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Cooked Books

In Part 1 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s  MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports.  In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ’em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN.  In Part 3,  we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern.  In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.  

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”).  In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses.  In Part 7 we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.  In Part 8 we looked at at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question:  did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s drunk driving case?

In Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we looked at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats!  In Part 10, we looked at an internal Mn GOP reports (presumably, leaked to Politico) that show just how far behind in rent those Mn GOP deadbeats are.  In Part 11 we looked back at the 2008 Mn GOP Convention in Rochester, where then-Chair republiCon Ron (in a must-see YouTube) infamously said:

“At the end of the day, those that are criticizing us are to be shamed – because the truth will get out and the truth shall set us free.” — Ron Carey

Yeah, “right.”

In Part 12 we took a quick look (a real quick look!) at the Mn GOP’s Federal Elections Commission Report covering the month of April 2012. What that report showed is the MnGOP still believes it can spend more money in a month than it takes in.  Hey, why not?  After all, they ARE the “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility”, aren’t they?  In Part 13 we looked at how these Financial Geniuses reported to the FEC they were in debt to themselves.

Seriously.  Can’t make this stuff up.

Today we’re going to take a look at the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s “Findings and Order in the Matter of the Complaint of Common Cause Minnesota regarding the Republican Party of Minnesota and others” dated 13 July 2012.

Long story short?  The Keystone Kops would be proud – let’s look!!!
When I saw the tweet (from @TheUptake, and if you’re on Twitter and you’re not following them – you should!) I went to go pop some popcorn; I knew this was gonna be good!

Was NOT disappointed!!!

From page 4:

In his deposition, Mr. Sutton, states that the lawyers knew that they were working for some as yet non-existent entity that would pay them. For example, Mr. Sutton testified that he verbally informed Tony Trimble that his work on the recount was “separate from his party work.” He says: “I remember telling him at the time that this recount was separate from the party stuff, especially once you guys brought out the advisory opinion saying that a recount fund could be set up.”

Mr. Sutton’s recollection and understanding of the events concerning his retention of counsel to assist with the recount was contradicted by each of the attorneys that he hired. All three lawyers testified that they understood they were working for the RPM. Mr. Sutton alone suggests that the lawyers understood that they would be or were working for an independent entity. In fact, after CTAP came was formed, the law firm of Trimble and Associates had Mr. Sutton sign a guaranty agreement confirming that the RPM was responsible for its fees. (emphasis added)

Too funny!  I can almost imagine Tony “The Check’s In The Mail” Sutton tellin’ the Campaign FInance Board:  “Who ya gonna believe – me, or yer lyin’ eyes?”

From page 6:

During the course of this investigation, the Board requested and received various records from the RPM, including accounts payable aging reports and invoices. However, the RPM is not able to produce records or worksheets that would allow the Board to reconcile amounts from the payables aging reports to the federal and state reports of unpaid obligations. As a result, the Board is not confident that even the RPM’s amended reports are accurate.

“…the Board is not confident that even the RPM’s amended reports are accurate.”

Well, that’s why we call ’em “Cooked Books”!

From page 9:

David Sturrock testified that he became RPM treasurer on June 29, 2009, and served through January 19, 2012. During 2009 and 2010, the RPM had in place a minimal set of budgets, reports, policies, and procedures to ensure treasurer authorization of expenditures. Mr. Sturrock testified that he received and reviewed reports on a weekly basis. In 2009, the RPM processes for spending money were not as formal as the Board would recommend for an association of the RPM’s size. However, they were minimally sufficient to support a conclusion that the requirement for treasurer authorization of expenditures was met.

However by the end of 2010, whatever financial controls had been in place had deteriorated.
.
.
Additionally, if there had previously been treasurer control of regular spending, it was gone. Mr. Sutton personally took over control of spending late in 2010.

“Minimally sufficient” – “deteriorated”  “…it was gone.”

That’s the Party of Fiscal Responsibility, in action!!!

Page 10:

While regular spending appeared to be out of control, not even the most rudimentary budgets, approvals, or controls were in place for the costs undertaken by the RPM for the 2010 recount.

Can’t make this stuff up!!!

