Minnesota’s major political parties are deep in the red following this year’s elections.
Federal election filings released last month coupled with state reports show that the Minnesota Republican Party is about $780,000 in arrears and the DFL is behind by $400,000.
GOP chairman Tony Sutton said their number was higher than expected because of recount costs, which included Data Practices Act requests and retaining several GOP staffers longer than expected. The debt also includes an outstanding $200,000 loan from several years ago to pay former chairman Ron Ebensteiner’s legal fees.
Sutton said he expects to pay down about $500,000 of their debt by the end of May.
On the other side of the aisle, new DFL chair Ken Martin said they are “digging through” the finances and now expect to report “significantly more” debt than the initial $400,000. He plans to discuss the issue with the party’s executive committee this Saturday before saying how much more.
The bulk of the GOP recount costs, legal fees, were handled through a separate, specially created corporation called Count Them All Properly, Inc., which does not disclose its finances.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s campaign handled most of his own recount expenses through a separate fund, which was in the black as of the last IRS filing.
Amid reports that Donald Trump was in danger of not getting on Minnesota's presidential ballot, the Trump campaign says everything is in order and voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for him in November.
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.