Politico recently reported on the Republicans’ “orphan states,” home to GOP operations that are in complete disarray this election year, despite competitive races up and down the ballot. National Republican officials feel compelled to intervene, “seeking to head off the possibility that local mismanagement could cost the party control of Congress.”
Of particular interest was the Republican Party of Minnesota, which has found itself “so deep in debt it has stopped paying the lease on its headquarters.”
That was two weeks ago. Now the state party is looking at eviction.
Minnesota’s debt-plagued Republican Party faces an eviction hearing next week after failing to pay rent for its headquarters since August.
The party’s landlord filed the notice in county housing court last week and a hearing is set for next week. Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Pat Shortridge told party members in a memo that officials are trying to renegotiate its lease.
The state GOP’s debts currently total nearly $1 million. The eviction threat comes just four months after the former GOP state chair resigned from his $100,000-a-year post, faced with “revelations about sloppy bookkeeping.”
Complicating matters, the state Republican Party tried and failed to choose a candidate to face incumbent Rep. Tim Walz (D) this year – after a dozen hours and nearly two dozen ballots, the party still couldn’t agree on a nominee – while the Minnesota state Senate is spending $330 an hour for legal advice after former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (R) had an extra-marital affair with a staffer who is now considering a lawsuit against the state.
I suppose there’s still time for the state party to get its act together in time for the elections in November, but it’s more likely Republicans will rely heavily on operations like Karl Rove’s attack outfit, American Crossroads, which is quietly taking the place of the Republican Party in some areas.