Nor this, from page 11:

Mr. Sturrock testified that during 2010 he did not know that the party unit had obligations that he was unaware of. He testified about what he learned late in 2011:

A. Mr. Huettl advised me very shortly after Mr. Sutton’s resignation that there were bills, invoices, not entered into the system which were not known to me. He described them in general terms. And that, then, directly led to the process of bringing in Mr. Veckich and undertaking the internal review.
Q. Okay. What was your reaction to finding out from your – from Mr. Huettl informing you of that?
A. Surprise, disappointment, concern for the party.
Q. When Mr. Huettl provided you with that explanation or that information, I should say, did he provide any explanation as to why that information was not provided on the report?
A. He made one reference, that he was under direction not to share that information with me.
Q. Did he indicate who gave him that direction?
A. Mr. Sutton.

Ruh – ROH!  Let the blame game begin!!!

Page 13:

A significant problem with the RPM’s approach to reporting is disclosed by the following exchange during Mr. Huettl’s deposition:
Q. In 2010 when an invoice was given to the compliance company, was it at that point always approved for payment or were invoices given to them that were not approved for payment?
A. No, they were all approved. Whether they were — But we didn’t know — There wasn’t an order of when to pay them yet, but they were all approved to be eventually paid, yes.
In other words, if the RPM had received an invoice but it was not yet approved to be paid, it never went into the accounting system and, thus, was never shown on a report. This practice would result in a violation of the requirement that all unpaid obligations be included on periodic reports.

This little exchange is telling; it’s Huettl talking about Sturrock:

Q. Did you make anyone aware of your knowledge of these unpaid invoices other than Mr. Sutton, who already was aware?
A. I did not.
Q. So when you prepared Mr. Sturrock for his periodic presentations to the executive committee, you did not inform him that there were unpaid bills?
A. I did not inform him that there were unpaid bills, not at that time.
Q. So you were aware that he was presenting as accurate an inaccurate report?
A. I was aware of that, yes.
Q. Now, you said you didn’t inform him at that time. I presume that means you meant — means that you informed him at some later time?
A. After Chairman Sutton had resigned.

So Ron Huettl, the Mn GOP’s Finance Director, knew  KNEW – that he was withholding information that caused David Sturrock, the Mn GOP’s Treasurer to give inaccurate reports – because Tony Sutton, the Mn GOP’s Chair, told him to.

Brilliant!!!

More Huettl:

Q. Did you have any responsibility for the Campaign Finance reports that were filed with the FEC?
A. No. As finance director they were presented to me for my review, but I did not approve them. In 2010 I was learning, you know, the ropes of the job, basically, so I wasn’t qualified enough to know what the reports should look like. That’s why we have a compliance company. But it’s not my responsibility, though, to approve the reports. (emphasis added)

But, what’s the “compliance company” say ’bout that?

Q. Does your company work with the Republican Party of Minnesota on preparing its reports that are filed with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board?
A. We’re a federal reporting company. When we have state parties as clients, as a courtesy we will, you know, in the case of Minnesota we’ll load up the information into the database, but we don’t provide any assurance. We don’t provide any assurance on our federal reports either. We put these reports together.
As for the Minnesota one, basically we did that. We did data input into the database, with the information they provided us, and then provided it to their decision-makers for approval and filing, things of that nature.

In further testimony:

A. We don’t go back and say, gee, is this everything, it’s not an accounting firm that we have.
Q. Sure.
A. We just – We do recordkeeping and reporting for these organizations. If we get the records, if we have the documents, then, you know, we will put those into the system. In the case of the Republican Party of Minnesota, we didn’t get the mail. (emphasis added)

Hmmm…   “Thats why we have a compliance company” versus “…but we don’t provide any assurance.”

Can’t make this stuff up!!!

Oh, and about THIS one?  

as a courtesy

Well, as much as the “compliance company” was charging, that “courtesy” was the least they could do!!!

From page 16:

To summarize, in 2010 the RPM had a finance director, who was recently promoted from telemarketing and who testified that he knew next to nothing about Campaign Finance Board reports and professed that it was not his job to review the reports in preparation for the treasurer’s signing them. The RPM had a chair who was busy with fundraising and his own business and believed that the finance director and the party unit’s compliance company were responsible for preparation of the reports. The RPM had a compliance company that disavows any responsibility for campaign finance reports other than to put data into a system and print out the reports. And finally, the RPM had a treasurer who placed all of his reliance on these three individuals. Given that situation, it is no surprise that the RPM reports were inaccurate.

