ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s Republican Party chairwoman is defending her push to get a 10 percent commission on large donations to the party, saying she’s paid less than her predecessors and even some top party staffers.

An internal party memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press shows that Jennifer Carnahan requested the 10 percent payout from large contributions from October 2017 through this coming April, when the party’s budget year ends. The memo doesn’t define what donations would be subject to the commission, but it would result in an immediate retroactive payout of $24,500, which would supplement her annual salary of $67,000. Her proposal does not mention a cap on the commission payouts.

carnahan gop chair Minn. GOP Chairwoman Defends Push For 10% Of Donations

Jennifer Carnahan (credit: CBS)

Campaign finance experts say the arrangement is unheard of in party politics. The state Republican Party’s 14-member executive committee was expected to vote privately on the matter Thursday.

Carnahan didn’t reply to an AP interview request. But she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that commission payments are common among professional fundraising outfits.

A newcomer to politics who took over the party last spring after working in the corporate world and starting her own small business, Carnahan said in the memo that she regularly works 100-hour weeks and has doubled the average contribution amount to the party.

“As a female in the political world, and someone who comes in with corporate experience, I think there’s a larger issue here about women being compensated commensurate with work experience and work output,” Carnahan told the Star Tribune.

Carnahan requested a $66,000 salary when she ran for chair in April 2017, saying that it’s “important to keep as much money in the party as possible,” according to notes from her presentation. She was given a $67,000 salary.

She said the person responsible for her proposal being publicized “stabbed the party in the back.”

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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