Non-profit

Win Minnesota

Location:

SAINT PAUL, MN

Tax ID:

74-3238362

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,134,656
Expenses: $1,097,651
Assets: $149,553

Type:

Left-Wing Advocacy Organization

WIN Minnesota a left-of-center “social welfare” advocacy organization associated with the political action committee WIN Minnesota PAC. The organization is one of the main conduits of dollars for left-wing donors in Minnesota, helping to fund the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. It has taken grants from the New Venture Fund;[1] Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota’s associated “social welfare” Action Fund;[2] and NEO Philanthropy. [3]

The organization was previously led by Jeff Blodgett, who formerly worked for the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) and led President Barack Obama’s campaign in Minnesota in 2008.

In addition to being active in Minnesota politics, the group has a federal super PAC.

Overview

WIN Minnesota was established before the 2006 elections in order to help Minnesota Democrats win the governor’s mansion for the first time in a generation. Previously, the governor’s mansion was held by either Republicans or the Reform Party, locking the Democrats out in a state that traditionally supports Democrats. [4]

Immediately, WIN Minnesota played a major role in funding hit pieces against then-Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN). Although Pawlenty was re-elected, WIN Minnesota spent $778,500 against him in 2006. [5]

WIN Minnesota was a part of a left-wing collaborative known as the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. The alliance is primarily funded by WIN Minnesota but also receives donations from labor unions, wealthy liberal donors, and other political action committees. The alliance spends all of its money on campaigning, polling, and other methods in order to elect Democrats. [6]

In 2010, WIN Minnesota played a major role in helping Democrat Mark Dayton win the governor’s mansion. The organization once again funded attacks through the alliance on Republican candidates. In this election, WIN Minnesota was joined by the 2010 Fund in funding the alliance. [7]

In 2011, Jeff Blodgett took over as the executive director of the organization. Blodgett shifted the organization’s focus towards helping Democrats capture the Minnesota legislature. Blodgett and WIN Minnesota helped fund the alliance’s campaigns against Minnesota Republican legislators. Blodgett meanwhile left WIN Minnesota to head President Obama’s reelection campaign in Minnesota. The Obama campaign’s success in Minnesota, along with the funding by the alliance, helped Minnesota Democrats capture both houses of the Minnesota legislature in 2012. [8]

In 2014, big donors once again poured big bucks into WIN Minnesota. Win Minnesota in turn sent the money on to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. The alliance’s efforts were successful in helping Democrats hold the governor’s mansion but Minnesota Republicans made gains in the legislature. [9]

Donors

Donors to WIN Minnesota include Alida Messinger, a Rockefeller family heir and the ex-wife of former Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D). The Dayton family has also contributed to WIN Minnesota. Vance Opperman, a major Democratic donor from Minnesota, also contributes to WIN Minnesota. WIN Minnesota has also received donations from the Democratic Governors Association and the Minnesota chapters of the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and other labor unions. [10]

Leadership

As of 2017, Denise Cardinal serves as the executive director. Jeff Blodgett serves as the chair of the board. [11]

Funding

As of the 2017 tax returns, WIN Minnesota received $1.3 million in grants and donations. It spent nearly $1.1 million, mostly on grants to other organizations. [12]

The organization did not disclose the amounts of contributions made on its tax returns. But the organizations to which it donated included the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, America Votes, OutFront Minnesota, Planned Parenthood Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota Action, TakeAction Minnesota, Wellstone Action (at one time also headed by Blodgett), Clean Water Action, and the AFL-CIO group Working America. [13]

References

  1. New Venture Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I ^
  2. Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I ^
  3. NEO Philanthropy, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I ^
  4. Berg, Mitch. 2010. “Mark Dayton: Buying Minnesota With Daddy’s Money”. Hotair. https://hotair.com/archives/mitch_berg/2010/07/17/mark-dayton-buying-minnesota-with-daddys-money__trashed/. ^
  5.       Berg, Mitch. 2010. “Mark Dayton: Buying Minnesota With Daddy’s Money”. Hotair. https://hotair.com/archives/mitch_berg/2010/07/17/mark-dayton-buying-minnesota-with-daddys-money__trashed/. ^
  6. Howatt, Glenn. 2013. “Minnesota Political Spending Concentrated In Few Hands”. Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-political-spending-concentrated-in-few-hands/237844201/. ^
  7. Howatt, Glenn. 2013. “Minnesota Political Spending Concentrated In Few Hands”. Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-political-spending-concentrated-in-few-hands/237844201/. ^
  8. Howatt, Glenn. 2013. “Minnesota Political Spending Concentrated In Few Hands”. Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-political-spending-concentrated-in-few-hands/237844201/. ^
  9. Stassen-Berger, Rachel, and Glenn Howatt. 2014. “Minnesota Mega-Donors Pour Money Into 2014 Elections”. Star Tribune. http://m.startribune.com/minnesota-mega-donors-pour-money-into-2014-elections/260551641/.    ^
  10. Berg, Mitch. 2010. “Mark Dayton: Buying Minnesota With Daddy’s Money”. Hotair. https://hotair.com/archives/mitch_berg/2010/07/17/mark-dayton-buying-minnesota-with-daddys-money__trashed/. ^
  11. WIN Minnesota, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2017/743/238/2017-743238362-0fd635bb-9O.pdf. ^
  12. WIN Minnesota, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2017/743/238/2017-743238362-0fd635bb-9O.pdf.    ^
  13. WIN Minnesota, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2017/743/238/2017-743238362-0fd635bb-9O.pdf. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Jeff Blodgett
    Officer/Board Member
  2. Denise Cardinal
    Executive Director
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2008

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,134,656 $1,097,651 $149,553 $4,249 N $1,134,656 $0 $0 $147,862
    2016 Dec Form 990 $3,476,141 $3,648,988 $163,565 $55,266 N $3,476,141 $0 $0 $128,147 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,856,115 $1,645,849 $286,665 $5,519 N $1,856,115 $0 $0 $116,872 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,984,060 $3,147,969 $83,152 $12,272 N $2,984,060 $0 $0 $129,345 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $786,745 $646,858 $253,212 $18,423 N $786,745 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,730,000 $1,952,168 $110,310 $15,408 N $1,730,000 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $742,377 $430,697 $323,678 $6,608 N $742,377 $0 $0 $99,924 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Win Minnesota

    1600 UNIVERSITY AVE W STE 309C
    SAINT PAUL, MN 55104-3800