For months, Bluestem has been rasslin' with news reports, tips made on background, and campaign finance reports filed monthly, documents that provided a glimpse into the financial acumen of our overlords at the Republican Party of Minnesota.
Especially that of failed burrito baron and former Republican state chair Tony Sutton.
But now we know we've found someone who dwells in the house of mirth itself when MNGOP communications director Heather Dodgers-Rubash speaks in the Pioneer Press's article, Campaign finance board to investigate Minnesota GOP after local group lodges complaint.
The less-than-artful dodger says of a complaint lodged by Common Cause with the State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board:
Heather Dodgers-Rubash, the state GOP communications director, noted the party released this detailed information to activists, donors, the media and the Federal Elections Commission last month before Common Cause even filed the complaints.
"The only reason these liberal organizations are aware of the...financial issues is because we told them," she said.
Well, that settles it.
Not entirely. The documents released to the press and party activists are hardly a full accounting. At the state central committee meeting on December 31st, some of those very activists asked for a full audit.
Instead, they got calls for "unity," and moving forward. This should be a dogwhistle for underemployed accountants everywhere. Moreover, the past experience of Republican Party of Minnesota with FEC reports indicates that it's not enough to disclose. One must be accurate.
Otherwise, fines ensue, sometimes to the tune of $170,000.
Given other news reports related to the state of Republican Minnesota, prudence indeed will dictate that perhaps it's time for GOP politicians to declare their independence from the shopworn analogy of how they want to run our government's finances like a family.
In Minn. Senate budget cuts could lead to staff layoffs, Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire reports:
Koch's replacement, newly-elected Republican Majority Leader Dave Senjem of Rochester, said the reductions will also include some health care cuts, bringing the total to about $2.7 million. Senjem has not yet detailed how he'll approach the cuts, but he said since most of the budget goes toward the salaries of 194 employees, the solution will have to include some job losses.
"Taking $2.7 million out the Senate will obviously -- you just don't do that with electricity and utilities and pencils and paper," he said. "Certainly there will be some people."
Senjem said the number of committee pages and interns will be reduced first. The Senate could have saved some money by not filling the post of majority caucus communication director, a $90,000-a-year job that Michael Brodkorb lost last month following Koch's resignation.
But the Senate is accepting applications for Brodkorb's replacement. There are also current postings for a committee administrator, a committee page and a leadership assistant. . . .
How does the Fail of the House of Brodkorb compare to the other chamber? MPR reports:
The Minnesota House was also required to reduce its operating budget by 5 percent. Those cuts, totaling $3.6 million, were detailed in a budget proposal finalized last year. The House cuts include the elimination of five full-time positions, a 50 percent cut in temporary staff, a salary freeze and the savings from limiting the 2012 session to 10 weeks.
A spokeswoman for the GOP caucus said House finances were in good shape to absorb the needed reductions.
Late last year, sources close to the House suggested that Koch's lack of a plan for bringing the Senate staffing under control were just part of the troubled Republican Party family in that chamber.
Perhaps we should all respect their privacy, and let the party of ideas spin its way out of this one. Indeed, Bluestem expects no less from some of the most respected names in politics and the press.
Image: The Sutton currency. By Tild.