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In Part 1, we looked at how FEC Tony's (pictured, right) MN GOP couldn't (wouldn't?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor to ensure accurate FEC reports.  In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP's Cooked Books -- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington - which nailed 'em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN.  In Part 3,  we looked at how a payroll deductions "no, NO!" that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern.  No surprise there!

Today in Part 4 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we're going to take a look at how a reasonable person has no reason to believe anything a Republican says a vendor and what appears to be a fake address.  While perusing the December 20th, 2011 MN GOP Federal Elections Commission ("FEC") filing - covering the month of November 2011 -  the following stuck out.  Why?  Because there simply isn't an address in Minneapolis that has a street number of "7705."  Let's look!

(link to FEC Report here)

OK, to recap so far:  we know that you can't believe what Republicans say, ESPECIALLY in FEC reports - after all, on December 20th, 2011 the MN GOP reported they only owed $542,005 when the real number was double that -- and possibly closer to a cool $2 million.  And, of course, there's that $170,000 fine theFEC smacked 'em with just a few months ago...

So when an address shows up with a street number that can't possibly be in the city they say, well - that bears some digging into.  And a simple mapquest search shows that that address is NOT in Minneapolis!

We'll start with the company - "Fundraising Associates" - first.  If you go to the Minnesota Secretary Of State's office, you'll find that "Fundraising Associates is in fact a bona fide company.  Except, as noted in the preceeding link, it's NOT at "7705 Tanglewood Court" - it's registered at "4035 W 65th Street  #427, Edina MN 55435."   And it's registered to a "Zandra Wolcott."

What type of building is "4035 W 65th Street"?  It's an apartment building.  OK, no big deal there; a lot of people work out of their homes these days.  But, what is "7705 Tanglewood Court"?  It's a duplex, smack dab in the middle of a residential area in Edina.

So, why would the MN GOP have a "Payee address" for a company that's registered and apparently working out of an apartment listed to a duplex some other place?  Hmmm....

... Better check the property tax records!  Here's what they show:

Owner Name:  Golden Valley Microwave FDS
Taxpayer Name & Address:   Norman M Gabrick, 4910 Malibu Drive, Edina 55346
Homestead Status: Non-Homestead

Who is "Golden Valley Microwave FDS"?  A quick googlesearch indicates that it's now a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods.

ConAgra Foods??!?  Why is a vendor's check going to a duplex owned by ConAgra Foods??!?

It's not like "Fundraising Associates" hasn't been listed on FEC Reports before... let's look!

Yep - in 2010, in a "Minnesota-Bachmann Victory Committee" FEC Report, Zandra Wolcott was reported as receiving $25,000 -- at the address registered with the MN Secretary Of State.

But now, a year later and now a MN GOP vendor, her checks are being sent to a "non-homestead" (read="rental") duplex a couple of miles away from her apartment/registered business address?

Why? Is that duplex just a sham address?  Or is the MN GOP claiming that the money went to Wolcott, but it was really sent to someone else?

Those questions (and more!) I didn't get to ask Zandra Wolcott.  Here's the only question I got to ask:

"When you gave your bills to the MN GOP, did you use your business address or an address for a duplex a few miles away from your office?"

I got to ask it, but: no answer.  In an exceedingly short phone conversation, Ms. Wolcott referred me to Pat Shortridge at the MN GOP --- and her attorney,  Tony Trimble.

Yes, Tony "Recount" Trimble - the MN GOP lawyer, who's recount bills the MN GOP may try to weasel out of paying.

Say, there's a plan!  Ask questions about a fishy FEC transaction to a former ENRON lobbyist - now running the MN GOP - and a lawyer that the MN GOP probably owes big bucks to! One can easily assume a response along the lines of "not intended to be a factual statement", or, perhaps, "I only lied because I had to"...

What we know, is there's (stuff) in the MN GOP's campaign finance reports that's simply not true.  

What we don't know is who put down what appears to be a fake address on an FEC report - the vendor, or the MN GOP?  And why?

And how many OTHER fake addresses has the MN GOP reported to the FEC?

In digging into this one, I've been hearing allegations of shell LLC's and other sham addresses, etc that the MN GOP has been reporting.

So stay tuned -- the best is yet to come!!!  

Originally posted to TwoPuttTommy on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 06:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the update. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm looking forward to this being a springboard by which we can retake the state house this year.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:29:50 AM PST

  •  Thanks for staying on top of this... (7+ / 0-)

    I look forward to your diaries on this - I appreciate the research you are doing.

    Thanks!

  •  Is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, Jake Nelson

    confusing Edina with MPLs an honest mistake?

  •  It is work like this that has the potential (11+ / 0-)

    to make a real difference. Rants and opinions matter....but research and facts are deadly.

    Well done.

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 12:31:27 PM PST

  •  Details... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, TwoPuttTommy, WI Deadhead

    From what I know...

    The Minneapolis/Edina thing is normal for a lot of automated matching by ZIP code. When I lived in Bloomington, all sorts of stuff came addressed as Minneapolis because that's how 55420 and 55425, et al, come up in a reverse ZIP search.

    Zandra Wolcott was Bachmann's finance director until she quit in July of 2010. She's been a fundraiser/bundler/donor relations type for years. "Fundraising Associates" is just her DBA.

    From Google...

    Norman Gabrick owns a bunch of rental property around here and in Aspen. Probably just landlord, nothing there. Don't know why Golden Valley Foods is listed as owner.

    7705 Tanglewood Ct is the listed address for "Capital Strategies", a (4-person) financial/investing advisory company. Their (1990s-esque) site is http://www.capstratcorp.com

    Eric Graber, the CEO, comes up in some searches associated with a different (Indianapolis-based) Capital Strategies, which has a more polished site: http://www.cap-strat.com/

    There are about a million other unrelated companies named Capital Strategies, so searching is largely ineffective.

