When we last left off in this continuing Cooked Books series, The Party Of Fiscal Irresponsibility had just turned down an offer to pay for a forensic audit of their books.

Seriously.

The “Offer” and “Offer Withdrawn” of an audit that wouldn’t cost the Book Cookers a penny came after – AFTER – Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s blistering “Findings and Order in the Matter of the Complaint of Common Cause Minnesota regarding the Republican Party of Minnesota and others”, dated 13 July 2012.

From those findings:

To summarize, in 2010 the RPM had a finance director, who was recently promoted from telemarketing and who testified that he knew next to nothing about Campaign Finance Board reports and professed that it was not his job to review the reports in preparation for the treasurer’s signing them. The RPM had a chair who was busy with fundraising and his own business and believed that the finance director and the party unit’s compliance company were responsible for preparation of the reports. The RPM had a compliance company that disavows any responsibility for campaign finance reports other than to put data into a system and print out the reports. And finally, the RPM had a treasurer who placed all of his reliance on these three individuals. Given that situation, it is no surprise that the RPM reports were inaccurate.

Yep! No surprise!!!

Continue reading »

… or, “MnGOP Senate Caucus’ Lunch Hour Lit Drop Update.” In Part 1, we looked at a cardinal rule for politicians dealing with the press: do not – DO NOT – tell ‘em whoppers. Ever. Period. End of story.

Except, that sure looks like that’s EXACTLY what the Mn GOP Senate did; hence, the clowns image on that – and this! – post. Because, when KMSP-TV Investigative Reporter Tom Lyden went to talk to the Senate GOPers, he already had the email they went out to their staffers (and each and every one of their GOP elected Senators, too). And in the original story, aired last Tuesday night, the staffer that sent the email – Maureen Watson – denied there was any electioneering being staged out of that office in the Capitol. And yesterday, GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem doubled down; telling Minnesota Public Radio there was none o’ that stuff going on – “that he was aware of.”

Yeah, “right.” It’s not like this is the first time a GOPer Senate “Leader” has told a whopper to reporters, “right”? But I digress. Let’s take a quick look at a part of the email, dated August 9th, that Lyden had in hand when he first talked to staffer Watson:

Wanted to thank all of you who were able to help out this week with our lunch hour lit dropping and phoning! We had over 40 people out over the three days – so super turn out.

Pretty clear so far, yes?

We have a similar plan in store for next week – going out lit dropping on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Well, not to nitpick, but: I’d call it a “scheme.” Bottom line, so far? “We did it, and we’re gonna do it again.”

If you are new to our Caucus and to our Lunch Hour Lit Drops – please consider joining us. It really helps out our Caucus and it is fun. If you have someone to pair up with great – if not, just show up in 208 about 10:45/11 – and you can join one of the groups.(full email here)

Not to beat it into the ground, but: it’s pretty obvious that THEY knew what THEY were doing. And again, this went out to a whole bunch of staffers and EACH and EVERY elected GOP Senator. Now, what happened at the next regularly scheduled “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” last Tuesday? Well, Shawn Towle of ChecksAndBalances.com was there too, and set up a camera to record the shenanigans. Which was the basis for Reporter Lyden’s story Tuesday night. And one guy that showed up for that “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” – where, according to GOPer Senjem, none o’ that “Lit Drop” was going on, is a guy, sources tell me, by the name of Craig Sondag – let’s look!

OK, so who is Craig Sondag? Well, a quick google search tells us, in a story by The Rochester Democrat Newspaper that Sondag is an “experienced campaign field staffer” former Majority Leader Amy Koch hired in 2010 for that election. And while he’s listed as a Senate Staffer on the Senate’s website as a researcher, he also recently showed up on the Mn GOP Senate Caucus’ (“Senate Victory Fund”) Campaign Finance Board Report as a salaried employee as of June 29th, 2012. So, why would an employee of the GOP’s Caucus’s political arm, the “Senate Victory Fund”, be showing up to a “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” at the Capitol, if it wasn’t to do a “Lunch Hour Lit Drop”? Oh, wait – Senjem says there WASN’T any campaigning at the “Lunch Hour Lit Drops” – that he was aware of….

