Sioux nickname supporters at big financial disadvantageCampaign finance reports filed recently with the North Dakota secretary of state’s office document the significant edge enjoyed by those who would allow the University of North Dakota to retire its Fighting Sioux nickname.
By: By Chuck Haga , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Campaign finance reports filed recently with the North Dakota secretary of state’s office document the significant edge enjoyed by those who would allow the University of North Dakota to retire its Fighting Sioux nickname.
In a “direct expenditure filer” report submitted June 1 for the UND Alumni Association, Laura Block, associate executive vice president and chief financial officer, put the association’s direct expenditures on the Measure 4 campaign at $241,051.73.
The Alumni Association announced earlier this year that it would take on the lead role in urging a “Yes” vote on Measure 4, which would allow the university to retire the nickname. Tim O’Keefe, CEO and executive vice president, had estimated the association would spend about $250,000 donated by a few contributors, mostly on TV advertising.
The filing did not include an itemization of donations or expenditures.
A filing May 30 by Reed Soderstrom of the referred measure sponsoring committee reports the committee started the reporting period with $2,500 cash on hand, raised $7,563.73 during the period and spent $10,158.09, ending with $99.51 on hand.
The largest contribution to the sponsoring committee came from Soderstrom, a Minot attorney who has represented the pro-nickname Committee for Understanding and Respect at the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation. He gave $4,978.75, according to the report.
The committee also reported contributions of $250 each during the period from four other individuals, including former UND hockey players Michael Baumgartner of Roseau, Minn., (defenseman, 1968-71) and Robert Peabody of East Grand Forks (goalie, 1958).
The other $250 contributions came from Bill LeCaine, Highlands Ranch, Colo., and John Liffrig, Williston, N.D.
Leif Schontesch, Grand Forks, is listed as contributing $150.
In the previous reporting period, the committee sponsoring the measure to preserve the Fighting Sioux nickname had reported contributions of $10,500 from two donors — $500 from Soderstrom and $10,000 from Norman Hoffman, a 1959 chemical engineering graduate of UND who is retired and lives in Waconia, Minn.
Hoffman has been a major contributor to his alma mater, according to the Alumni Association.
Chuck Haga is a reporter at
the Grand Forks Herald,
which is owned by Forum Communications Co.