Tony Sutton fined $3,000, MNGOP fined $26,900 by Minnesota Campaign Finance Board

Categories: MNGOP
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Former MNGOP chair Sutton took a baseball bat to the party's now-broken balance sheet.
SEE ALSO:
-- MNGOP report reveals "inadequate transparency and oversight" of party finances
-- MNGOP: "No state party may be in worse financial shape," writes Politico
-- MNGOP evicted from office space, owes about $100,000 to landlord


The fallout from Tony Sutton's disastrous run as MNGOP chairman continues.

Today, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board fined Sutton $3,000 and the party $26,900 for failing to properly report expenses related to the 2010 gubernatorial recount.

In 2010, the MNGOP created a corporation called Count Them All Properly for the purpose of handling recount activities. But, as Politics in Minnesota reports, "instead of operating recount activities through the corporation, Sutton worked through the state party, thus putting current leadership and members on the hook for the [legal] fees," which total nearly $600,000.

In fact, the Campaign Finance Board concluded that Sutton could even face criminal prosecution for circumventing campaign finance laws by steering a $30,000 donation meant for the party's coffers to Count Them All Properly in order to avoid disclosure.

Here's the board's summary of its findings:
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In 2010 the [Republican Party of Minnesota] 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.
Other than that, everything was dandy.

MNGOP Chairman Pat Shortridge became the party leader after Sutton resigned last December. In wake of today's report, he released a statement basically saying he can't be held responsible for the mess Sutton created:
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Shortridge is left with the unenviable task of cleaning up Sutton's mess.
Questions surrounding whether pursuing the recount was advisable, whether it was money well spent, and whether the process followed in pursuing the recount made sense, are nothing more than Monday morning quarterbacking at this point. It won't change our circumstances. We have learned from the mistakes of the past and made substantial changes in the way we do business.
Meanwhile, on his personal blog, Sutton posted what very well may be the most vacuous statement of all time, saying, "I am disappointed with the findings by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board concerning the Republican Party of Minnesota and Count Them all Properly, Inc. I disagree with their findings and believe they should have reached a different conclusion." Alright, then.

As PiM reports, the board's decision to add recount fees to the party's tab officially puts the MNGOP's debt load over $1 million. That debt, combined with the messy and ongoing Koch-Brodkorb scandal, suggests it could be an ugly election season for Minnesota Republicans.
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10 comments
EdBradly7
EdBradly7

How gracious of the Burrito Baron Sutton to take a few minutes from his bus tour of Americas Greatest Buffets. And the MN Regressive Party should thank former Enron lobbyist Pat Shortridge for his help.

Carl Miller
Carl Miller

I sure hope we get to elect Mr. Robomney, it will feel good knowing that change has been cast on our nation once again by our very own nobel peace laureate.  Each time we drop bombs on villages and send our predator drones to kill scores of innocent people, we can feel good knowing that our leader is protecting us from the bad guys. All hail commander in chief, that is IF he's on my TEAM.

Mike W.
Mike W.

But..but...but....Obama is a Marxist/Kenyan/Socialist/Nazi/Terrorist/Tree-Hugger out to take your guns--he is just hiding it real well. There, that message should obscure all our problems.  Who does not love a good conspiratorial distraction to whip up the faithful.

jww
jww

I'm sure he is very open-minded on the topic of troughs.

JS
JS

 And family values.  And the sanctity of one man, one woman in hole-y mat-tree-mon-nee

Dr. J
Dr. J

 Who would have thought the party lead by Michele Bachman, George W. Bush, and Rush Limbaugh would have been a bunch of stupid assholes?

Dawn B.
Dawn B.

Why is it that all of these fiscal conservatives keep having all of these money problems? missing funds, overspending, stealing, making messes that everyone else is responsible for cleaning up. I mean, isn't understanding and controlling money what this the party is based on? this coupled with most of them claiming some sort of christian belief system makes them doubly better than all of the rest of us. and yet these dreadful, narrow minded, irresponsible, selfish, sinful boobs continue. what gives here?? p.s. why do most all of them resemble doughy boy scouts?

Media Whore
Media Whore

The guy has fed from the GOP trough, failed miserably while feeding from said trough, and to this day I'd bet you he would tell you with a straight face that he has done nothing wrong, yet will continue to decry anyone who doesn't goose step to the beat of the GOP drum. Despicable. 

38
38

Yep, the party of fiscal responsibility.

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