Posted: 03/02/15 23:22
by Dave Mindeman
The MN GOP has this condescending attitude about the Democratic approach to fiscal responsibility. They want everyone to believe that they have this high moral ground when it comes to spending, debt, and fiscal restraint.
But then, every once in awhile you get a look at how they operate their own financial sphere.
And it gets pretty ugly.
Oh, I'm not just talking about the occasional individual hypocrisy like Senator Sean Nienow and his discharge of $800,000 in personal debt via bankruptcy. No, I mean the even clearer picture of fiscal irresponsibility coming from the state party.
When Tony Sutton left his trail of unpaid bills a few years ago, the Party told us that we had seen the worst. That story would end and they would right the ship. Pat Shortridge took a stab at it and seemed to be making progress and now Chairman Keith Downy assures everyone that the trail of progress continues.
Or does it?
Two Republican-owned national political consulting firms are demanding the Minnesota Republican Party settle hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills from the 2014 campaign, a sign the party's long-running financial struggles may not be totally resolved.
It is not often that vending firms that deal with various state party and individual campaigns will go public with unpaid debt. It has to be particularly egrigious for them to come out of the shadows and make a public comment. But in this case, it happened....
In e-mails to state GOP Chairman Keith Downey, top executives at Salt Lake City-based Arena Communications and the Kansas-based Singularis Group blasted the Minnesota Republican Party in unusually frank language. They said the party has failed to pay its bills for direct mail and other political communications on behalf of federal and state GOP candidates running for office in Minnesota last fall.
This wasn't ongoing debt from the Sutton years. This was debt taken on intentionally for the 2014 campaign. They spent money they did not have and have made little attempt to pay it back.
Downey tries to put his "spin" on it...
"We feel confident about the financial footing of the party," he said. Asked how much the party still owed vendors, Downey put the figure at about $300,000. That's owed strictly to vendors and is not part of the party's $1.5 million in ongoing debt from past obligations.
That would total, even by Downey's count, $1.8 million debt. At the height of the Sutton fiasco, the MN GOP debt was $2 million. That's progress?
The manager of Arena Communications put it a little more bluntly...
"I was dismayed to read your claim in the MN GOP Annual Report that 'We were able to support our endorsed candidates through the primary and with a statewide victory program, while simultaneously meeting our financial obligations and paying down debt, " Valcarce wrote to Downey. "I can attest this is a total falsehood."
Debt. Lies. More debt. In January of this year, the MN GOP was hit with another campaign finance fine from the FEC for failing to disclose another $250,000 in receipts, payments and debts. More lies. More debt.
And somehow on the backs of "deficit spending" and financial lies, the MN GOP took back the Minnesota House in 2014 - and then immediately launched into their obstruction of the Democratic plan for continuing a fiscal path that has led our state to a $1.9 billion surplus.
Why should we listen to them? I mean seriously, why?
The finances of the MN GOP is just a house of cards.