“We have about 20 counties left to go,” GOP Chairman Tony Sutton said. “We have been chipping away on them.”
Sutton estimated that the party could finish paying its recount bills within four weeks. He said about $20,000 remains to be paid.
“It is about managing all the bills we have,” Sutton said.
The chairman answered questions about the issue Monday following a letter Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing, sent to Republican legislative colleagues suggesting they contribute to pay the bills, although in an interview he thought just $3,000 to $4,000 remained.The money owed to the counties comes from the state Republicans' love of recounts, the most recent in the governor's race last fall. Democrat Mark Dayton was ahead just under 8,000 votes before the recount, 9,000 after. (Unpaid) Money well spent, huh?
The MN GOP appears to have learned the IOU bill pay method from one of the best: Former Governor himself, Tim Pawlenty.
Tim Pawlenty left us with a balanced budget that included a variety of IOU's. IOU's on the scale that no other governor in Minnesota has ever done.
First, there is the $1.4 to $1.6 billion that we still owe the school districts from the Pawlenty unallotment. I really enjoyed the banter from candidate Tom Emmer during the campaign in which he said they would hold education harmless. Equally brazen is the rhetoric from House Education chair Pat Garofalo and how proud he is of the House education budget. Neither of them has ever had any intention of finding a way to pay that money back, while schools borrow and pay interest to make up the difference. This IOU has become locked in so heavily that even Governor Dayton sees no path to repayment during the current biennium.