Person

Denise Cardinal

Nationality:

American

Political Party:

Democrat

Occupation:

Executive Director, WIN Minnesota

Residence:

St. Paul, Minnesota

Denise Cardinal is the executive director of the left-of-center activist organization WIN Minnesota. [1] She has held communications and political roles for liberal candidates, causes, campaigns, and elected officials for more than 20 years. [2]

Cardinal is also the director of the Democratic-aligned WIN Minnesota Political Action Committee, [3] [4] an advisor to the left-of-center Committee on States, and a former employee of National Education Association (NEA) teachers’ union. [5] [6]

Career

Denise Cardinal is a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota finance professional [7] and labor union and Democratic Party activist who has been the executive director of the left-of-center activist organization WIN Minnesota since February 2015. [8] She has held communications and political roles for left-progressive candidates, causes, campaigns, and elected officials for more than 20 years [9] and was recently the chair of the 2022 Fund (formerly known as the 2018 Fund), a left-of-center activist group in Minnesota. [10]

In addition to her role at WIN Minnesota, Cardinal is also the executive director of the Democratic-aligned WIN Minnesota Political Action Committee. [11] [12] She is an advisor to the left-of-center Committee on States to support other left-of-center state policy groups [13] and is the president of St. Paul-based Cardinal Insight consulting firm, where she works to “help progressive policies and candidates win.” [14] [15]

At Cardinal Insights, she works on issue and political campaign management, coalition managing, strategic communications, political communications, crisis communications, grassroots organizing, media relations, media training, writing, editing, research, and speechwriting. [16]

In 2017 while still working at WIN Minnesota, Cardinal facilitated discussions at left-of-center Democracy Alliance’s 2017 national donor summit. [17] She has also participated in conference programming in other years. [18]

Prior to joining WIN Minnesota, Cardinal was the executive director of the left-of-center ProgressNow and ProgressNow Education Fund from 2011 until 2013. [19]

In 2006, Cardinal moved to Minnesota to be the communications director for left-of-center America Votes Minnesota. [20] She helped start the liberal [21] Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) in 2007 and led the organization until 2010, in which ABM attacked Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer throughout the campaign, playing a major role in the election of Governor Mark Dayton (D-MN). [22] Cardinal was the senior press officer of the NEA, where she focused on the No Child Left Behind Act, from 2001 until 2005. [23] [24]

Conrad has also worked for former U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and has been on the board of directors for Minnesotans United for All Families, left-of-center Minnesota Voice, and the advisory board for the Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), a donor affinity group for left-wing voter engagement advocacy. [25]

Prior to working in politics, Cardinal worked at newspapers in Nevada, Idaho, and Iowa. [26]

Political Contributions

Denise Cardinal has made Federal Election Commission-reportable campaign contributions to U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and the left-of-center funding intermediary ActBlue. [27]

Personal Information

Denise Cardinal holds a bachelor of the arts in communication, journalism, and related programs from Drake University. She was born in Stillwater, Minnesota, and lives in St. Paul. [28] [29]

