MN GOP is $2 million in debt

According to new figures released today by the Republican Party's own Internal Finance Review Committee, the GOP is up to its neck in debt -- about $2 million worth.

"The debt number is honestly higher than any of us wants it to be," said chair Jeff Johnson at a press conference. "There's some ugly stuff in here."

Previous estimates placed the debt amount at $1 million, but that was before it was revealed that Republicans could be on the hook for over $700,000 worth of fees from the 2010 gubernatorial recount.

After digging through the party's financials, the review committee uncovered $415,211 worth of unreported debt. They added that to the existing $428,286 tab, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of other expenses -- oh, that includes a $120,000 FEC fine for financial reporting violations. Here's the list included in today's memo:

  • Previously reported obligations
  • Obligations previously unreported on RPM financial statements
  • Obligations recorded as completed, where checks had not been sent to vendors
  • Refunds sent to contributors that have not been cashed by contributors
  • Remaining obligation - FEC fine - Aug. 2011
  • Unreconciled credit card debt
  • Bank - line of credit
  • Bank - installment note

Some of those unpaid vendors include Kieran's Pub ($797), the Minneapolis Club ($3,212) and the Coffee Mill ($215). Read the whole list here.

That still only gets up to about $1.3 million. The rest comes from legal fees that former GOP chairman Tony Sutton apparently incurred when he successfully pushed for a recount in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Republican candidate Tom Emmer still came up short on votes, and now the party is short on cash. Sutton admitted earlier this month that he signed agreements taking responsibility for the fees, but didn't tell other party officials.

Sutton resigned abruptly earlier this month amid the financial turmoil.

The committee addressed the $717,000 bill, but says the party plans to dispute their responsibility. Read the memo released by the committee here.

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