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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Unpleasantness Continues at the Minnesota Republican Party

Avidor and I will be covering the upcoming convention. Avidor will bring his video camera.

It looked as if there was going to be another article in the Strib by the same reporters following up on the financial shenanagans at the Minnesota Republican party. Now the article has been pulled. A republican source told me it had been pulled earlier today due to inaccuracies. The question is whether the article was pulled permanently, or pulled temporarily to more fully fact check and fix. Several emails to reporters Dan Browning and Pat Doyle on this matter went unanswered.

Andy Aplikowski also has a post up about this, which he corrected after hearing from an insider source.

Speaking of Andy Aplikowski, those who dislike him are going to dispicable lengths.

Side note and word of caution, there is someone who has created a Hotmail email address that uses my name as the sender. If you look at the actual email address, you will see it is a smear job. I may be self deprecating at times, but that’s a bit excessive.

So if you receive any emails that say they are from me, please take careful note that there is at least one or more people impersonating me on the blogs and now through emails.

The person sent me a few nasty emails last night, and claims that they will be watching me this Saturday to see my reactions. That leads me to believe that this person is a Republican and likely could have access to party member’s emails.

If you receive any emails or messages that say they are from me, please make sure they really are. The impostor seems to be using hotmail addresses. They have also left comments on low comment security blogs using my email address.

We’re living in a dirty gamesmanship world these days, and I must ask that people take caution.

I've been impersonated also. It's no fun. I don't mind taking responsibility for my own words and actions. I do have problems with defending something I didn't say, but got attributed to me.

Meanwhile Andy posted a point by point response signed by numerous Executive Committee members. Dwight Toskenson got thrown under the bus.

From the response:

Concerns About The Source Of The Documents:
When Chairman Carey and staff sat down with the reporters, the reporters had copies of internal Party documents beyond the memo distributed to Executive Committee members. They had copies of internal accounting and personnel files only available to a very select group of Party employees. The Party takes this very seriously. If anyone has any information that will help the Party investigate the source of this matter, please share it with the Party staff. The Party is pursuing any and all appropriate legal action to address this very serious violation.

If that's the case, a process of elimination should be able to figure out the leak.

A commenter Miss M left a long counterpoint:

# Miss M. Says:
June 5th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Michael, maybe you missed this in the older thread, but I also have more clarification points that could be addressed:

A) From the CD Chair memo: “Upon being notified of these concerns in the summer of 2006, Chairman Carey immediately required that all payments be made in a timely fashion.” and “Dwight asked for permission to share his concerns with Party counsel, and it was granted. Party counsel began evaluating his charges and provided a legal opinion guiding Party leadership to where action may be required.” and from the article: “After the November election, he said, Carey gave him permission to send documents to the party attorney supporting his claims.”

If Chairman Carey corrected the concerns in the summer of 2006, why was Dwight Tostenson given the go-ahead in November to share his concerns with the Party’s lawyers in November?

B) From the CD Chair memo: “The FEC has not notified us of any outstanding issues. We are in constant contact with our FEC compliance officer, and there is a very open line of communication. Our Party staff is incredibly diligent in working together with the FEC staff to ensure full compliance.”

What about the current strongly worded request for information from the FEC? says the response was due yesterday, but nothing is on the website yet from the Party. Has this issue been dealt with?

C) From the CD Chair memo: “After concerns were raised about whether the Party was underpaying these policies amounting to fraud, Chairman Carey requested the Workers’ Comp auditors perform their audit early. During this audit, it was discovered the Party was likely over-paying its Workers’ Compensation insurance.” Was this an audit of the past years, or an audit of current employees? I would imagine the Party has far less staff now than they do at later times of the year, given election cycles. When was this audit conducted? Could this be clarified some?

From the previous post:

Michael, perhaps you (or somebody else) could help clarify a few points:

1) From the article: ‘”We’ve looked at all the issues that he raised, and where there was corrective action required, we took corrective action,” Carey said.’ Is this an accurate quote? If so, what action was taken, in regards to which issues? When was action taken?

2) From the article: “Carey said Friday that he has asked the committee for permission to commission an external audit.” When did Carey pose this request to the committee? Was it before or after the 15 Feb. memo? Before or after the 16 Jan. e-mail? Before or after it was known the reporters had knowledge of this ’story’?

3) Has the audit been approved? Conducted? What were the findings in relation to the allegations in the memo?

4) From the article: “Carey, who’s running for reelection this week as party chairman, blamed the leak of Tostenson’s memo on political enemies within the Republican Party who are out to get him on the eve of the Republican state central committee meeting.” Which political enemies are being pointed at here? Is there a fact and source available for this comment?

5) From the Sullivan/Axdahl letter: “In the meantime, we wanted to express our disgust with the Star Tribune for spreading such baseless allegations.” and “As with any Star Tribune story about conservative Republicans, the story is short on facts and the truth is missing in action.” The article states: “Party records show that money was withheld for employee retirement plans from September 2005 through May 2006, but Federal Election Commission (FEC) records reflect no deposits into the accounts during that period. In June 2006, the party made two makeup payments totaling $12,243 into the accounts.” I looked at and the statement from the article appears to be correct. Why is this referred to as a baseless allegation, then?

6) From the article: ‘”There seemed to be some gray areas as to what was the requirement,” Carey said.’ What are the gray areas being referenced? A more detailed explanation would put this to rest.

7) From the article: ‘”We investigated what the requirements were and made sure we were immediately in full compliance with that,” he said.’ What are the requirements the GOP is required to follow?

8 ) From the article: “Carey said Tostenson has agreed the problems were resolved, and cited a March 13 letter from Tostenson to the executive committee.” How were the issues resolved?

9) From the article: ‘Carey said “We feel like we’re compliant with FEC regulations.” The FEC, he said, has “… brought nothing to our attention that we are out of compliance in this area.”‘ Would the FEC know if they were not in compliance regarding unreported overdue bills?

10) From the Sullivan/Axdahl letter: “We are certain Ron and the Party will provide a point by point response to these baseless charges in the near future.” When will such a response be released? Will people outside the Party hierarchy be told as well?

11) From the Sullivan/Axdahl letter: “The reality that the Star Tribune failed to report is that Ron quickly and effectively dealt with each legitimate issue brought to his attention, even though most of the alleged issues predated his becoming chairman or simply had no merit once investigated.” Which issues were dealt with and which had no merit? How were the issues dealt with? When were the issues dealt with?

12) From the Sullivan/Axdahl memo: “We cannot let the most liberal newspaper in America determine who our state Party chairman is.” I just wanted to say that I agree with this statement.


Markh said...

Shouldn't the criteria for selecting a party chair be based on a strategy for winning elections???

So far, Ron Carey is a massive failure.

Let's not forget what happened in both houses of the Legislature, Gil Gutknecht's congressional seat, Pat Anderson (auditor), Mary Kiffmeyer (Sec of State).

The victories for Pawlenty, Bachmann and Kline have to be somewhat atributed to the fact they defeated weak-to-mediocre campaigns.

I don't know that Joe Repya and his jeep would have any more success, but Carey's leadership has been a disaster.