The GOP's original plan was to auction off access to state legislators and U.S. congressmen this afternoon at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club. City Pages reported on the shady fundraiser last week and spoke with its organizer, Joe Emmett O'Brien, who insisted that Republicans never meant to auction anything at the event -- despite setting up an online auction on readysetauction.com.
He blamed technical issues for the website's "configuration."
Now, the party has rescheduled its "First Annual Sporting Clays Challenge and BBQ Fundraiser" for Thursday, September 29, at the same club. But things don't seem to be going very well for the party -- and it looks like more "technical problems" are to blame.[jump]
Even so, Republican Congressmen John Kline and Erik Paulsen are still scheduled to appear.
The party advertises the fundraiser on this webpage:
The "Clays Challenge Shooting Package". Includes your option of 75 Target clays shooting course, chance to win prizes, drinks following shoot, one-on-one 'outshoot a legislator' contest with prizes and BBQ social with legislators. (*shells not included, loaner shotguns available). Purchase tickets below on this page.
It sure sounds like a good old time, at least by stuffy political fundraiser standards.
There are only several problems with the fundraiser. First, it directs people to "purchase tickets below," but there's nowhere to purchase tickets on the page, or seemingly anywhere on the website. Later, it advertises that there are "different ticket types" and suggests that anyone who wants to buy a shooting ticket and a dinner ticket "will need to go through the order/checkout process twice."
And the party isn't too proud to ask for help.
"If you are a web developer and know how to fix this, please contact us," O'Brien writes, followed by a very professional smiley face emoticon.
City Pages called Joe Emmett O'Brien, the vice chair of the Carver County Republican Party and this fundraiser's organizer, to ask what the problem is with the website -- and what the status is on the fundraiser.
O'Brien answered his phone and asked us to call him in a short while because he was busy. He has not returned phone calls or text messages since.
Maybe the "technical problem" plaguing this fundraiser isn't a computer glitch.