References

  1. “Denise Cardinal.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisecardinal/. ^
  2. “Denise Cardinal.” Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://funderscommittee.org/staff-board/denise-cardinal/. ^
  3. Bui, Tiffany. “Ilhan Omar and Republican panelists break down midterm results.” Minnesota Daily.  November 8, 2018. Accessed December 11, 2022. https://mndaily.com/233784/news/ctanalysis/. ^
  4. “WIN Minnesota Political Action Fund – 30625.” Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Accessed December 11, 2022. https://cfb.mn.gov/reports-and-data/viewers/campaign-finance/political-committee-fund/30625/2018. ^
  5. “About Cardinal Insight.” Cardinal Insight. Accessed December 8, 2022. http://www.denisecardinal.com/about-cardinal-insight. ^
  6. “Denise Cardinal.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisecardinal/. ^
  7. Callaghan, Peter. “DFL-supporting independent expenditure campaigns far outraise GOP and candidates in Minnesota.” Minnesota Post. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.minnpost.com/elections/2022/09/dfl-supporting-independent-expenditure-campaigns-far-outraise-gop-and-candidates-in-minnesota/. ^
  8.  “Denise Cardinal.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisecardinal/. ^
  9. “Denise Cardinal.” Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://funderscommittee.org/staff-board/denise-cardinal/. ^
  10. “2022 Fund (fka 2018 Fund) 41144.” Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://cfb.mn.gov/reports-and-data/viewers/campaign-finance/political-committee-fund/41144/2018/. ^
  11. Bui, Tiffany. “Ilhan Omar and Republican panelists break down midterm results.” Minnesota Daily.  November 8, 2018. Accessed December 11, 2022. https://mndaily.com/233784/news/ctanalysis/. ^
  12. “WIN Minnesota Political Action Fund – 30625.” Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. Accessed December 11, 2022. https://cfb.mn.gov/reports-and-data/viewers/campaign-finance/political-committee-fund/30625/2018. ^
  13. “About Cardinal Insight.” Cardinal Insight. Accessed December 8, 2022. http://www.denisecardinal.com/about-cardinal-insight. ^
  14. “Denise Cardinal.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisecardinal/. ^
  15. “Cardinal Insight.” Facebook Profile. Accessed December 11, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/cardinalinsight/about. ^
  16. “Services.” Cardinal Insight. Accessed December 8, 2022. http://www.denisecardinal.com/services-1. ^
  17. Schenkel, Kate. “Managing Partner Sam Pond Speaks at Democracy Alliance’s National Donor Summit.” Pond Lehocky. April 7, 2017. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.pondlehocky.com/news/samuel-pond-democracy-alliances-national-donor-summit/. ^
  18. “Democracy Alliance Spring 2016 Conference.” Politico. April 9, 2016. Accessed December 11, 2022. https://static.politico.com/64/47/b971249843558514c9c6aff87765/democracy-alliance-spring-meeting-agenda.pdf. ^
  19. “Denise Cardinal.” Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://funderscommittee.org/staff-board/denise-cardinal/. ^
  20. “About Cardinal Insight.” Cardinal Insight. Accessed December 8, 2022. http://www.denisecardinal.com/about-cardinal-insight. ^
  21. Confessore, Nicholas. “A National Strategy Funds State Political Monopolies.” New York Times. January 11, 2014. Accessed via Web Archive December 8, 2022. https://archive.ph/UZrQH. ^
  22. Bierschbach, Briana. “Geo-targeting will play big role in 2012 elections.” Minnesota Lawyer. October 5, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2022. https://minnlawyer.com/2011/10/05/geo-targeting-will-play-big-role-in-%e2%80%9912-elections/. ^
  23. “About Cardinal Insight.” Cardinal Insight. Accessed December 8, 2022. http://www.denisecardinal.com/about-cardinal-insight. ^
  24. “Denise Cardinal.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisecardinal/. ^
  25. “Denise Cardinal.” Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://funderscommittee.org/staff-board/denise-cardinal/. ^
  26. [1] “About Us.” Cardinal Insight. Accessed December 11, 2022. http://www.denisecardinal.com/about-us ^
  27. “Individual Contributions.” Federal Election Commission Denise Cardinal Search Result. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=denise%20cardinal. ^
  28. “Denise Cardinal.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisecardinal/. ^
  29. “About Us.” Cardinal Insight. Accessed December 11, 2022. http://www.denisecardinal.com/about-us. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Democracy Alliance Conferences (Other Group)
    Participant, Spring 2014; Spring 2015; Spring 2016; Fall 2019
  2. National Education Association (NEA) (Labor Union)
    Former Senior Press Officer
  3. ProgressNow (Non-profit)
    Former Executive Director
  4. ProgressNow Education Fund (Non-profit)
    Former Executive Director
  5. Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) (Non-profit)
    Advisory Board Member
  6. Win Minnesota (Non-profit)
    Executive Director
  7. Win Minnesota PAC (Political Party/527)
    Executive Director
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