Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Setting The Record Straight(er)

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey sent out an email to State Central delegates today that attempted to "set the record straight" on what Downey calls "(mis)information" that is being sent out to delegates.

Downey is running for re-election this Saturday, and has seen two challengers step up in recent days.  Both challengers have been critical of Downey's management of party finances, and specifically the party's lingering debt.

Despite the title, Downey's email misses the mark, and is intentionally misleading.  Downey supporter Andy Aplikowski posted a copy of Downey's email on his website.

In addressing the debt, the email states:
Since its high of $2.2 million after the problems of 2011, Party debt is now just over $1.4 million.  It reached a low of just under $1.3 million in early 2014 before the strategic decision was made to give it all we had and put our financial resources into the election, starting with the state convention and then on to the primary campaigns, statewide victory program, early/absentee ballot program, and general election campaigns.
This paragraph it problematic, in that is uses an irrelevant figure as the benchmark for the debt.  While MNGOP debt may have been at $2.2 million at one point, the debt when Downey took office in April of 2013 was $1.6 million, as illustratred in the party financial documents below.

So the debt was $1.6 million when Downey took office, and is $1.4 now, after reaching a low of $1.3 in early 2013.

Delegates who are judging Downey's financial performance should note that the total net debt paid off under Downey's two year term was about $200,000, or about $8,300 per month.  Apparently about half of that amount ($110,000) has happened since January 1 of 2015.

The total paid off since the high water mark is about $800k, but much of that happened under chair Pat Shortridge, before Downey took office.

It is disingenuous for Downey to start with the $2.2 million figure in his calculations, but when you see how unimpressive the real numbers are, it's easy to see why he would use the higher figure.

Downey starts his section on the debt with the statement "To be clear, the State Party still carries too much debt."  I couldn't agree more.  I guess on Saturday we'll see if the delegates agree.

 RPM A/P Aging Summary Dated March 31, 2013, a few days before Downey was elected.

April 16, 2013 memo about party financials