The group Common Cause Minnesota is pushing for criminal charges to be filed against the Minnesota Republican Party and former party chair Tony Sutton.
Common Cause Executive Director Mike Dean is taking the action after a ruling by the Minnesota Campaign Finance board last week that the state found the Republican Party, Sutton and several others improperly created a for-profit corporation to hide contributions that would pay the party's bills for the 2010 gubernatorial recount. Dean says that's illegal.
"It wasn't just a mistake, because they were instructed on how to do this. It was a serious violation where they really, I would argue, conspired to do this. If you really read the depositions, you see that Tony Sutton admitting that they were doing this to avoid that disclosure."
Dean also wants the St. Paul City Attorney to pursue misdemeanor charges against Sutton for circumventing disclosure laws. The city attorney says she's reviewing the case.
Sutton provided this written statement to MPR News:
"I believe I have done nothing wrong and think this is an attempt by Common Cause to exploit this situation for political gain."