At least part of Minnesota’s strange political mystery may be solved. That’s the puzzler of how business executive George Fraley was erroneously listed as the CEO of Count Them All Properly Inc. (CTAP), a Republican fundraising group for the recount of the 2010 governor’s race. Fraley says the cyber-trail shows that the listing originated within his own company,HealthLink Minnesota Management Group, an Edina firm that provides business services for medical practices. Fraley is executive vice president there. He says an internal investigation has shown that an administrative assistant at Healthlink, intending to enter Fraley’s name on the Minnesota secretary of state website on behalf of a client, mistakenly entered an ID number that led to the CTAP corporate filing. “My attorney said, ‘George, maybe you need to tell me what’s going on because the [computer] IP address used to change this was yours,’ ” Fraley said. Fraley was concerned and perplexed by the news. “I was aware of some dispute involving Republican funding,” he said. “I was not aware of Count Them All Properly.”
The state Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board is now investigating the structure of CTAP and its relation to the Minnesota Republican Party. Fraley learned his name was linked to the group when an attorney sent him a bill for recount services. Then, “I went to my IT people, and my IT director started investigating,” he said. The investigation appears to clear up how, just after the first of the year, Fraley’s name came to appear on the secretary of state’s CTAP filing.
Fraley explained that the entry was made from the computer of a now-former administrative assistant. “Part of her job was credentialing [for HealthLink clients]. She needed to be on the secretary of state website from time to time,” Fraley said.