November 26, 2011; Source: Billings Gazette |

Blaming a change in its accountant and its bookkeeping software, the Wyoming Republican Party has been hit with IRS penalties for the second time in two years. According to a balance sheet for the organization, sometime between July and October the party paid $12,490.63 in IRS penalties and interest, apparently for not filing 2008 W-2s and other organizational forms with the IRS. Making an embarrassing situation worse, Wyoming Republican Party Chairwoman Tammy Hooper had previously denied that the party had made any such penalty payments, insisting that the paperwork had, finally, been submitted. Hooper didn’t return phone calls from the Billings Gazette last week seeking comment on the discrepancy.

In fact, it appeared that just about no one wanted to comment.

Is this the first incident in an otherwise squeaky clean operation? Not really, since last year the Federal Election Commission found that “the Wyoming Republican Party improperly reported more than $129,000 spent just before the 2008 general election. The party was fined $1,500 and was told to review its accounting practices”.—Ruth McCambridge