Why has the DFL's debt received less coverage than the MNGOP's?
The MNGOP is $2 million in debt. But did you know the MNDFL is also in the red?
DFL Chair Ken Martin disclosed that his party is $581,000 in debt earlier this month -- about $350,000 more than the debt he discussed with reporters late last year.
So why hasn't the DFL's debt gotten more coverage? Could it possibly have something to do with media bias?
That question was raised by Michael Brodkorb after the DFL's debt disclosure. The former communications chief and rumored lover of former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch tweeted the following earlier this month:
Let the media frenzy begin: MPR: "DFL debt deeper than disclosed in December" Read:bit.ly/yHRUTg
-- Michael B. Brodkorb (@mbrodkorb) February 9, 2012
Brodkorb's sarcastic tweet raises a fair point, especially in light of the fact that the DFL's debt is so much higher than people were led to believe just a couple months ago.
But a big reason why the MNGOP's debt drew so much more attention is the scandalous nature in which it was accrued. Shortly after the MNGOP revealed it is $2 million in the hole, then-Secretary Treasurer David Sturrock resigned, saying he was "neither consulted nor informed" about $450,000 in legal fees racked up by former chair Tony Sutton.
Earlier this month, DFL chair Ken Martin revealed that the party is further in the red than he led reporters to believe two months ago.
Common Cause Minnesota alleges that Sutton's failure to inform Sturrock about the legal fees is one campaign finance violation among many. Other alleged violations include filling false financial statements and hiding expenses the party was legally obligated to disclose.
On the other hand, there's no evidence that the DFL has filed false financial statements, or that DFL chair Martin failed to disclose expenses to the party's financial staff. Furthermore, while the DFL's debt has shrunk by about $200,000 since before the 2010's election, the MNGOP's has more than doubled.
In other words, media bias doesn't seem to account for the relative lack of coverage the MNDFL's debt has received. The MNGOP's dysfunction is the story, not the debt itself.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.