Yesterday, after Senjem told Minnesota Public Radio that there was none of that campaigning going on at the “Lunch Hour Lit Drop,” DFL Chair Ken Martin held a presser. Tom Lyden did a follow up story, and it’s a must see/must read.

The bottom line?

Just who do these GOPers think they’re fooling??!?

No campaigning going on at continuing events they called “Lunch Hour Lit Drops”?

Don’t believe ‘em – it simply isn’t credible. There’s an email; there’s a video.

The new GOP motto should be: “Who ya gonna believe – us, or yer lyin’ eyes?”

And remember: You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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In Part 15 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at former candidate for GOP State Chair Joe Repya’s acceptance of current State GOP Party Finance Chair Bill Guidera’s challenge: to pay for a forensic audit of the State GOP Party’s cooked books.

Repya set up a website to collect donations to pay for the audit, but: Repya also set a deadline for the State GOP to accept his offer to finance the audit.

Which brings us to a press release just received:

August 16, 2012


IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

FROM:
MINNESOTA REPUBLICANS
FOR FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND JUSTICE, LLC

On July 23, 2012, Minnesota Republicans for Financial Accountability and Justice, LLC made a legitimate, legal and generous offer to conduct a forensic audit of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s (RPM) financial books at no expense to the RPM. The sole objective of the Minnesota Republicans for Financial Accountability and Justice, LLC was to restore fiscal honesty and transparency to the RPM and hold those who had fiduciary responsibility for party finances accountable. Unfortunately the RPM has refused to discuss our offer or provide their financials for an audit.

Effective immediately, Minnesota Republicans for Financial Accountability and Justice, LLC has withdrawn its offer to audit the RPM financial books.

We regret the action of the Republican Party of Minnesota. We have been told by confidential sources in the RPM that a small number of major donors were afraid that a forensic audit would possibly uncover additional misappropriations of party funds and thus cause additional embarrassment to the party image prior to the November 2012 elections. One must conclude that the RPM believes it has more scandals to hide from the public. We fear their actions will result in the voters of Minnesota holding all Republican candidates accountable in November.

All donations to Minnesota Republicans for Financial Accountability and Justice, LLC will be returned to the appropriate donors. As a result of the overwhelming volume of donations by Minnesota voters we anticipate it will take three to four weeks to return those funds. We thank the voters of Minnesota for their kind support.

Joe Repya

Pretty much says it all, yes?

Books will stay cooked, cover up continues, and:

It’s today’s example of:

You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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One of the cardinal rules of dealing with reporters, is do not – DO NOT – tell ‘em whoppers. Period. End of Story.

Except, there’s a breaking story about how that’s EXACTLY what the GOP in the MN Senate did to KMSP-TV Investigative Reporter Tom Lyden. And it has to do with another “do not – DO NOT – do” – campaigning from state property; in this case, the State Capitol.

While you’re watching the following video, you can’t help thinking that the GOPer Staffer Maureen Watson is thinking about saying to Tom Lyden: “Well, who ya gonna believe – me, or your lyin’ eyes?” That’s before she ducks out, not to be seen again…. Let’s look!

(direct link to KMSP-TV story/video)

From that story, by Tom Lyden: “State ethics laws are clear that an employee must not use state time, supplies, or state-owned property and equipment for private interests — including campaigning.”

But, it gets better – or, worse. Shawn Towle of ChecksAndBalances.com, who Lyden interviewed in that video, just put up a post with ALL of the names that email went out to, and it’s quite the list! The electeds include:

“Benson, Michelle” “Chamberlain, Roger” “Daley, Ted” “DeKruif, Al” “Fischbach, Michelle” “Gazelka, Paul” “Gerlach, Chris” “Gimse, Joe” Hall, Dan” “Hann, David” “Hoffman, Gretchen” “Ingebrigtsen, Bill” etc etc etc

Now, not one – NOT ONE – of those brainiacs couldn’t figure out that running this little scheme out of the State Capitol wasn’t such a slick idea? NOT ONE???!

The title of this post — “…we are in this together…” — is from the body of the email that was sent out inviting people to this scheme.

