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Minnesota GOP Finally Dumps Walking Scandal Machine Tony Sutton

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 3, 2011

In what may be the ultimate Friday News Dump for the North Star State, it was announced late this afternoon that Tony Sutton is no longer the chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota:

Amid mounting evidence of party disarray and financial difficulties, Republican State Party Chairman Tony Sutton announced his resignation Friday.

“I have decided to resign as State Chair effective 5PM today. I have enjoyed being State Chair, but feel it is best for my family to move on,” he said on Twitter.

Well, well, well.

This is a guy who presided over the ALEC-fueled legislative takeover of 2010, ALEC’s juice nearly sufficing to overcome the major deficiencies of Tom Emmer and bringing him to within sight of the Governor’s Mansion — and yet he, barely a year after that historic coup, is no longer in place. (Neither, by the way, is his right-hand man, former Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb, who left his post in October. Hmmmm.)

That may seem surprising, but a review of his history (a history that up to now has been largely soft-focused by the Republican-tilted local establishment media; only City Pages and the blogs have deigned to cover it in depth or in detail) will likely make the reader what took the local GOP so long to realize the guy was a 350-plus-pound radioactive boat anchor.

Follow me past the jump for a by-no-means-complete synopsis of Tony Sutton’s most memorable career and life experiences:

— Here’s MN Observer on his disastrous tenure as Treasurer for the Republican Party of Minnesota:

He’s the one whose name is most closely associated with the horrific accounting and auditing nightmare that is the treasury of the RPM. He’s been front and center in that complaint filed with the Federal Elections Commission and he’s the one who has had rather pointed questions directed at him by the FEC here, here, here, and here. He also had to send in those humiliating letters – over and over and over again – stating that “An amended report correcting this error will be filed when the committee’s internal audit has been completed.” In short, he was apparently the doofus in charge as this mess was allowed to fester and grow into what some think will eventually lead to the largest FEC fine in history for poor bookkeeping.

Indeed, under Sutton’s financial leadership, the Republican Party of Minnesota would outdistance all other US political organizations in terms of reprimanding letters from the FEC, and rack up a $170,000 fine as a result.

— Round about the time that Sutton was doing a horrible job with the RPM’s money as its treasurer, he was enabled to double down on his financial escapades by the Cooper family, the CEOs and Chairs of the TCF banking and holding company, when they backed his bid to enter the chain-restaurant field with the purchase of Baja Sol. Bill Cooper, a former RPM Chair himself, was not the only fellow Republican or conservative activist to be connected to Baja Sol; as Sally Jo Sorensen notes, persons like Ron Carey (also a former RPM Chair) and Minnesota Taxpayers League founder Michael Wigley. The number and prominence of conservative and Republican activists that were part of the Baja Sol orbit helped cause me to name the joint “Tony Sutton’s Turkey Farm“, and its saga has been one of Hindenburg-like crashing and burning.

— He and his wife Bridget Cronin Sutton are being sued by the landlord of their now-shuttered Baja Sol location in Inver Grove Heights, a suburb of Saint Paul. Seems that not only did the Suttons and Baja Sol default several times on the monthly rent, but their closing the site broke a lease that was set to run until April of 2017.

I predict that even as 2011 was worse than 2010 for Tony Sutton, 2012 will make 2011 look like a cakewalk in comparison.

7 Responses to “Minnesota GOP Finally Dumps Walking Scandal Machine Tony Sutton”

  1. Mark Gisleson said

    I see the Strib deigned to cover this late yesterday, then quick hid the link this morning. Makes no difference to me: I only get fifteen free clicks a month and I wouldn’t waste one on a Tony Sutton story, not even one with Brodkorb sprinkles.

    Here’s hoping he let the door hit him on the ass, making him fall on his baja sol (olé).

    • Yup, they had Harold Stassen’s Republican granddaughter covering it. Which may be why certain dots were left unconnected.

      And I loved the opening words of the opening sentence of the lead paragraph:

      “Amid mounting evidence of party disarray and financial difficulties…”

      Hey, Ms. Stassen-Berger! Woulda been nice if you or somebody else at your Tice-controlled fishwrap had bothered to mention this before Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm. I guess you were too busy touting the latest obscenities by Katherine Kersten. Oh, well, that’s OK — it’s just more stuff that we dirty hippie bloggers and alt-media papers covered in depth that you all didn’t.

    • By the way, the Strib link is still dead. Interestingly, the dead-tree version of the piece does not contain the words “Amid mounting evidence of party disarray and financial difficulties…”in the first sentence — in fact that whole first sentence was rewritten.

  2. Charles II said

    This is a disaster.

    The Minnesota Republican Party might actually recover.

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