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New donation rules help some 2014 candidates

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A new report from the Institute for Justice shows that some Minnesota candidates benefited from new donation rules in 2014.

The Institute for Justice challenged the state's "special source" limits for individual donors last year, which capped the amount of money candidates could accept from donors who gave money later in the campaign.

For instance, last year Minnesota House candidates could take up to $1,000 from contributors. But once they hit $12,500 in donations from those “special sources” who give between $500 and $1,000, everyone who contributes to the campaign after that could give only $500.

A federal court judge ultimately sided with the Institute for Justice in May of last year.

According to the group's analysis, one or both candidates in half of Minnesota's legislative and statewide races benefited from the rule's suspension. That includes Gov. Mark Dayton, who raised $744,000 more than he would have under the old rules. His opponent Republican Jeff Johnson raised $25,000 more than he would have under the old rules.

In court, the Institute for Justice argued that the rules limited free speech and that they forced candidates to spend more time fundraising and less time talking to voters.