Connections

The anti-corporate left points to the phenomenon of interlocking boards of directors as prima facie evidence of how big business perpetuates its political power.  At a minimum, such links are seen as evidence of something highly suspicious.

Of course, something of the same phenomenon exists in the progressive nonprofit corporate world.  Consider these interlocking memberships between progressive political charities Alliance for a Better Minnesota, WIN Minnesota, TakeAction Minnesota, and NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.

Each of these groups operates at least one tax-exempt nonprofit organization in conjunction with at least one state-registered political campaign fund. 

Interlocking Board Memberships in 2012[1]

Not surprisingly, union bosses, big dollar donors, and nonprofit staffers are all represented.  The surprising name on the list is “Tina Smith.”

Presumably, this is the same Tina Flint Smith who served as Democrat Governor Mark Dayton’s chief of staff and has joined him on the ticket as his candidate for Lt. Governor in this year’s election.

The name Tina Smith first appears on the list of WIN Minnesota board members in 2011, the same year as Tina Flint Smith began serving as Dayton’s chief of staff.  The name Tina Smith still features on the WIN board in 2012, the last year for which such data is publically available.

If true, the potential for conflict is obvious.  Tina Flint Smith will appear on the ballot in November 2014.  WIN’s action arm—the Alliance for a Better Minnesota—has spent the last year-and-a-half “defining” Mark Dayton’s Republican opponents.

Another day in the life of the Banana Republic of Minnesota.