The Star Tribune reported yesterday evening that former State Senator Ray Vandeveer has been a paid consultant to the Senate Republican Caucus since March 2013. Vandeveer has been paid $4,500 from the Senate Victory PAC, a federal political action committee established by the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus.
Late last evening, I spoke to State Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), who replaced Senator Vandeveer in the Minnesota Senate after he announced his retirement in 2012 and chose to not seek re-election. Senator Housley stated that she has the “utmost respect” for Senator Vandeveer, but that she “had no knowledge of Senator Vandeveer receiving any consulting payments.” Senator Housley did add that she “would be interested in any further investigation.”
According to statements provided to the Star Tribune by Senate Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie), Vandeveer is working on “various tasks to prepare Senate Republicans for the 2016 elections.” Senator Hann’s statement that former Senator Vandeveer is working on legislatives elections, while being paid by a federal PAC, raises interesting campaign finance questions.
Senator Housley concluded by stating, “I don’t believe that most of the caucus members are aware of Senator Vandaveer’s work with the Senate Caucus and that additional information would be helpful to clarify the work he is doing.”
Please check back to politics.mn for more information on this developing story.