Standing with the people of Minnesota

Mike Rothman is dedicated to justice and fairness for all. He has worked hard to level the playing field for consumers and promote equity for underserved populations, proudly representing the people of Minnesota as Commerce Commissioner for 7 years.

With your vote, Mike can continue to work on behalf of all Minnesotans, bringing a fighting record of consumer protection and law enforcement to the Attorney General’s office. As Attorney General, Mike will represent the interests of the people of Minnesota, eliminate deceptive business practices to strengthen our economy and protect Minnesota’s seniors and vulnerable citizens throughout the state.

 

1960

Minnesota, Born and Raised

Minnesota, Born and Raised

Mike Rothman grew up in the Glendale Townhomes housing projects of Minneapolis along with his two siblings. His mother, an inspiration for Mike in pursuing a political career, was a special education teacher and active union leader in the state. Eventually, the family relocated to Chaska.

1970

Switching Gears: From Goalie to Politician

Switching Gears: From Goalie to Politician

At first, Rothman’s heart was set on playing goalie on the ice rink. It wasn’t until high school that he shifted his focus towards a career in law and politics.

1979

Taking a stand for workers

Taking a stand for workers

Even as a high school senior, Mike held strong beliefs about standing up for teachers and workers. When the teachers at his school were prohibited from striking, Mike and two other classmates led and organized the entire student body for a walkout and rally to help spotlight the teachers’ plight and their right to negotiate a better contract.

1980

Joining the debate

Joining the debate

In high school, Mike was a member of the school debate team –taking home the state championship in 1980 on behalf of Chaska.

Mike’s experience in policy debate was so formative to his budding career in politics that years later, he would become one of the founders of the Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL), a private program created to fund debate teams in urban schools. The program, now operated by Augsburg College, currently serves more than 750 students at 39 partner schools throughout the state.

Kickstarting a Career in Law

Kickstarting a Career in Law

Mike graduated with honors from Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Law School. He has been an attorney for 30 years. Mike got his professional start as a clerk to Judge Gary Crippen on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. He then went on to work for the State Senate and practiced in both Minnesota and California — most recently as a partner with Winthrop & Weinstine.

1990

Learning with the best

In 1993, Mike moved to Los Angeles and began working in private practice along with some of the top trial and appellate litigators in the country. The work was challenging and Mike became a strong presence in the courtroom. He moved back to Minnesota in 2002 and practiced law as a partner at Winthrop & Weinstine until 2011.

2011

Appointed Commissioner of Commerce

Appointed Commissioner of Commerce

In 2011, Governor Mark Dayton appointed Mike as the Commissioner of Commerce, where he oversaw Minnesota’s insurance, real estate, securities, state banking, lending, electric and gas utilities, telecommunications, petroleum and other industries for seven years.

Recovering from Disaster

Recovering from Disaster

As Commissioner of Commerce, Mike Rothman led the consumer recovery efforts after some of the largest disasters in Minnesota history: flooding and severe weather in 2011 and 2012, a metro area tornado in 2012 and a heating crisis during record cold temperatures in the winter of 2013.

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(Photo credit: Tony Webster)

2012

Beat Down Take Down

Beat Down Take Down

Members of the “Beat Down Posse” –one of north Minneapolis’ most violent gangs operating under the guise of a family bonds business –were convicted for their role in mortgage fraud, drug trafficking and assault. The Department of Commerce, under Rothman’s leadership, was among the first to investigate the case.

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2013

A Solar-Powered Minnesota

A Solar-Powered Minnesota

Minnesota had just a single megawatt of solar capacity in 2009. Today, it boasts 500 times that amount, thanks to a solar law passed in 2013 supported by the work of the Commerce Department’s Energy Office operating under Rothman’s leadership.

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2014

Stopping fraudsters in their tracks

The Commerce Department’s Fraud Bureau ensured justice was served to former “Safe Money Radio” host Jeff Rodd of Mound, MN for schemes including writing bad checks to investors, committing wire fraud and operating a false financial planning scheme that swindled Minnesotans out of nearly $2 million. The Department ordered that Rodd pay restitution to those he scammed.

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2015

Minnesota’s Premier White Collar Criminal Law Enforcement Team

Minnesota’s Premier White Collar Criminal Law Enforcement Team

In a high-profile conviction, Eden Prairie financial adviser Sean Meadows was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing $10 million from his elderly clients.

Rothman pursued fraud cases, including the Meadows case, under a special white collar criminal task force created within the Commerce Department. It became the largest initiative of its kind in the state, increasing enforcement actions by 500% to cut down on unfair trade practices, dishonesty and fraud against Minnesotans.

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Crackdown on Illegal Debt Collectors

Crackdown on Illegal Debt Collectors

In a collaboration with federal, state and local authorities, Rothman began a regulatory crackdown on illegal debt collection practices that embraced bullying tactics and misleading schemes.

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2016

Cleaning Up the Bail Bond Industry

Cleaning Up the Bail Bond Industry

Rothman organized a three-year investigation of the state’s bail bond industry to identify unethical practices. These included offering kickbacks to inmates, pressuring defendants and their families and creating a disruptive presence in courthouses and jails. The investigation ultimately led to tighter regulatory requirements across Minnesota.

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(Photo credit: Thomas Hawk )

Nominated by President Obama to Serve on National Board

Nominated by President Obama to Serve on National Board

President Barack Obama nominated Mike to serve on a nationwide board overseeing insurance agents and brokers.

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Fighting Gas Skimmers at the Pump

Rothman ramped up efforts to address the emerging threat of credit card skimmers at gas pumps in Minnesota. Skimmers are installed by criminals hoping to steal consumers’ credit and debit card information when they visit the pump. In the past year, Commerce has uncovered more than 30 skimmers at Minnesota gas pumps.

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(Video from WCCO)

Taking on Big Business

Taking on Big Business

When Mike Rothman first learned that some life insurance companies in the state were knowingly withholding policy payment to some beneficiaries, he was outraged. He moved to sue these companies for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of the state.

“It’s unconscionable when an insurance company knows their policy holder has passed away, kept the money and then used it for investment [rather than paying] beneficiaries the rightful money that they’re owed,” Rothman told WCCO reporters.

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Putting a stop to fraud



A group of 21 chiropractors banded together in a scheme to defraud auto insurance companies. The doctors involved were submitting claims to auto insurers and receiving reimbursements for services that were either not necessary or never provided. The group also used “runners” who were paid a commission to bring in patients and, sometimes, help stage phony accidents.

The Commerce Fraud Bureau worked with the FBI and U.S. Attorney Andy Luger to bring the group to justice.

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2017

Urgent Response to Elder Financial Abuse

Urgent Response to Elder Financial Abuse

One of Rothman’s top priorities as commissioner was the curbing of elder financial abuse. In conjunction with the local chapter of AARP, Commerce conducted public information campaigns and on-site training events for financial professionals on how to spot signs of elder fraud.

In one case, a financial adviser was able to contact the Department after an elderly client attempted to transfer a large sum of money overseas at the request of a scammer, who had told her that she’d won the Costa Rican lottery. Commerce alerted the woman’s bank and froze the money before it could be transferred. According to Rothman, “Senior financial exploitation…requires an ‘all hands on deck’ response.”

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