Friday, February 08, 2008

"An amended report correcting this error will be filed when the committee's internal audit has been completed" Part 2

The financial woes of the Republican Party of Minnesota seem to be harbinger of similar woes at the National Republican Congressional Committee. We've mentioned the state party's ongoing and unresolved financial accounting problems before, and yesterday, Minnesota Monitor had a recap of the NRCC scandal and its Minnesota Connections.

Well, things appear to be going from bad to worse for the NRCC:
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), a certified public accountant, had pushed for months for an internal audit of the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to GOP members, but the committee’s treasurer at the time was reluctant.

Finally, at a recent meeting, the now former NRCC treasurer, Christopher J. Ward, relented, giving Conaway what was supposed to be an official internal audit from 2006. That document was a fake, the GOP members said. Even the letterhead on which it was sent was a forgery.

Revelations about the falsified document touched off an unfolding scandal that has rocked the NRCC and spurred a criminal investigation by the FBI into the committee’s accounting procedures.

And the Minnesota Connections don't just stop at Mr. Ward's position as treasurer of the Bachmann, Coleman, and Kennedy '02/RPM leadership PACs. The chair of the NRCC's management team is Minnesota's Rep. John Kline:
Cole told his colleagues that he wasn’t sure if the committee had done a real audit since 2001, and that could open the door for a lengthy and expensive review of the committee’s financial records.

Cole spoke to members with notes detailing what he could – and could not – say, according to one member present. Conaway and Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), who chairs the committee’s management team, also spoke.

So the next time you hear one of our local GOP attack dogs hounding a Democratic office holder about some picayune, unfounded technical transgression that is almost immediately found to be lacking probable cause, be sure to ask if it's better to have no audit or a faked audit.

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