FLS Connect was the phone vendor for Bush 2000, Bush-Cheney 2000, Bush-Cheney 2004, and McCain-Palin (though not in the primary for that one).
According to NRCC records, the NRCC paid FLS Connect $1,022,630.51 during the last cycle.
The RNC, which did all the hard work of putting together the much touted Voter Vault program sold the data to FLS and now has a very pricey lease back from FLS. Voter Vault is also pretty much crap these days. After all that investment and now a costly lease back program, I'm told the data isn't that reliable any more.
Rich Beeson is the Political Director of the RNC. Before going to the RNC (and after leaving the RNC I'm sure), Beeson was a partner at FLS.
According to Open Secrets, FLS Connect is the third largest recipient of expenditures at the RNC.
FLS, when the books are closed on 2008, will probably have made $30 million off of your donations to the RNC.
Here's the thing: according to some friends inside the RNC, no other phone vendors were allowed to bid on the work that FLS got. None. Now, the rates don't seem out of line, though there is some suspicion from a few friends at the RNC that FLS charged more for calls not connected to the campaign. (I don't know what the live call rate was billed at)
I don't know Rich Beeson. I don't know anything about FLS Connect, though I'm sure they are a good vendor if the President used them.
But does it not seem wholly improper that the Political Director of the RNC gave a multi-million dollar contract to his own company without opening bidding to anyone else? He told National Journal he wasn't getting anything for it. But come on -- the guy was a partner at the firm and will probably head back there if he isn't there already. He's getting a benefit. It's just delayed.
And this is not the only example. Let's not forget Majority Strategies.
So my question is: What will you do as RNC Chairman to ensure there is no self-dealing among RNC staff and consultants and as part of efforts to mitigate consultant self-dealings will you commit to legitimately bidding out all of the RNC's vendor contracts for mail, phone banking, and GOTV programs?
Go vote for my question here.