In their first campaign finance reports of the year, both the Minnesota Republican Party and the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party list mountains of debt.
The Republican party, which has struggled with deep debt, campaign finance and intra-party turmoil, report lists $24,421 in cash on hand and $848,708 in unpaid bills; the DFL, which has also carried unpaid bills, had $46,183 in cash, $310,456 in debt.
While both parties have unpaid bills, the Republican Party has a deeper fundraising deficit.
According to the reports, which covers this year's fundraising through July 23, the Republican party raised $99,240 through contributions and another $156,852 through miscellaneous income, largely state convention and other registration fees. The GOP lists of donors cover just a page and half and include just nine individual donors, with $60,000 coming from just two large gifts -- $40,000 from Robert Ulrich, the former Target Corp CEO, and $20,000 from Pawn America owner Bradley Rixmann. Hubbard Brodcasting, Inc chairman Stanley Hubbard and his wife gave $25,555.
The Republican report lists $26,900 as an unpaid obligation to the state campaign finance board to settle a finding that the party improperly used a 2010 recount fund.
The DFL reports more than $2.2 million in donations and $68,760 in miscellaneous income. The Democrats donors list runs a dozen pages. It, too, includes large gifts -- Alida Messinger, a large contributor to Democratic causes and Gov. Mark Dayton's ex-wife, gave $302,500 and various unions contributed big chunks with Education Minnesota contributing $229,857 and the Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota contributing $225,000.
The report also reflects a lot of give and take with the DFL legislative caucuses. The House DFL is listed as contributing $244,927 and getting $544,250 from the party. The Senate DFL caucus gave the party $213,414 and got $579,250 in return.
DFL Party chair Ken Martin said the party is actually in better shape than the report reflects. This weekend it will hold a massive fundraising, featuring former President Bill Clinton. Martin said that event alone could raise close to $750,000.