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Sunday, May 25, 2008

More Problems for the Minnesota Republican Party

Star Tribune:

Former controller Marina Taubenberger confirmed that she had believed she should report both state and federal money to the FEC and that she always tried to be as thorough as possible in filing reports. "We overreported," she said. "We reported every income and every expense."

Taubenberger, who left the party position in 2007, said Friday she did so because she was tired of the job. "They never asked me to leave," she said of party leaders. "I didn't do anything wrong."

Her departure came amid complaints by some party activists that the state GOP misused employee retirement money, improperly reported its finances and retaliated against staffers who reported the problems.

Schultz said it is hard to determine why the earlier reported cash balances were too large.

"It could be a simple error," he said. But he also wondered whether the party had been circumventing restrictions approved by Congress in 2002 on using state funds for federal races. "Are they improperly shifting money between their state and federal accounts?" Schultz asked.

Toner said the congressional restrictions, part of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, greatly complicated reporting rules for state parties by requiring them to follow state laws for some data and federal law for others.

"I haven't seen any indication thus far that there was any knowing and willful effort to distort those figures, but instead they were just bookkeeping problems," he said. After filing another 15 amended reports next week, the state GOP will "work actively and collaboratively with the FEC to address any remaining issues," he said.


David Schultz hit the nail on the head. Did the Republican Party of Minnesota improperly move funds from state races to Michele Bachmann's campaign?

Joe Repya comments further.

Did the Strib make an effort to interview Ron Carey? He is not quoted or mentioned in the story, and there's nothing indicating they made an attempt to interview him, and he refused?

Well as someone once said, "the chickens are coming home to roost!"

Last summer I ran for the MN GOP Chairman position and lost. I ran on a platform vowing to reform the Party operations and put our finances into order. I questioned how the former Party treasurer of 12 years, now Party Chairman for the last 3 years, could allow the financial situation to get so out of hand. I vowed to have immediate independent audits completed and to report to the State Central delegates the results, good or bad. I warned then, that if this reform and transparency of our finances wasn't accomplished, the MN DFL would accuse the MN GOP of corruption and would use it as a major election issue in 2008.

I'm fully aware that there will be calls attacking me as a "poor loser," but frankly, there are those of us in the MN GOP that are sick and tired of the shell games, delay tactics and lame excuses that we have been getting for the last year. It is time to stop trying to deflect the problem as an attempt by the Star Tribune to discredit Republicans. These are not imaginary problems. It appears from a leaked February 2007 internal memo (of which neither I nor my campaign had ever seen or were responsible for leaking) and numerous FEC reports that the Party has been successful in discrediting itself.

This Party stands on the verge of a political disaster equal to that of 2006, because of either the ineptitude by our leadership or worse, the dishonesty of personnel with fiduciary responsibility. It is time to determine what is wrong and who is responsible and correct the problem once and for all. It is time for complete accountability. We have had a year to correct these problems and obviously have not.

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