“…it is no surprise…”

Yep!

We’ll take a look at the rest of this 27 page document in our next installment of this continuing Cooked Books series — stay tuned!

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In previous installments of the Cooked Books series, TwoPuttTommy explored the corruption and incompetence of the Republican Party of Minnesota. He found FEC filing problems, wrote about investigations of the MNGOP, noted the MNGOP paid a candidate to run for office and investigated if the MNGOP paid for legal counsel for one of their legislators facing DUI charges … among many things.

In Part 13, I want to bring to your attention that the MNGOP is in debt to itself. The FEC filings for May is out. It tells us that the MNGOP accumulated nearly a million debt in May. $810515.56 to be specific.

Line 20 in the report is quite telling.

The nature of this debt is Administrative salary.

So how is it that a deeply in debt business owes money to itself? That would be by not paying its employees, Bob.

Yes, that’s right. The Republican Party of Minnesota cannot pay their employees they are so deeply in debt.

At least they’re consistent. They are doing the same thing to the state of Minnesota. Trying to bankrupt it, that is.

– Photo: former Enron lobbyist and current MNGOP Chair Pat Shortridge.

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In Part 1 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s  MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports.  In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ’em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN.  In Part 3,  we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern.  In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.  

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”).  In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses.  In Part 7 we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.  In Part 8 we looked at at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question:  did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s drunk driving case?

In Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we looked at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats!  In Part 10, we looked at an internal Mn GOP reports (presumably, leaked to Politico) that show just how far behind in rent those Mn GOP deadbeats are.  In Part 11 we looked back at the 2008 Mn GOP Convention in Rochester, where then-Chair republican Ron (in a must-see YouTube) infamously said:

“At the end of the day, those that are criticizing us are to be shamed – because the truth will get out and the truth shall set us free.” — Ron Carey

Yeah, “right.”

Today we’re going to take a quick look (a real quick look!) at the Mn GOP’s recently filed Federal Elections Commission Report, covering the month of April 2012.  Here’s the summary page:

OK, see line 6 (c) – Total Receipts?  Here’s the income: $144,103.48

Line 7 – Total Disbursements (highlighted, above)? $146,191.49

Hmmm…   Looks like deficit spending to me!  But hey – what’s the problem with spending more than ya took in, when you’ve only got (not counting unpaid Emmer Recount Bills!) $989,201.60 in unpaid bills?

And here’s my favorite part of the Mn GOP’s spending; it’s from Schedule B – Itemized Disbursements:

(link here for close up)

OK, it’s a little small, so:

United States Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 202290003  —  Civil Penalty  —  04/12/2012, $15,000.00

Don’t be surprised if there’s another Civil Penalty levied down the road – or, for that matter, a criminal investigation into the Mn GOP’s Cooked Books.

OK, why do I say that?  Read the May 18th, 2012 Amended Complaint filed by Common Cause MN with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.  This relates to their original January 5th, 2012 complaint.  And this is but one reason; stay tuned!  

RepubliCon Ron was quoted above: “…and the truth shall set us free.”  It’s NOT looking that way at all; the truth might land some GOPers in ClubFed.

In the meantime,  remember – when it comes to the GOP,  You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

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On June 3rd, 2007, Dan Browning and Pat Doyle broke a story that rocked Minnesota’s political world and would have repercussions we’re still feeling today; it dealt with the now-infamous “Tostenson Memo”.  Written by long-time MN GOP Finance Director Dwight Tostenson, it detailed the financial shenanigans – “Cooked Books” if you will – of the party, and became the basis for the Federal Election Commission’s near-record $170,000 fine last year.  The GOP is still paying that fine off (unlike their rent).  That newspaper story came out just before the MN GOP’s State Convention, the current chair, Ron Carey,  was being challenged by a guy named Joe Repya on, boiled down, a “clean up/reform the party” platform.

Joe lost, Ron (and, status quo) won, and the Party’s problems Joe was running to correct: got worse.

