Chair’s Recount Coverup Comes Back To Haunt MN GOP

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Illegal money was used to pay for Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Emmer's Recount in 2010

Illegal money was used to pay for Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Emmer's Recount in 2010

Former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton illegally redirected campaign contributions to conceal the names of donors to pay for a recount of the 2010 Governor’s race says the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board. Sutton will have to pay a $3,000 fine and could face criminal prosecution.

Under oath, Minnesota Republican Party Treasurer David Sturrock testified that that Sutton told the party’s Finance Director Ron Huttl not to tell Sturrock that the GOP owed money for the recount.

The current Minnesota Republican Party Chair Pat Shortridge says the Campaign Finance Board ruling also confirms what the party had “assumed for some time, that the debts of the 2010 Gubernatorial recount are the debts of the party.”

That recount debt exceeded a half million dollars.

“The Republican Party of Minnesota acted irresponsibly and should apologize to Minnesota voters,” said Mike Dean, Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota, which filed the complaint. “The Republican Party of Minnesota attempted to use a shell corporation to hide over a half million dollars in debt from the public.”

“This investigation uncovered how the Republican Party of Minnesota engaged in fiscal mismanagement and then attempted to cover it up,” said Mike Dean. “The Board should continue its work to clear up all the financial problems of the Republican Party of Minnesota through a full audit.”

Dean tells Minnesota Public Radio that Common Cause is likely to pursue criminal sanctions against Sutton.

In addition to having to pay the debt, the Minnesota Republican Party must now also pay a $26,900 fine for violating Minnesota campaign finance law.

MN Campaign Finance Board finding against MN Republican Party

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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