MNGOP evicted from office space, owes about $100,000 to landlord

Talk about a bad tenant!

Politics in Minnesota reports that Massachusetts-based Hub Properties Trust has filed paperwork in Ramsey County to evict the MNGOP from the Capitol Office Building space the party had been "renting."

We say "renting" because in an internal party memo leaked to Politico earlier this month, MNGOP chair Pat Shortridge disclosed that the party hadn't paid its rent for months. Yup, that'll get you kicked out every time.

According to court papers, the MNGOP owes Hub Properties $111,192.14 (reports indicate the number has decreased to just under $100,000 since Hub filed the papers). The back rent is the cherry on top of a shit-flavored, debt-filled cupcake the MNGOP has been in the process of making itself since 2010. Politics in Minnesota reports that the party still owes more than half of the $2 million it owed creditors at the end of last year, still owes $700,000 in legal fees accrued during the 2010 gubernatorial recount, is facing possible fines from the Federal Elections Commission for failing to disclose debts, and is currently being investigated by the state campaign finance board.

Are we sure former MNGOP chair Tony Sutton wasn't a secret DFL agent or something?

Although his party has been served with eviction papers, Shortridge maintains things aren't as bad as they seem. The AP's Brian Bakst quotes Shortridge as saying "we're not going to be evicted," as the MNGOP is in the process of negotiating a new lease that fits "space needs and our budget." Bakst reports that the MNGOP's latest FEC filing shows debt of over $987,000, compared to just $46,000 in cash on hand. Good luck passing a credit check with that sort of debt ratio!

Courtesy of Politics in Minnesota, here's an e-mail Shortridge sent to MNGOP activists last Thursday:

We have a long and very expensive lease which still has twenty-one (21) months to run. As you know, we have more space than we need and our monthly lease cost is in excess of current, comparable market lease rates. 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...

Rather than continue discussions with us, the landlord chose to exercise its rights and filed a notice of eviction in Ramsey County court. 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. 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. But I wanted you to hear about it from me rather than from any other source.

A hearing on the MNGOP's eviction notice is scheduled for May 1 in the Ramsey County Housing Conciliation Court. And if Shortridge isn't able to negotiate a more favorable lease between now and then, anybody have a spare bedroom or desk area the MNGOP might be able to rent on the cheap?

See also:
-- MNGOP: 'No state party may be in worse financial shape,' writes Politico
-- Why has the DFL's debt received less coverage than the MNGOP's?
-- MNGOP, $2 million in debt, decries Obama's "out of control spending"

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