The 2008 MN GOP State Convention in Rochester is mostly remembered for the shabby treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters.  Paul was a bona fide candidate for the GOP nomination for president, even though he didn’t have a (deleted, for censors) chance in (deleted, again) of getting it.  Doesn’t matter; as a party member, he should have been allowed to speak – Ron Paul wasn’t.  

And then there’s the treatment of Ron Paul’s supporters at the Convention.  Well, leading up to it, too – as you can read by linking here for but one account.  There’s plenty more out there, like this one.

One significant event at that 2008 MN GOP State Convention isn’t remembered so much; fortunately, one Convention Delegate caught it on tape – let’s look!

Oh, and pay very, Very, VERY close attention to what then-Chair Ron Carey says, “right” at the very end!!!

(direct link to YouTube)

To recap that video:  there’s a white-wash/cover up concerning the GOP’s FEC Reports; Joe Repya asks two pointed questions; Tony Sutton goes ballistic; Ron Carey bloviates!  And what exactly did Carey say, “right” at the end?

“At the end of the day, those that are criticizing us are to be shamed – because the truth will get out and the truth shall set us free.”

WHAT??!?

And then, in compete violation of Robert’s Rules, State GOP “leadership” ended the convention.

Shameful.  Sadly, today’s GOP has no shame.  It’s like I always say:  You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

Today, Joe Repya has an op-ed in the Star Tribune; it’s entitled “End of the state GOP as we know it?”

I’d recommend everyone read it, and remember:  the problems Repya was talking about five years ago, back in 2007?  Repya was correct.

I’m still wondering, though – isn’t it about time a prosecutor started taking a hard look at the problems Repya has been talking about all these years?

Stay tuned!

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The Shortridge Memo, In Plain English

by TwoPuttTommy on April 24, 2012 · 0 comments

Ladies and Gentlemen, in Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we looked at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats!  And back in that March 27th, 2012 post we wondered:  So, how is it that the Minnesota GOP – the self-proclaimed “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility” – gets away with stiffing their Landlord for office rent for so long?

Well, the GOP’s Landlord finally decided to pull the plug, and yesterday filed paperwork with Ramsey County to get those deadbeat GOPers to “pay up or get out.”  The Court is scheduled to hear the case next Tuesday, at 8:45am.

Also yesterday, a highly charged political memo from MN GOP Chair Pat (“Enron Boy”) Shortridge surfaced in the media.  As a public service for you, our Gentle Readers, the following is a complete translation of this important document — from the original Republican into modern English – let’s look!!!

Last Thursday, I sent the below update on party finances to local and statewide GOP leaders.

English Translation: Somebody leaked this, so now I’ve got to pretend I wanted it to go public.

In light of an exaggerated press story in a publication this morning,

ET: Because they’re wise to us.

we wanted to make sure you were aware of it.

ET: We can’t keep you in the dark any longer.

The MNGOP is not being ‘kicked out’ of its offices.

ET: …yet!

While we have successfully negotiated with our creditors in most cases,

ET: We’re doing our best to stiff our creditors…

our landlord took the unfortunate step, which they are certainly within their rights to do, of bringing the matter to court.

ET: …but the landlord finally figured out we’re full of crap, and is treating us like the deadbeats we are.

We believe we’re on track to settle this matter without further legal action,

ET: We’re going to offer him $0.10 on the dollar for back rent…

(more, after the jump!)

and we’ll know for sure in the coming days.

ET: …and we hope that stall will scam him out of another month or two before he drops a dime on us.

 • First and foremost, we’ve amended our Federal Election Commission (2011) and Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board reports for 2011 and 2010.

ET: The FEC caught us with our pants around our ankles, but we think they’ll buy this new load of horse apples.

 • The Financial Control and Oversight Committee, chaired very, very ably by Jeff Johnson, has looked into many of the questionable transactions from the past and will present a series of recommendations to significantly improve our processes, internal financial controls and oversight.

ET: We’ve found some clever ways to make the fraud in our FEC reports much harder to detect.

 • We’ve continued to cut expenses,

ET: We’ll squeeze a few more dollars out of our naive staff and interns. Don’t tell them. And there’s a whole world of vendors out there, who still don’t get that we don’t pay our bills…

while continuing the process of restoring trust with our major donors and rebuilding our small dollar donor programs. Fundraising is improving and we’re getting things done on a shoestring.

