Friday, April 16, 2021

Group seeks members to keep elections clean

A group striving for clean political elections in the state is seeking public support, especially in greater Minnesota.

Clean Elections Minnesota, which was formed in 2016, is made up of all volunteers.

George Beck, chairman of Clean Elections, wants to add to the non-profit organization’s current 500 supporters, most of who reside in the Twin Cities metro area. The group is targeting southeastern Minnesota counties.

“We need to be more of a statewide organization,” Beck said, adding the group is working hard to make sure that happens.

Beck said his group is concerned about voting rights and maintaining an effective democracy. “I’m really concerned about our democracy and the future of it,” he said. He added the American democracy is very uncertain at this time.  

Beck said the greatest issue facing political elections in Minnesota is certain political contributions not being made public information.

“Dark money is one that really concerns me,” said Beck, who is a retired administrative law judge and former chair of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. “Groups can give money without disclosing who is involved,” he said.

Voters, Beck said, should know who is supporting a candidate financially. “We want to know who our elected officials took money from,” he said.

One of the allies for Clean Elections is the League of Women Voters, according to Beck. “It’s not like we are out there alone in the wilderness,” he said.

Clean Elections sends out a regular newsletter outlining all the election issues in Minnesota. Voters can join the mailing list for no charge through the group’s website.

Beck’s group has been working on election reform in the Minnesota Legislature. However, Beck claims the Senate is not participating in election bills and encourages people to reach out to their legislators. He said it’s unlikely any election reform will pass this year.

“The dichotomy between the two legislative branches is not encouraging for election reform,” Beck said. 

While the group has grown from a half dozen people to around 500, Beck hopes it will continue to grow. “We couldn’t be more grassroots,” he said. “We want to make sure elections and people have a fair chance to have their opinions heard in St. Paul.”

For more information about the group or to join, go to cleanelectionsmn.org.

 

 

About Clean Elections Minnesota

• Non-profit, non-partisan

• Dedicated to maintaining democracy

• For more information, go to

www.cleanelectionsmn.org

 

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Steele County Times

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917
507-583-4431

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