Overshadowed at the state Republican Party’s central committee meeting last weekend was the report on the party’s finances.
Just before the straw poll of delegates that placed Jeff Johnson and Julianne Ortman as early frontrunners for party endorsement for governor and U.S. Senate, GOP treasurer Bron Scherer gave some good news for a change.
The literal bottom line of Scherer’s report shows that the party’s debt has shrunk from $1.9 million to $1.28 million. In a statement, Scherer attributed the development to “financial support of both our large and smaller donors as well as cooperation with many RPM vendors in terms of structuring our obligations.” Read: some donors have come back to the fold and vendors were more willing to cut a deal.
Ironically, Scherer credited the return of what is called the “contribution refund program” for an uptick in donations. Republican legislators have opposed the program and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty led the dismantling of the program four years ago.
Scherer expects the state party will have $300,000 in the bank by April of next year, with the possibility that the party will double that amount for use in the 2014 election season.
But the party will still have substantial obligations of the 2010 election cycle on the books. Scherer noted that much of the party’s debt is under a long-term payment plan, meaning getting the debt wiped out is years and several election cycles in the future.