ET: …and we’ll feed the donors the usual lies. They’re true believers and wimps, and will fall for anything we tell them.

You should be VERY proud of the party staff and our many key volunteers for going above and beyond the call to get things done.

ET: Once again, don’t let these poor saps in on what’s up next for them.

 • We have negotiated with our creditors so we engage in an orderly process for paying down our debt. In 95% of the cases, that process has gone smoothly.

ET: We’ve stiffed almost everybody. I mean, what are they going to do? The party is totally broke, and it’s not like any of us are personally liable for this mess.

In a couple of cases, it has not gone as well as we’d hoped despite the best efforts of Mike Vekich, Bron Scherer, and me. One in particular that I wanted to tell you about is our negotiation with our landlord.

ET: Sadly, the landlord has seen through the BS of even our world-class scammers.

We have a long and very expensive lease which still has twenty-one (21) months to run.

ET: I can’t believe the previous guys negotiated such a bad lease…

As you know, we have more space than we need and our monthly lease cost is in excess of current, comparable market lease rates.

ET: …and they leased wa-a-a-ay too much space. Fortunately, we can leverage the bad market against the landlord.

When I was elected on December 31, 2011, the rent had not been paid since August 2011 and as part of our continuing financial issues and our effort to re-negotiate the lease, no lease payments have been made in 2012 to date.

ET: This isn’t my fault, of course. I’m a genius for thinking to squeeze the landlord by holding back rent.

While this is a situation none of us wants, it’s part of the rebuilding process. No one ever said it would be simple or easy or without bumps along the way.

ET: Like I said, none of this is my fault. I walked into the worst mess in modern history, created entirely by the previous administration. Hmmm, something about that story sounds familiar. It’s totally convincing, though, don’t you think?

But I wanted you to hear about it from me rather than from any other source.

ET: Since the cat is out of the bag, I’m trying to get ahead of this story I’ve been scamming you about for months.

Rather than continue discussions with us, the landlord chose to exercise its rights and filed a notice of eviction in Ramsey County court.

ET: The landlord finally figured us out, and took legal action. What a moron. He should have done that months ago.

We’re not going to be evicted, and at the same time, are continuing to negotiate on the back payments as well as on a lease that better fits both our space needs and our budget.

ET: Hey, I know I can scam this guy some more. The market’s lousy, and I’m a master wheeler-dealer. Remember, just a few more days, and I would have gotten Enron a bail-out.

But I wanted you to hear about it from me rather than from any other source.

ET: So I’m paddling as fast as I can to get ahead of this story. Did I already say that?

 • The bottom line: We’re in better shape than we were three months ago, but not as good as we’ll be three months from now.

ET: I know it doesn’t look that way, but I’m doing a fabulous job. You just have to trust me for another, let’s see, I can suck you guys into another three months, right?

It’s a daily process that requires hard work and common purpose.

ET: “Daily process” means don’t bother me with questions. I’m too busy saving your butts from your own incompetence to listen to your pitiful whining…

Please let me know if you have additional thoughts or questions.

ET: but please send it to me via email, so I’ll have the pleasure of deleting it unread.

I’ll see you in St Cloud, if not before.

ET: Now, go away. “…if not before” means “not before.” Got it?

Pat Shortridge, Chairman
Republican Party of Minnesota

ET: Remember, I’m the big shot you dragged in here to save your sorry @sses. Now, stfu and get lost.

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In Part 1 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s  MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports.  In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ’em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN.  In Part 3,  we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern.  In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.  

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”).  In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses.  In Part 7 we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.  In Part 8 we looked at at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question:  did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s drunk driving case?

And yes, it sure looks like the Mn GOP paid a lawyer for a State Rep’s cruise through the ditch with an open bottle of vodka.

In Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we looked at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats!

Today in Part 10, we’re going to look at an internal Mn GOP reports (presumably, leaked to Politico) that show just how far behind in rent those Mn GOP deadbeats are – let’s look!


(image via Politico.com, from a story entitled “The disastrous Minnesota GOP” dated today!)

