Mark Drake: Thank you all for coming to this press conference this afternoon. I want to tell you about the latest smear of the Minnesota GOP by CREW, the so-called "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington." The executive director of CREW is Melanie Sloan, who some of you know has appeared on Al Franken's radio show. This is so bold and shameless that I am almost speechless.
Q: We thought that CREW filed a complaint, not the Minnesota GOP.
MD: Well, now that you mention it, that's right. But CREW's action was so mean! We're planning to file our own complaint about their complaint.
Q: With whom?
Q: [laughing] What's that?
MD: People Against Holding Republicans Accountable.
Q: You just made that up, didn't you?
MD: Did not.
Q: Did too.
MD: Did not. PAHRA was incorporated just this past week.
Q: By whom?
MD: The Republican National Committee. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't take the organization seriously.
Q: Wasn't CREW's complaint about the Minnesota GOP made to the Federal Election Commission because of multiple, egregious violations of campaign reporting laws and regulations?
MD: Well, of course, that's what they said, but . . .
Q: Where did CREW get its information? Wasn't it a memo prepared by an insider at the Party?
MD: That's what CREW said, but again . . .
Q: Come on, Mark. Are you denying that the memo is genuine?
MD: No. But the memo says some really mean things about Mr. Carey and that nice old lady . . . what's her name?
Q: Marina Taubenberger?
MD: Yes! Thank you!
Q: So, is it true that the Party hid the extent of its debt and the fact that it made late payments due to staff members, or not?
MD: Let me say this about that: when the FEC finishes its investigation, some things may come out, and we will admit them at that time. Whatever they are. In the meantime, we're doing everything to get into compliance.
Q: So in other words, you admit to FEC violations?
MD: My, did I say that? Didn't mean to! Heavens! At the present time, there is no reason to admit to . . . I mean, I am unaware of any FEC violations. I know nothing! Don't you want to hear more about Melanie Sloan or the complaining party in Minnesota--this Gerth woman? Boy, there's a couple of harpies for you! Speaking of harpies, you aren't from the local press corps, but you look familiar. Who are you?
Q: I flew in for the day. I'm Helen Thomas.
MD: Okay, that's all. Thanks for coming everybody!