Tony Sutton, the volatile Minnesota Republican Party chairman, blows a gasket in a story today by Post-Bulletin reporter Kay Fate. The GOP hasn't paid a $2,424 bill to Mower County to cover costs associated with the gubernatorial recount.
County Auditor/Treasurer Doug Groh says he's been trying to get the bill paid since December. According to the story, "Since then, Groh said, he's been told the invoice was lost and, on three occasions, that the check was in the mail. Payment never arrived."
What does Terrible Tony have to say about that? Here are his quotes in Kay's story:
"This guy Groh, he's been calling here," Sutton said Thursday. "But listen, I don't have the Dayton family fortune to draw on to pay these bills, so he's going to get paid as soon as possible.
"I don't appreciate him blackmailing us and saying if we don't pay him right away, he's going to the press. I think it's unconscionable for a public official to threaten somebody and blackmail them. … I think that's unconscionable, and it's no way for a public official to behave.
"It's hard to raise money. It's a recession; it's the winter-time, and we're doing the best we can. They're going to get paid, that's going to happen."
"Absolutely," Sutton said, "but I don't appreciate a public official, who's working at taxpayer expense, threatening to blackmail us. He works for us.
"I know he's probably a big man down there in Mower County, but that is just unconscionable for him to blackmail us in such a brazen way."
Is this appropriate conduct for the man who leads the Republican Party of Minnesota? He can blame Dayton, blame Groh, blame us for assisting in "blackmail," blame the recession, but nowhere does he seem to apologize for being late.
Pay the bill, pal! It's March.
Today's story would have been half as long if Sutton hadn't gone off on a rant, and I wouldn't have bothered with this blog post. Instead, Tony's become the story.