FACT CHECK: Feehan was paid for work at nonprofits from 2017-2019

FACT CHECK: Feehan was salaried consultant at nonprofit from 2017-2019

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — During Sunday’s KEYC News Now Congressional Debate, incumbent Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) accused DFL-endorsed challenger Dan Feehan of being “paid to run for Congress by Democratic groups."

Amid a contentious exchange between the two candidates, Hagedorn accused Feehan of $240,000 from Leadership in Educational Equity (LEE), which describes itself as a “nonprofit leadership development organization inspiring and supporting a network of civic leaders to end the injustice of educational inequity.”

Hagedorn claims Feehan was paid to run for Congress by Democratic groups

On Monday, Hagedorn’s campaign says a formal Federal Elections Commission complaint has been field against Feehan, saying, in part, “Such wages cannot be justified based upon any reasonable standard, especially considering Mr. Feehan was waging a full-time campaign for Congress in a closely contested race from Aug. 13 through Nov. 6.”

Documents released by the Hagedorn campaign are not the most current information filed to the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to amended financial disclosure forms submitted by Feehan on Monday, the DFL candidate was salaried by LEE in 2019.

The amended documents show Feehan was not paid by the organization in 2018.

According to the documents, Feehan was paid $50,000 for a consulting project in 2017 and a salary of $120,000 in 2019.

Financial disclosure forms also show income provided by a fellowship with another nonprofit, New Politics Leadership Academy.

The organization describes its program as a pipeline into politics through “leadership development experiences, educational programming, and networking events.”

Feehan was paid $64,000 in stipend funds, between December 2018 and Oct. 1, 2019.

Page 3 of Feehan: 2019 Financial Disclosure Report
Contributed to DocumentCloud by Jake Rinehart (KEYC News 12) • View document or read text

Hagedorn claimed during the debate, and later again in a press release, that this income was “a clear felony violation of Federal Election Commission statutes.”

The FEC tells KEYC News Now that it is not able to comment on any sort of complaint until formal investigation proceedings are closed.

Feehan quickly denied the accusation, calling it “a desperate act of distraction from corruption in [Hagedorn’s] office,” referring to Hagedorn’s recent controversy involving $450,000 of taxpayer-funded constituent mail, which resulted in Hagedorn firing his Chief of Staff.

Hagedorn also addressed this incident during the KEYC News Now Congressional Debate Sunday.

Hagedorn addresses recent controversy involving $450,000 of taxpayer-funded constituent mail

Leadership in Educational Equity issued a statement following Hagedorn’s accusations, saying:

Dan played a key role in building LEE’s engagement and education programs to inspire LEE members who have served in the armed forces to further their service as civic leaders, as well as designing an educational fellowship program engaging LEE members with politics in their communities.
Leadership in Educational Equity statement on Feehan's role with the organization

A statement from New Politics Leadership Academy said “Dan worked on a number of projects related to NPLA’s educational mission—including a research project that provided NPLA with quantitative research about the rural-urban divide.”

The organization adds that Feehan worked to facilitate programming geared towards veterans interested in politics.

Neither organization cites Feehan’s campaign, nor says they paid Feehan to run for Congress.

The full debate can be streamed on-demand on KEYC.com, the KEYC News Now apps and KEYC News Now Apple TV and Roku apps.

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