1.2 Million Reasons For Change

Acting Republican Party chair Kelly Fenton released the fully-digested list of Republican Party debts this morning.

From the email, which went to State Central Committee activists:

In addition, from the email, Fenton notes:

In addition to the amounts above, there are two major considerations that must be acknowledged. First, several law firms did considerable work in late 2010 on the Emmer-Dayton recount. These law firms claim they are owed approximately $719,000. The Party’s position has been that those obligations belong to a separate corporation set up in 2010 to fund the recount. At least some of the law firms are claiming the obligations belong to the Party. We are not acknowledging these bills as Party obligations, but are reviewing the claims with attorneys.

The other consideration is a request from the receiver in the Tom Petters receivership to recover funds contributed by Petters to the RPM in the amount of $75,000. Again, we are not acknowledging that as a Party obligation at this point pending legal review.

Although the last $800K of that debt is in question, expect the media to roll all of that into a nice, round “RPM owes $2 million” headline.

Yeah, that sounds like a lot of work – just in time for the State Central Committee meeting tomorrow in Saint Cloud.

My opinion – and I’m not a State Central delegate, so that’s all it is?

  • The Executive Committee – the various heads of the Congressional District units – need to take a much more active role in overseeing the activities of the Chair, Deputy Chair and Treasurer.
  • The State Central Committee needs to stop acting as a rubber-stamp body – even if it means asserting its means to do so at the meeting tomorrow.  The operations of the MNGOP have tended – in my experience, anyway – to be exceptionally top-down, which is perhaps fitting for an organization whose last four chairs (Cooper, Eibensteiner, Carey and Sutton) have been business executives in their pre-party lives.
More, I suspect, tomorrow.

What The Hell Are We Supposed To Think About The MNGOP?

Brian Lambert at the MinnPost h quoted me the other day:

Minnesota’s most prominent conservative bloggers are oddly quiet about the party’s exciting weekend.

Minnesota’s “most prominent” conservative bloggers – Powerline, Ed Morrissey – don’t do much coverage of local politics much less the inner workings of the MNGOP.

Of course, those of us who do cover the state – Gary Gross, True North and the Dogs – certainly did cover the “exciting weekend”; most of them were there at the Doubletree along with me.

But Lambert noticed I’d been writing on the subject:

But at Shot in the Dark, Mitch Berg takes a run at it:

Lambo grabbed a lengthy quote from this piece here.  It ended with this bit:

And yet the GOP — which, for all its faults, is the only actual transparent political party in this state (if only because nobody, but nobody, cares about the Independence Party) — is going to have to get through some of this BS to go forward.”

…and he added…:

… But just “some” of it.

Yep.  Just some.

I said it on the radio over the weekend, and I’ll stand by it; the whole incident is going to be a good thing for the MNGOP, if it tackles the issue head-on.  The party’s in debt:  so tackle the debt.  The party lost its statewide races and two recounts: so figure out what we need to do to fix it.  None of this is brain surgery – politicians do it, for chrissake.

And we’re going to tackle it a year before the election.  Oh, the media will do what they can to keep it current – but by next election time, the GOP will be out of the metaphorical woods, loaded for bear, with new leadership and (if a lot of us have our way) explicit confidence that we are on the right path financiallly.

The media – Lambert among ’em – what the GOP grassroots to look at the task at hand and get depressed and discouraged.

There is no reason for this.  The turmoil of this past two weeks is good news.  The GOP will be a much stronger party – as long as we tackle this head-on.

What The Hell Do We Do About The MNGOP, Part IV

OK, no substantive contributions to the debate this time – at least not me, myself.

But the ruling junta at True North has dedicated a section at the blog to the race for chair – and, more importantly, has sent out a questionnaire to the known candidates for the office.

And True North will run the candidates’ answers.  This is part of True North’s ongoing mission to make sure the Minnesota center-right gets the information they need – which used to be a pretty radical notion in GOP circles..

If you’re a MNGOP activist, you’ll want to watch that space.