On June 3rd, 2007, Dan Browning and Pat Doyle broke a story that rocked Minnesota’s political world and would have repercussions we’re still feeling today; it dealt with the now-infamous “Tostenson Memo”. Written by long-time MN GOP Finance Director Dwight Tostenson, it detailed the financial shenanigans – “Cooked Books” if you will – of the party, and became the basis for the Federal Election Commission’s near-record $170,000 fine last year. The GOP is still paying that fine off (unlike their rent). That newspaper story came out just before the MN GOP’s State Convention, the current chair, Ron Carey, was being challenged by a guy named Joe Repya on, boiled down, a “clean up/reform the party” platform.

Joe lost, Ron (and, status quo) won, and the Party’s problems Joe was running to correct: got worse.

The 2008 MN GOP State Convention in Rochester is mostly remembered for the shabby treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters. Paul was a bona fide candidate for the GOP nomination for president, even though he didn’t have a (deleted, for censors) chance in (deleted, again) of getting it. Doesn’t matter; as a party member, he should have been allowed to speak – Ron Paul wasn’t.

And then there’s the treatment of Ron Paul’s supporters at the Convention. Well, leading up to it, too – as you can read by linking here for but one account. There’s plenty more out there, like this one.

One significant event at that 2008 MN GOP State Convention isn’t remembered so much; fortunately, one Convention Delegate caught it on tape – let’s look!

Oh, and pay very, Very, VERY close attention to what then-Chair Ron Carey says, “right” at the very end!!!

(direct link to YouTube)

To recap that video: there’s a white-wash/cover up concerning the GOP’s FEC Reports; Joe Repya asks two pointed questions; Tony Sutton goes ballistic; Ron Carey bloviates! And what exactly did Carey say, “right” at the end?

“At the end of the day, those that are criticizing us are to be shamed – because the truth will get out and the truth shall set us free.”

WHAT??!?

And then, in compete violation of Robert’s Rules, State GOP “leadership” ended the convention.

Shameful. Sadly, today’s GOP has no shame. It’s like I always say: You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

Today, Joe Repya has an op-ed in the Star Tribune; it’s entitled “End of the state GOP as we know it?”

I’d recommend everyone read it, and remember: the problems Repya was talking about five years ago, back in 2007? Repya was correct.

I’m still wondering, though – isn’t it about time a prosecutor started taking a hard look at the problems Repya has been talking about all these years?

Stay tuned!

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, in Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we looked at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats! And back in that March 27th, 2012 post we wondered: So, how is it that the Minnesota GOP – the self-proclaimed “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility” – gets away with stiffing their Landlord for office rent for so long?

Well, the GOP’s Landlord finally decided to pull the plug, and yesterday filed paperwork with Ramsey County to get those deadbeat GOPers to “pay up or get out.” The Court is scheduled to hear the case next Tuesday, at 8:45am.

Also yesterday, a highly charged political memo from MN GOP Chair Pat (“Enron Boy”) Shortridge surfaced in the media. As a public service for you, our Gentle Readers, the following is a complete translation of this important document — from the original Republican into modern English. Let’s look!!!

Last Thursday, I sent the below update on party finances to local and statewide GOP leaders.

English Translation: Somebody leaked this, so now I’ve got to pretend I wanted it to go public.

In light of an exaggerated press story in a publication this morning,

ET: Because they’re wise to us.

we wanted to make sure you were aware of it.

ET: We can’t keep you in the dark any longer.

The MNGOP is not being ‘kicked out’ of its offices.

ET: …yet!

While we have successfully negotiated with our creditors in most cases,

ET: We’re doing our best to stiff our creditors…

our landlord took the unfortunate step, which they are certainly within their rights to do, of bringing the matter to court.

ET: …but the landlord finally figured out we’re full of crap, and is treating us like the deadbeats we are.

We believe we’re on track to settle this matter without further legal action,

ET: We’re going to offer him $0.10 on the dollar for back rent…

and we’ll know for sure in the coming days.

ET: …and we hope that stall will scam him out of another month or two before he drops a dime on us.

• First and foremost, we’ve amended our Federal Election Commission (2011) and Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board reports for 2011 and 2010.

