2012. Davis previously served as the DFL Party Treasurer and Democratic National Committeeman.
Martin says when he was elected chair in 2011, the party was in debt, so he conducted a forensic audit of the party’s books and found no evidence that any funds were misappropriated.
It’s common for political foes to demand a candidate or party return donations from an individual involved in a scandal. In many instances, the recipient will give those funds to a charity or nonprofit.
Here is the tally of Davis' donations to Democrats as compiled by the Minnesota Jobs Coalition:
Minnesota DFL Party 2003 $500
Minnesota DFL Party 2007 $1,000
Bobby Joe Champion 2008 $200
Jeffrey Hayden 2008 $250
3rd Congressional District DFL 2008 $150
Minnesota DFL Party 2008 $500
Mark Dayton 2009 $500
2nd Congressional District DFL 2009 $660
3rd Congressional District DFL 2009 $340
46th Senate District DFL 2009 $120
Jim Meffert 2009 $250
2nd Congressional District DFL 2010 $200
Jim Meffert 2010 $200
2nd Congressional District DFL 2011 $190
3rd Congressional District DFL 2011 $250
Minnesota DFL Party 2011 $1,000
Bobby Joe Champion 2012 $300
3rd Congressional District DFL 2013 $250
3rd Congressional District DFL 2014 $375
Minnesota DFL Party 2014 $750
TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $7,985
$3,785- State contributions
$4,200- Federal contributions