MN01 Special Election Fundraising: Pork likes Brad Finstad (and so does Koch)

In the previous commentary, a review of Matt Benda detailed the extent of campaign donations that the Benda For Congress committee received from New Fashion Pork … well, turns out he is not the only one that has supporters in the pork industry.

Brad Finstad has received $11,600 from individuals associated with Christensen Farms / Blue Ridge LLC … Christensen Farms describes itself as “one of the largest family-owned pork producers in the country” and is headed by Mary Ann Christensen as Chairman of the Board … Mary Ann Christensen is also President of Blue Ridge LLC.

It wasn’t just pork that donated to the Finstad For Congress, but also other agricultural related operations … Iowa Corn Growers, National Milk Producers Federation, catfish and cattle producers plus banks that service farmers.

Since the commentary on New Fashion Pork noted the “family” connection to Matt Benda, it is fair to also note that Brad received donations from a number of people named “Finstad” … Jaclyn $5800, Jim $500, and Maria $5800 in addition to the $5800 donated by Brad himself. The Finstads donations reference Frontier Labs MN LLC where Brad is listed as on the Board of Directors. A review of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reporting indicates that Frontier Labs MN LLC received two loans that were forgiven ($170,536 for an April 3 2020 loan and $157,207 for a February 3 2021 loan.)

The Finstad For Congress reported total contributions of $156,196.49 for the quarter ending March 31 … a tidy sum … but that does not include the “dark money” that has already started to be spent to promote Brad Finstad.

Two notable groups have recently endorsed him and are spending quite heavily.

Koch Industries’ Americans For Prosperity Action, Inc PAC has filed paperwork with the FEC indicating spending $93,076. Koch Industries has many business segments …. one of which is Koch Fertilizers which they describe as “one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of fertilizers.

Another endorser/promoter is the Republican Main Street Partnership PAC which through its Defending Main Street SuperPAC Inc indicates spending $71,016.

Yep, Brad Finstad has a lot of friends — on “Main Street” and in “Corporate Ag” … and when the advertising says he will fight to “cut taxes”, ya gotta wonder how much he will focus on his donors or the working families of Minnesota’s First District.