MNGOP: 'No state party may be in worse financial shape,' writes Politico

Late last year, the MNGOP announced that it was a whopping $2 million in debt.

The party's dire financial predicament led to Tony Sutton's resignation as the chair of the party. Sutton was replaced by Pat Shortridge, but the damage was already done, according to a Politico analysis of the balance sheets of state Republican parties published yesterday.

Though many state GOP parties are in bad shape financially, "no state party may be in worse shape... than the Minnesota GOP," Politico's Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns write. "Thanks to a disastrous previous regime, they had over a million dollars in debt and a negative balance in their federal account as of the end of February."

In fact, things have gotten so bad for the MNGOP that they've simply stopped paying rent on their lease for a space in the Capitol Office Building. As Two Putt Tommy reports, Minnesota Republicans owe almost $100,000 in back rent.

From Politico's "'Orphan' state parties worry GOP":

"We continue to be in a very precarious working capital position," wrote Bron Scherer, the Secretary-Treasurer of the state party, in a March memo marked "Confidential, Do Not Forward."

In the memo to the state party executive committee, Scherer noted that "we are not paying our office lease rent payment currently...and have not yet negotiated long-term payment schedules and/or negotiated settlements relating to most of the vendors on the accounts payable aging."

Said one Minnesota Republican about a state with at least two House Republicans facing competitive re-elections: "I don't know how the party is going to be at all capable of doing anything this cycle."

New Minnesota GOP chair Pat Shortridge said his party's finances were better than when he took over at the start of the year. "We're making steady progress and will be an asset for our candidates in November," Shortridge said.

In a follow-up entitled "The disastrous Minnesota GOP," Politico's Alexander Burns writes that while Minnesota was always unlikely to be a presidential or Senate battleground, there are several congressional seats that may end up being unexpectedly problematic for Republicans, "and the state Legislature is also at risk."

MNGOP chairman Pat Shortridge has responded to the flurry of negative reports by pointing out that the formerly confidential memo reflects "only a snapshot in time." He argues the party's financial situation has improved since late December, when the MNGOP's reported debt was twice what it was in late February.

But news of the MNGOP's continued debt problem prompted more than a few Minnesota political observers to take jabs at the party's apparent fiscal irresponsibility. For instance:


In the wake of the Amy Koch scandal, the MNGOP is already polling 'horribly' with Minnesota voters. That said, more bad publicity is the last thing the party needs right now -- raising the question of how Politico reporters got their hands on the "confidential" memo in the first place.

See also:
-- 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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