The RNC, Michael Steele and Cold Hard Cash
I opened up the Fox website and lo and behold, I read this story about Steele and RNC finances. I went over to Frum Forum, the alleged home of the new Moderate wing of the GOP and, as I suspected, they were already in full throated defense of Chairman Steele. Read it here. Here’s the Money Quote from the Fox News/AP article:
“RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen amended Federal Election Commission reports to show some $3.3 million in debt for April and $3.8 million for May. The RNC, which had crowed about having zero debt, had more than $2 million in debt at the end of June, according to FEC reports filed Tuesday. In the memo, Mr. Pullen said “fundraising has been falling well short of budgeted numbers” but also saw increases in the bank account. ”The explanation for this was the RNC was doing a great job of controlling expenses,” Pullen wrote in his memo. “This on the surface seemed reasonable; however, I reviewed April and May check registers in May and noted what seemed to be an increasing number of invoices with dates from prior months.” In other words, the RNC simply wasn’t paying its bills on time to make it look as though it had more cash than it did.”
First gut impression: I think this is a wake up sign to the RNC and to the GOP. Regardless of whose spin you believe, why is the RNC having what is, for lack of better words, a collapse in raising money for the 2010 election? Admittedly, they have a very professionally done website, but it really doesn’t meet the needs of the party. It would be interesting to find out how much money they have received via their website as compared to how much money they have spent designing it. (Design Hint: It has too much Red and not enough Blue..you don’t need much, but a little would go a long way)
However, the accusation by the TREASURER of the RNC eerily reminds me of the beginning of the trauma the Republican Party of Florida suffered in “L’affaire Greer”. I was reminded of that great American Philosopher, Yogi Berra, who said: “This is like deja vu all over again…”.
An insider that has full knowledge of the inner financial workings of the party makes serious accusations of financial misconduct by senior members of the party, who scramble to deny such rumors and in effect say, “Trust me, the other guy is lying”. Chairman Steele did not hesitate to bring in the official lawyer of the RNC to deny the accusation and as of this post, it seems all parties agree all bills have been paid and the RNC now has zero debt.
With the increasing unpopularity of the Obama administration, you would think the RNC would be raking in the cash, but no… they appear to be barely breaking even.
Folks, today is 21 July 2010. We are very close to being just a 100 days, I say again, 100 DAYS till the November election. I also note that Harry Reid is making a comeback in the polls and Charlie Crist is possibly (probably?) ahead of Rubio. I freely admit I’m a half glass empty kind of guy, but this story should give all Republicans pause. 2010 IS NOT in the bag for us. Our Premier Party Flagship, The RNC, is listing badly and is dangerously low on fuel (aka “money”). Does the RNC have a coherent plan AND funds to support candidates that can take away seats from the Democrats in both the House AND the Senate? (example FL-District 2: I expect big support from the RNC – My partner, Umpire has his eye on this race – we here at Practical State WILL ask for data and amounts of money that was spent by the RNC to win this seat for the Republican)
Right now, I would say that the RNC is probably near broke and will be a minor player in the election. Now might be too close to an election to go full throttle to lobby for an investigation into fraud and waste in the RNC, but I expect a full accounting after November of how much funds were raised since Michael Steele was elected and how much went to candidates and how much went to keeping the RNC staff employed/wined and dined. I got November 3rd marked in my calendar to raise this issue again, regardless of the outcome of the election.
I suggest to the RPOF to talk with other state GOP representatives and to put the RNC on notice that there will be an independent audit of party funds after this election. If the RPOF had to do it when questions arose, so should the RNC.