ET: The FEC caught us with our pants around our ankles, but we think they’ll buy this new load of horse apples.

• The Financial Control and Oversight Committee, chaired very, very ably by Jeff Johnson, has looked into many of the questionable transactions from the past and will present a series of recommendations to significantly improve our processes, internal financial controls and oversight.

ET: We’ve found some clever ways to make the fraud in our FEC reports much harder to detect.

• We’ve continued to cut expenses,

ET: We’ll squeeze a few more dollars out of our naive staff and interns. Don’t tell them. And there’s a whole world of vendors out there, who still don’t get that we don’t pay our bills…

while continuing the process of restoring trust with our major donors and rebuilding our small dollar donor programs. Fundraising is improving and we’re getting things done on a shoestring.

ET: …and we’ll feed the donors the usual lies. They’re true believers and wimps, and will fall for anything we tell them.

You should be VERY proud of the party staff and our many key volunteers for going above and beyond the call to get things done.

ET: Once again, don’t let these poor saps in on what’s up next for them.

• We have negotiated with our creditors so we engage in an orderly process for paying down our debt. In 95% of the cases, that process has gone smoothly.

ET: We’ve stiffed almost everybody. I mean, what are they going to do? The party is totally broke, and it’s not like any of us are personally liable for this mess.

In a couple of cases, it has not gone as well as we’d hoped despite the best efforts of Mike Vekich, Bron Scherer, and me. One in particular that I wanted to tell you about is our negotiation with our landlord.

ET: Sadly, the landlord has seen through the BS of even our world-class scammers.

We have a long and very expensive lease which still has twenty-one (21) months to run.

ET: I can’t believe the previous guys negotiated such a bad lease…

As you know, we have more space than we need and our monthly lease cost is in excess of current, comparable market lease rates.

ET: …and they leased wa-a-a-ay too much space. Fortunately, we can leverage the bad market against the landlord.

When I was elected on December 31, 2011, the rent had not been paid since August 2011 and as part of our continuing financial issues and our effort to re-negotiate the lease, no lease payments have been made in 2012 to date.

ET: This isn’t my fault, of course. I’m a genius for thinking to squeeze the landlord by holding back rent.

While this is a situation none of us wants, it’s part of the rebuilding process. No one ever said it would be simple or easy or without bumps along the way.

ET: Like I said, none of this is my fault. I walked into the worst mess in modern history, created entirely by the previous administration. Hmmm, something about that story sounds familiar. It’s totally convincing, though, don’t you think?

But I wanted you to hear about it from me rather than from any other source.

ET: Since the cat is out of the bag, I’m trying to get ahead of this story I’ve been scamming you about for months.

Rather than continue discussions with us, the landlord chose to exercise its rights and filed a notice of eviction in Ramsey County court.

ET: The landlord finally figured us out, and took legal action. What a moron. He should have done that months ago.

We’re not going to be evicted, and at the same time, are continuing to negotiate on the back payments as well as on a lease that better fits both our space needs and our budget.

ET: Hey, I know I can scam this guy some more. The market’s lousy, and I’m a master wheeler-dealer. Remember, just a few more days, and I would have gotten Enron a bail-out.

But I wanted you to hear about it from me rather than from any other source.

ET: So I’m paddling as fast as I can to get ahead of this story. Did I already say that?

• The bottom line: We’re in better shape than we were three months ago, but not as good as we’ll be three months from now.

ET: I know it doesn’t look that way, but I’m doing a fabulous job. You just have to trust me for another, let’s see, I can suck you guys into another three months, right?

It’s a daily process that requires hard work and common purpose.

ET: “Daily process” means don’t bother me with questions. I’m too busy saving your butts from your own incompetence to listen to your pitiful whining…

Please let me know if you have additional thoughts or questions.

ET: but please send it to me via email, so I’ll have the pleasure of deleting it unread.

I’ll see you in St Cloud, if not before.

ET: Now, go away. “…if not before” means “not before.” Got it?

Pat Shortridge, Chairman
Republican Party of Minnesota

ET: Remember, I’m the big shot you dragged in here to save your sorry @sses. Now, stfu and get lost.

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

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