ST. PAUL, Minn. — Thousands of Minnesotans marched to the State Capitol on Saturday to rally for the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns and the removal of big business in politics.
The event is part of the National Tax March that had more than 100 different events occurring around the country. The national march in Washington D.C. had more than 10,000 people show up and march to the Capitol demanding transparency in the election process and in government.
The Minnesota event, which kicked off at 11 a.m., included a short march from the Veterans Memorial to the front steps of the State Capitol building. Organizers touted the event as a nonpartisan event and reached out to speakers from both sides of the aisle to speak at the event. During the event, it was briefly mentioned by one of the speakers that Rep. Jason Lewis (R-CD2) had been extended an invitation.
Organizers hired a band that played improv music demanding the release of Trump’s taxes. During the campaign, Trump infamously refused to release his tax returns, an act that previous candidates for the office have done in the past.
Ralliers chanted, “Follow the money,” “No big money,” and “Show us the money.” Some even took to calling out specific elected officials, holding up signs denouncing Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-CD3) and his stances on certain issues.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis), Rep. Dan Pinto (D-St. Paul), U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-CD4), St. Paul Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Chris Coleman, and State Auditor and candidate for governor Rebecca Otto were just some of the notable politicians speaking at the event.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was scheduled to speak at the event, but did not show. On Friday, the Star Tribune reported a major shake up within her re-election campaign.
“Are you ready to hold electeds accountable? Are you ready to hold your President accountable?” Omar asked the crowd.
“We’re here today because what happened on November 8, is what we’re supposed to call an election, not an auction,” State Sen. John Marty (D-Minneapolis) said, “It [elections] shouldn’t be for sale to the Koch brothers, to corporate special interests, or to wealthy billionaires.”
Rep. Paul Thissen (D-Minneapolis) and former White House Chief Ethics Lawyer for President George W. Bush, Richard Painter, also called out Rep. Jason Lewis for not attending the rally.
Someone in the crowd shouted at Thissen asking, “Where’s Erik Paulsen?” Thissen responded, “Where is Erik Paulsen? That’s a good question. Talk about transparency, every year I’ve been in the legislature, I’ve held three to four town meetings a year because that is our responsibility…We haven’t seen Jason Lewis, we haven’t seen Erik Paulsen.”
Overall, politicians who spoke at the event called for transparency within different areas of government, the removal of dark money and corporate money from politics, and release of Trump’s taxes.
The event ended around 2 p.m. with no incidents.