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The “Offer” and “Offer Withdrawn” of an audit that wouldn’t cost the Book Cookers a penny came after – AFTER – Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s blistering “Findings and Order in the Matter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 »

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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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?”
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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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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)

I got the Media Advisory from the DFL: DFL Chair to Discuss Irregularities in GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Emmer’s Finances. I figured it had to do with Emmer’s campaign finances, so I figured I’d attend. After all, GOPers are notorious for their finances; for instance, take a look at The Tostenson Memo pointing out highly irregular and exceedingly questionable “reporting” – and after all, the now-GOP State Chair was then- GOP State Treasurer: FEC Tony.

So I figured this was just gonna be another case of a GOPer campaign demonstrating, once again, that old adage: “Numbers Don’t Lie (but Republicans use numbers)”.

Especially with Emmer’s… well, how shall I say this? OK, I’ll say this: with Emmer’s documented aversion to telling the truth on the campaign trail.

So, I was a little surprised when I got there and the topic o’ the presser wasn’t Emmer’s “campaign” finances, but his “personal” finances – specifically, according to the media handout, “Tom Emmer’s Mortgage History” (image below the fold).

And I got a background in real estate; as does a family member. And when I saw that handout, I immediately thought:

LIAR LOANS!!!

If you don’t know what “Liar Loans” are, google it (or, just click on the previous link).

Now, I’m not sayin’ Emmer did “Liar Loans” personally; what I’m saying is that those 7 mortgages in 8 years (on just one property) listed by the “Prepared by the Minnesota DFL Party. Printed in house. Labor donated.” handout sure raises the ol’ red flag up the flagpole!

And DFL Chair Melendez didn’t “say” Emmer was doin’ the ol’ Liar Loan Shuffle; Melendez was simply saying Emmer needs to come clean about his mortgage financing record.

IMNSHO, I agree. An appraiser pal did some quick research into some easy-to-understand background on Liar Loans for me – and for you, the Gentle Reader! Let’s look!!!

From Slate.com, good description of liar loans in the marketplace:

Inside the Liar’s Loan
How the mortgage industry nurtured deceit.
By Mark Gimein
Posted Thursday, April 24, 2008
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The term is mortgage-industry slang for what’s more formally called a “stated income” mortgage—a mortgage that a lender gives without checking tax returns, employment history, or pretty much anything else. Many of the loans that are in trouble now, or will be in trouble soon, fall into this category. But the term gives only the barest hint of the pervasive failure involved.

The original idea of the stated income mortgage was that it would benefit salespeople who work on commission, people who own their own businesses, and others for whom predicting next year’s income isn’t just a matter of looking at last year’s.

At the height of the mortgage boom, however, especially in pricey markets, the liar’s loan became a routine way of doing business; for some lenders—both smaller ones like IndyMac and WMC as well as big ones like Countrywide and Washington Mutual—it was the main way. In 2006 in some parts of the country, these loans made up as much as half of new mortgages, for both subprime borrowers and for homebuyers with high credit scores.

From 2005, RealtyTimes.com, before the fraudfest became widely known:

New Report: Housing Boom Stimulating Mortgage Application Fraud Boom
by Kenneth R. Harney

The national housing boom is producing a companion boom — one that you don’t read about as much: Dishonesty and outright fraud by home buyers and mortgage and realty industry professionals on loan applications has exploded in the past two years.

A newly-released national study by a research group says fraud-related cases on mortgage applications reported to the FBI more than doubled between 2003 and 2004.

The Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI), which pools fraud information supplied by hundreds of mortgage lenders, says loan fraud is worst in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Utah and North Carolina. Individual cities with high fraud rates — based on “serious early delinquencies” on home loans closed during 2004 — include Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Charlotte, Memphis and Scranton.

From PBS.org – and this one should just make you plain sick because it is completely dead-on:

April 3, 2009

The financial industry brought the economy to its knees, but how did they get away with it? With the nation wondering how to hold the bankers accountable, Bill Moyers sits down with William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. Black offers his analysis of what went wrong and his critique of the bailout.

Now, this type of fraud – “Liar Loans” – isn’t new; Appraisers have been trying – TRYING – to raise Holy (Heck) about it for a long, Long, LONG time. For instance, here’s a petition started by Appraisers back in December, Y2K:

“The ASC’s mission is to ensure that real estate appraisers, who perform appraisals in real estate transactions that could expose the United States government to financial loss, are sufficiently trained and tested to assure competency and independent judgment according to uniform high professional standards and ethics.” From the ASC website.

The concern of this petition has to do with our “independent judgment” in performing real estate appraisals. We, the undersigned, represent a large number of licensed and certified real estate appraisers in the United States, who seek your assistance in solving a problem facing us on a daily basis. Lenders (meaning any and all of the following: banks, savings and loans, mortgage brokers, credit unions and loan officers in general; not to mention real estate agents) have individuals within their ranks, who, as a normal course of business, apply pressure on appraisers to hit or exceed a predetermined value

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Now, again – I’m NOT sayin’ Tom Emmer was involved in Liar Loans; I am – AM – saying Melendez is correct: it’s time Emmer opened up his finances; the same way the State GOP demanded an accounting from Horner:

“In the face of mounting public pressure, Tom Horner has dug in his heels by repeatedly refusing to release his client list,” read a MN GOP statement. “Horner likes to talk about having ‘honest conversations’ with Minnesotans, but he won’t be honest with them about how he’s lined his pockets over the years with special interest money. It’s past time for Horner to come clean and release his client list.” (MinnesotaIndependent.com)

Take the above and take a look at the following list (prepared by the DFL) and it’s clear:

Tom Emmer, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

Especially considering FEC Tony’s recent quote in story in MinnPost:

“This gets to a core issue. You can’t hold yourself to a different standard than you hold everyone else.” — MN GOP Chair Tony Sutton

(cross posted from MnProgresiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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