MNGOP Party debt: “There is some ugly stuff in here.”

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The Republican Party of Minnesota is heading into 2012 facing a debt of nearly $2 million, although they say they’re contesting more than $700 thousand in legal bills that make up part of that total.

Party leaders released an internal financial review today that shows the debt is much worse than previously reported. It includes $415 thousand in payments from the last three years that had not been reported and a $120 thousand fine from the Federal Election Commission. Republican National Committeeman Jeff Johnson says party officials wanted to get the full story out.

“The debt number is honestly higher than anyone wants it to be,” Johnson said. “There is some ugly stuff in here. And Kelly (Fenton) and Mike (Vekich) both agreed strongly with this that we decided we were going to disclose everything that we owed, ugly or not ugly.”

Former party chair Tony Sutton abruptly resigned last month. Republican Party members meet tomorrow to discuss the party’s finances and to elect a new chair.

Listen to the full news conference here:

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