That top line, “Hub Properties Trust”?  That’s the MN GOP’s landord —  and note:  31 to 60 days late = $29,319.36; 61 to 90 days late = $34,424.00; over 90 days late = $28,814.86 for a grand total owing their landlord:  $92,558.22!!!

What was that, that the MN GOP was saying all last year, travelling all over Minnesota?

Oh, yeah:  “You can’t spend more money than is in your checkbook!!!”

Apparently, YOU can’t – but:  the financially incompetent Mn GOP not only can, it DOES.

So, how is it that the Minnesota GOP – the self-proclaimed “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility” – gets away with stiffing their Landlord for office rent for so long?

Stay tuned!!!

And in the meantime, remember:  You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

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“We’ve got to get our act together and stop spending money that we don’t have.”
–Michele Bachmann, 12/18/11, on Meet The Press

“Bachmann owes more than $1 million in presidential campaign debt”  –Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 3/23/12

In Part 1 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s  MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports.  In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ’em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN.  In Part 3,  we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern.  In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.  

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”).  In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses.  In Part 7 we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.  In Part 8 we looked at at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question:  did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s drunk driving case?

And yes, it sure looks like the Mn GOP paid a lawyer for a State Rep’s cruise through the ditch with an open bottle of vodka.

Today in Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we’re going to take a look at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats — let’s look!


(link here to FEC.gov page)

OK, what’s that say in the screenshot, since the image is a little small?  

Debtor = “Hub Property Trust” Amount = “$58,117.22” Nature Of Debt = “Rent”

That’s from Schedule D, Line 10 of FEC Form 3X, filed by the GOP on 20 March 2012 – their most recent filing.

So, what did the Party Of Fiscal Responsibility owe their Landlord, say, just a year ago?  Let’s look!


.

Debtor = “Hub Property Trust” Amount = “$14,461.60” Nature Of Debt = “Office Rent”

That’s from Schedule D, Line 10 of FEC Form 3X, filed by the GOP on 24 March 2011.

What did they owe their Landlord, say, two years ago? $12,473.77

So what their own books show, is they’ve been stiffing their Landlord for a while.

But what were State Republicans saying, all over the state, all last year? “You can’t spend more money than is in your check book!!!”

Well, maybe YOU can’t, but:  THEY sure do!!!

What I’d like to know, is how do they get away with it?  Just ask yourself, Gentle Readers, what YOUR landlord would be saying if you’ve been stiffin’ him for 2 years (and the balance keeps getting bigger!)

We know what would happen if it wasn’t “rent” payments but rather “mortgage” payments.

So, how is it that the Minnesota GOP – the self-proclaimed “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility” – gets away with stiffing their Landlord for office rent for so long?

Stay tuned!!!

And in the meantime, remember:  You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

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A Quick Commentary On MN GOP Spending

by TwoPuttTommy on February 24, 2012 · 0 comments

For more on the MN GOP fiscal scandal, click here: “By The Numbers: The MN GOP’s Cooked Books, Part 8”

For more on the Phil Young scandal, click here: “Part 6 – A Closer Look At Republican Mayor Phil Young’s Problems, or…”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and Again and AGAIN:

Reasonable People Cannot Reasonably Believe What GOPers Say.

Even the least dishonest of GOPers admitted that; remember what former GOPer National Chair Michael Steele once said?

“You have absolutely no reason – none – to trust our words or our actions at this point.”

True then, true today, and it’ll be true tomorrow too.

Reasonable People Cannot Reasonably Believe What GOPers Say.

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By The Numbers: The MN GOP’s Cooked Books, Part 8

by TwoPuttTommy on January 26, 2012 · 4 comments

In Part 1, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s (pictured, right)  MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports.  In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ’em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN.  In Part 3,  we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern.  In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.  

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”).  In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses.  In Part 7 we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.

Today in Part 8 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we’re going to take a look at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question:  did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s drunk driving case?

Here’s the background:  endorsed GOPer 2010 candidate for Governor Tom Emmer’s campaign was getting hammered over alcohol related incidents, including a certain paid campaign staffer that happened to be Emmer’s kid.  The campaign did NOT need any more alocohol-related incidents.  Apparently, campaign “consultant” Mark Buesgens, state rep from district 35-B, didn’t get the memo – he got caught driving drunk with an open bottle of vodka.