    "What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!" - Genghis Khan and Conan the Barbarian

    by Jake Nelson on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 01:16:45 PM PST

  •  I have verified that address is real (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    I used the QAS software program that is commonly used for address verification and that address does come up as a Minneapolis address.  While you may well be correct that the address is actually in Edina the software lists it as Minneapolis, while QAS sometimes gets the city borders incorrect it is very accurate when it comes to providing addresses that will reach their proper destinations which means that even if this address is technically in Edina I can virtually guarantee a piece of mail would reach its proper destination if addressed to Minneapolis.  I would not be surprised if the GOP uses the same software I used to verify this and that is why the address appears to be wrong to someone who knows the city borders even if it is totally accurate as far as the Post Office is concerned.

  •  keep shining the sunlight (0+ / 0-)

    I have no doubt that the more we look at these front companies the more things of interest we will find.

    Of special note to me is $665,213.27 to this one entity.

    I realize that honest mistakes happen but evidence of obfuscation and convoluted trails and "innocent" mistakes being made when the $ amount is so large...

    www.dailykos.com is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 04:04:50 PM PST

  •  no gimmes i hope (0+ / 0-)

    US universities contradict their mission statements and endorse climate denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 04:29:19 PM PST

  •  MN Republicans Looking Like Idiots (summary) (4+ / 0-)

    Here are just a few things we Minnesotans have seen in the last six months or so:

    Around July of last year the Republicans (who currently control the legislature) forced a shutdown of the state government for about a month. No driver’s licenses, no fishing licenses, no lottery tickets, no contracts for building highways or bridges (aka “jobs”). The Republicans claimed they were being fiscally responsible. Which is utter bullshit. The Republicans ended up reducing aid to cities (which means some cities are either raising their (always regressive) property taxes or cutting basic services, like police and fire) and forcing school districts to borrow money to keep paying teachers. The Repubs were being utter idiots.

    A little later, Chip Cravaack (the brand new Republican U.S. Representative from the 8th District, which before 2010 hadn’t elected a Republican since 1947), during a congressional recess, scheduled absolutely no town halls open to the public. Every one of his meetings required a cover charge. Finally, he buckled and said, “OK, I’ll talk to you in a meeting room at the airport for an hour. I’ll deign to talk with the public before I jump on the plane.” Fucking idiot. I hope he runs for re-election and loses big.

    At the end of 2011, many Minnesota Republicans were quite proud to see that two of their own rising stars on the national stage – former Governor Tim Pawlenty and soon-to-be-former-Congresslunatic Michele Bachmann – were campaigning for the Republican Party Nomination! Maybe Minnesota will be a future breeding ground for future Republicans! Now it’s January 2012 and both Pawlenty and Bachmann have dropped out of the race. Plus Bachmann isn’t running for re-election. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. Idiots.

    In December, the (Republican) state senate majority leader, Amy Koch, resigned and announced that she wouldn’t seek reelection because she had had an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staffer. She apologized, of course. And she’s married, of course. The funniest thing about this scandal was that the LGBT community apologized (in a sarcastic way) about ruining her marriage.

    Now there’s the whole scandal about the fucked-up finances of the state Republican party. It makes me happy because the Repubs will be paying various fines and paying back debts they incurred (going back to the Al Franken recount), so they won’t have much money to spend in 2012. Plus, people might be reluctant to donate money to them if they're such idiots. The chairman of the state party (known as the “burrito king” because he used to be CEO of a Mexican restaurant chain) was sort of like a local version of Herman Cain (who used to be CEO of some pizza chain) or Mitt Romney (who used to run a company that liked to fire people). He sent out a tweet on Twitter saying he was resigning as chairman of the state party 15 minutes before it took effect. When will Republicans learn their lesson about the so-called “job creators”?

    The party that brags about “fiscal responsibility” and “family values” is not especially good at either. And if you ask them about the campaign-finance laws from which they’re currently trying to disentangle themselves, I’d bet they’d call them “burdensome government regulations.” Because they're idiots.

    In the meantime, we Democrats have Governor Dayton and U.S. Senators Franken and Klobuchar. There are no scandals connected with them. (Plus I love Rep. Keith Ellison.) Things are looking good for MN Democrats in 2012.

    Sorry this post is so long. I was tempted to turn it into a diary, but then I'd have to use Google to find all the links and I'm feeling kind of lazy.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:26:43 PM PST

  •  Coming from the other direction (0+ / 0-)

    I plugged "7705 Tanglewood Court, MN" into google maps

    That hits for Eden Prairie, just off W. 78th near Braemar Golf Course.

    I grew up in Ohio and live in New Hampshire and I have NO idea what that means.  But they've got a picture of a house and everything....

    The way to respond to the outrageous is with outrage; the way to respond to the ridiculous is with ridicule.

    by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:51:56 PM PST

    •  Not definitive (0+ / 0-)

      try 7707 or 7729 or 7730 or 7731.

      Most GPS locations by address databases have a section of a street with the database indicating maybe starting and ending address, and therefor often interpolate linearly for addresses in between. Thus you can get a hit for an address that doesn't really exist, and get a picture of the nearest house (on a crowded street).

      Where I live on winding roads the house numbers are not consecutive anyway, purposely, because they are assigned as part of a county grid...

      Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

      by blindcynic on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 12:57:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So you're sending your research to the FEC? (0+ / 0-)

    I sure hope so, because then we can follow the FEC's investigation or lack thereof. . .

    This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

    by marthature on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 09:17:25 AM PST

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