The Rochester Citizens Coalition is a self-proclaimed independent and nonpartisan organization. Its web site has lain dormant for over a year but its political activities were in high gear this season with heavy support for Kim Norton. They ran radio ads for Norton in the days before the election, a half-page ad in the Post-Bulletin for Norton on election eve, and who-knows-what that escaped our notice. See that at the bottom of the ad? (Clicking the thumbnail will display a larger version of the ad.) “Prepared and paid for by the Rochester Citizens Coalition. An independent expenditure not approved by any candidate or candidate committee.” But it can’t be so. Norton’s campaign Chair, Robert Cline, is also the Citizens Coalition Treasurer! The two organizations are joined at the hip. Independent, the expenditures were not.
Former state legislators Sheila Kiscaden and Dave Bishop were active in the Coalition’s Norton support, as evidenced by their voice work for the radio ads. Kiscaden is the Chair of the Coalition. Both will surely defend their actions as public service of the highest moral standard but we’ll let the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board decide.