The Slow Fall of the Minnesota Republican Party

Things are not going well for the Minnesota Republican Party (MNGOP). Some time ago it was revealed that they hadn’t paid the rent on their office building for some time, which lead to an eviction notice being sent their way. Now all sorts of chicanery is being revealed about the dummy corporation setup by MNGOP to contest Dayton’s electoral victor:

This past winter, George Fraley got a certified letter from a Republican attorney demanding payment of more than $219,000 in overdue legal fees from the 2010 gubernatorial recount.

There were two problems: The letter listed Fraley as CEO of a company he’d never heard of — Count Them All Properly Inc. Second, he never agreed to bankroll the recount for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

“This has been, without a doubt, one of the screwiest things that has ever happened in my life,” said Fraley, who is not politically active and who has no ties to the GOP.

Fraley’s fight to get his name removed from the corporate filings for Count Them All Properly is coming to light as state regulators and a watchdog group are probing whether the company was created chiefly to keep debt off the books of the state Republican Party, which owes creditors $2 million, including recount debt.

GOP activists were rocked again last week when they learned that the party is $111,000 behind on rent. On Tuesday a Ramsey County district judge will conduct a hearing on whether the party can be evicted from its longtime St. Paul headquarters.


In the last two years, Count Them All Properly has listed two CEOs, both of whom say they have never heard of the company. Count Them All Properly has no corporate office, no phone number and no website. It does, however, have roughly $500,000 in debt, mostly to recount lawyers.

The company was incorporated in late 2010 by Daniel Puhl, a former administrator for the Republican National Committee who specializes in helping political parties, businesses and candidates work with the Federal Elections Commission.

About two weeks later, a CEO was listed: Jon Richard Schroeder.

Like Fraley, Schroeder says he had never heard of the company or agreed to be its chief executive.

“I have no idea how my name got on there,” said Schroeder, who runs a heating and air conditioning company in Maple Grove. “I have never been associated with them.”

As recount debt piled up, Schroeder said he started getting calls from people looking for the CEO. He told them the same thing: It’s not me; call someone else.

Months later, Schroeder’s name was replaced in state records with a new CEO: George Fraley.

Not only did they setup a dummy corporation to hide the debt that MNGOP knew would be incurred by recounting the governor vote (they claim that’s not why the corporation was setup but we all know it is) but they listed to random schmucks at the CEOs. Couldn’t they have at least listed somebody involved in the Republican Party?

I’m sure this story is going to get very interesting as it develops. I wonder how deep the corruption goes in this case. Also, why does a Ramsey County judge have to rule on whether or not MNGOP can be evicted? They haven’t paid their damned rent, it is well within the rights of the landlord to give those deadbeats the boot. Oh, right, MNGOP is a powerful political entity and therefore receive special state treatment.