MNGOPer falsely claims swanky Chicago DEED party uses Minnesota taxpayer money

A yacht on Chicago's Lake Michigan.
A yacht on Chicago's Lake Michigan.

This Sunday, the state of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic are hosting a reception at the Chicago Yacht Club. The event invitation promises "breathtaking views of Lake Michigan" and "an unrivaled occasion to meet leaders of Minnesota's remarkable biosciences industries."

Sounds fancy -- and expensive. And during debate on the House floor on Monday, Rep. Mary Holberg, R-Lakeville, falsely argued that it's all a big waste of taxpayer dollars.

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"You might think it's a good idea for the taxpayers of this state to wine and dine people on Lake Michigan on a luxury yacht, but many of the taxpayers of Minnesota can't even afford a beer," Holberg said. "I think this is a wrong use of tax dollars. People can have much less opulent activities."

Turns out, though, that Holberg's indignation is misplaced. The whole event, which coincides with the annual Bio International Convention, is privately funded.

"There are no tax dollars," Blake Chaffee, a spokesperson for the Department of Employment and Economic Development, told MPR's Tim Pugmire. "We go out and raise money for it. We have for 10 years."

On Sunday, while state officials and Mayo heads court biotech business, MNGOPers might want to keep researching their complaints about misspent taxpayer money.

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