Report: Consultant, lawyer fees fed Minnesota GOP debt

Jan 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - An examination of a massive debt facing the Minnesota Republican Party shows that lawyers, consultants and other GOP insiders close to the former chairman benefitted as red ink grew.

For a story published Friday, Minnesota Public Radio News attempted to trace the origins of a $2 million party debt. Money troubles have fed internal worry about the GOP's strength heading into the election year and led to an upheaval in party leadership. GOP Chairman Tony Sutton resigned abruptly last month.

MPR dissected finance reports from 2007 forward. It found more than $1 million payouts to a law firm, more than $270,000 to a communications firm focused on party branding and thousands more paid to politicians on the party payroll.

Sutton blamed the predicament on a slowdown in party fundraising.

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