Team Emmer’s Drinking Team promptly dumped Buesgens.  Note the “note” at the bottom of the last entry:  “final payment.”


(link to image here)

Now, the “official story” put out by Team Emmer’s Drinking Team was: “Hey!  It’s just a coincidence, but:  just the day before Buesgens got caught driving drunk into the ditch, we ditched him and he went to work for the State GOP!!!”

Yeah, “right.”

Let’s take a look at the timeline, as reported on Buesgen’s court records:

(continued!)
(link to image here)

September 18th, 2010 – Busgens gets caught in a ditch with an open bottle of vodka; blows a .16 blood-alcohol content.

September 24th, 2010 – Buesgens cited in Wright County

November 5th, 2010 – Guilty plea entered, case all but settled (final disposition November 23rd, 2010.

Now, remember how in the scramble to distance themselves from the guy in the ditch (with an open bottle of vodka),  Team Emmer’s Drinking Team said “Hey! Buesgen’s isn’t OUR bad boy; he’s the GOP’s!!!”

Well, Buesgens does indeed show up on the State GOP’s state Campaign Finance Report for 2010:

Five days after blowing a .16, Buesgens has the good fortune of getting a check from the State GOP for $2,584.62.  

Five days before his drunk driving & open bottle case is all but over, Buesgens pulls another check from FEC Tony & Co for $8, 615.38 — for a grand total of eleven grand: $11,000.00.

Coincidences?  Or, do those checks look like “retainer & final payment” to defend a drunk driving & open bottle case?

At any rate, it sure looks like a sweet deal for Buesgens; he goes from about $7k a month with Emmer to $11k with the GOP!!!

I’d ask the State GOP for an explanation of why Buesgen’s $11k paydays – in about a month – was for actual work, and not just a pass-through to Buesgen’s lawyer, but:  it’s not like they really like to talk to the ol’ TwoPutter.  Not that I – or anyone else for that matter – would/should believe ’em; after all:  reasonable people no longer have any reason to believe anything a GOPer official – party nor elected – has to say.

The State GOP needs to prove that the $11k Buesgens got was for actual work – because it sure looks like it simply paid a defense attorney for the actual work of defending one of their own.

If I were a GOPer, I’d be mad as (heck) to think my political donations went to a defense attorney for a guy that drove drunk into the ditch with an open bottle of vodka.

As a progressive, I’m simply not surprised.  After all, today’s GOP is morally bankrupt, intellectually dishonest, and institutionally corrupt.

There’s a LOT more, in the GOP’s state and federal financial reports so:

Stay tuned!

And, let’s hope some prosecutor, somewhere, is thinking:  “Isn’t it about time to get a Grand Jury together, and do a little digging ourselves?”

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By The Numbers: The MN GOP’s Cooked Books, Part 7

by TwoPuttTommy on January 24, 2012 · 0 comments

In Part 1, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s (pictured, right)  MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports.  In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ’em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN.  In Part 3,  we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern.  In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.  In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”). In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses.

Today in Part 7 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we’re going to take a look at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.

Long story, short: for over 7 years, Thompson was a RWNJ Shock-Jock on AM radio in the Twin Cities.  Looking for a better gig, he decided to run in 2009 against FEC Tony (pictured above) for state GOP Party Chair.  Thompson lost; as best as I remember it, it really came down to this:  Thompson wanted the $100k (+/-) that came with the job; ol’ FEC Tony would do the gig for free.  Why would FEC Tony do the gig for free?  That, gentle readers, is a story for a later day!  At any rate, FEC Tony beats Thmpson for party Chair.  Here’s where it gets interesting….

According to media reports, shortly after winning, FEC Tony & Dave Thompson agreed to a contract wherein Thompson would do consulting for GOP candidates.  All told, the number being reported is Thompson has taken home a cool $70k.

Here’s the kicker:  that $70k being reported, is being reported as coming from FEC reports.  Because, the MN GOP hasn’t reported any dough being sent Thompson’s way on their State Campaign Finance Reports.

Which means for the MN GOP to NOT have any more FEC problems than they already have, ALL of the dough better have been spent for Thompson “consulting” for Federal Candidates only.

Stay tuned!  

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