Here's All the Money Garrison Keillor Has Given to Democrats

Longtime Minnesota public radio host fired for 'inappropriate behavior'

Garrison Keillor / Getty Images
November 29, 2017

Now-fired longtime Minnesota Public Radio host Garrison Keillor has been a consistent donor for Democrats across the country for more than three decades, with recipients of his cash ranging from presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to party leaders such as Nancy Pelosi and the party's top committees.

Keillor's announcement Wednesday morning that he had been fired by Minnesota Public Radio for "inappropriate behavior" came just one day after he was published in the Washington Post defending fellow Minnesotan Al Franken, a Democratic senator who has been accused by multiple women of groping them.

The piece, which called the notion that Franken should resign "absurd," made no mention of the $9,700 Keillor gave to Franken's two senate campaigns or the $10,000 he gave to Franken's Midwest Values PAC, which make up a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of dollars Keillor has supplied Democratic candidates and groups with since 1992.

Other recipients of Keillor's money include the party's last three presidential nominees—former President Barack Obama got $7,200, Hillary Clinton got $3,450, and John Kerry got $750. (Democrat Martin O'Malley got $1,250 in 2015 as well.)

Keillor also headlined a fundraiser for Clinton in 2015.

Keillor has also contributed to all the main Democratic committees, including $93,150 to the Democratic National Committee, $51,360 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and $56,616 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Among active members of the U.S. Senate to receive contributions from Keillor other than Franken are Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Tammy Baldwin (D., Wisc.), Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.), Jon Tester (D., Mont.), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), Tom Udall (D., N.M.), Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.).

Keillor's contributions have continued in 2017. Recipients this cycle include Democratic House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, the DCCC, the DNC, and Franken's Minnesota colleague Amy Klobuchar, who has already received $4,700 for her 2018 reelection effort from Keillor.

A full list of Keillor's hundreds of contributions can be viewed here at the Center for Responsive Politics.

Nobody has come out to announce plans to return money from Keillor.

Keillor has said that his firing was due to an incident where he put his hand on a woman's bare back—an incident he says he apologized for.

Keillor also says that he has been groped, but that he is accepting his fate at the public radio station he has been with for decades.

"If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I'd have at least a hundred dollars," Keillor said.

"I had a good long run and am grateful for it and for everything else," he said.