And they ARE all in it together; all of the staffers and all of the GOP incumbents on the ballot this fall.

This appears to be an orchestrated and coordinated scheme; this needs to be investigated.

Quite frankly, the Mn GOP is a cast of clowns, and the last two years they’ve brought nothing but scandals and dishonor to St. Paul. Can’t someone just open a RICO Investigation on ‘em??!?

One key question, so far unanswered: were those people taking those free lunches and going back to their state supplied desks in their state supplied offices and using their state supplied phones for phone calls? Or were they using state supplied cell phones to make those calls?

Stay tuned!

h/t to Shawn Towle, ChecksAndBalances.com

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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In Part 14 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at the first 16 pages of the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s “Findings and Order in the Matter of the Complaint of Common Cause Minnesota regarding the Republican Party of Minnesota and others” dated 13 July 2012; ending where the CFB concluded:

To summarize, in 2010 the RPM had a finance director, who was recently promoted from telemarketing and who testified that he knew next to nothing about Campaign Finance Board reports and professed that it was not his job to review the reports in preparation for the treasurer’s signing them. The RPM had a chair who was busy with fundraising and his own business and believed that the finance director and the party unit’s compliance company were responsible for preparation of the reports. The RPM had a compliance company that disavows any responsibility for campaign finance reports other than to put data into a system and print out the reports. And finally, the RPM had a treasurer who placed all of his reliance on these three individuals. Given that situation, it is no surprise that the RPM reports were inaccurate.

“…it is no surprise…”

Yep! No surprise there!

And the Mn GOP’s Party “Leadership” is just fined fine with that.

In Part 14 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we noted, from page 6:

During the course of this investigation, the Board requested and received various records from the RPM, including accounts payable aging reports and invoices. However, the RPM is not able to produce records or worksheets that would allow the Board to reconcile amounts from the payables aging reports to the federal and state reports of unpaid obligations. As a result, the Board is not confident that even the RPM’s amended reports are accurate.

“…the Board is not confident that even the RPM’s amended reports are accurate.”

And the MnGOP is adamant that they are NOT going to pay for a forensic adudit to get to accurate reports.

Enter former candidate for MnGOP Chair Joe Repya, in an OpEd in today’s Strib; let’s look!


Let’s audit those state GOP finances

Article by: JOE REPYA

The Republican Party of Minnesota seems to have adopted its own policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” when it comes to investigating its multimillion-dollar financial mismanagement scandal.

A number of weeks ago, the party’s finance chairman, Bill Guidera, challenged me, stating: “If you want a forensic audit of the RPM financial books, why don’t you pay for it?”
.
.
People who have nothing to hide do not object to a thorough investigation.

Mr. Guidera, it is time we clean and sanitize our GOP house and drain the swamp. So I take up your challenge.

A group of concerned Republicans will personally raise the money necessary to conduct a thorough and transparent forensic audit of the Republican Party of Minnesota financial books dating back to 2007.

We have established Minnesota Republicans for Financial Accountability and Justice LLC to solicit funds for that purpose. Anyone is welcome to donate, be they Republicans, Democrats or independents. You can donate either via P.O. Box 22306, Eagan, MN 55122-0306, or on our website, MnRepublicansForFinancialJustice.com, using PayPal.

That, Gentle Readers, is Joe Repya tossin’ down the gauntlet!

But, that’s just one o’ the gloves; here’s the other!

If you have contributed to the Minnesota Republican Party during the period of 2007 through 2011 and wish to be part of a class action suit against the RPM for their mismanagement of your donations, please send your contact information (name, address, phone number & e-mail address) to joerepya(at)yahoo(dot)com and our attorney will be in contact with you!

That’s from the website Repya set up to fund the forensic audit o’ the MnGOP’s Cooked Books!!!

Not only is Repya and other like-minded Republicans willing to get to the bottom of the mess, there is the possibility of a class action lawsuit by folks whose donations were, well, used for who knows what rather than the intended purpose?

Can’t wait to see how the Cooked Books chefs try to get around these gauntlets!!!

Stay tuned!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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