Great news: RNC spent $340,000 on Hawaii meeting that used to be held in D.C.

posted at 12:55 pm on April 21, 2010 by Allahpundit

Before we even get to the Hawaii angle, here’s the obligatory link to WaPo’s story this morning about how both national committees — yes, the sainted DNC too — burn through mountains of donor cash on things like limos, airfare, luxury hotels and, ahem, “office supplies” and “tips.” How much cash are we talking about? Enough to make the average nonprofit director, who typically devotes 20-25 percent or so of the organization’s funds to overhead and fundraising, faint dead away:

The two parties assert that to raise money, they must spend it, and both have long used donated funds to court and pamper prospective donors with luxurious getaways and gifts.

The nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, in an analysis done at the request of The Post, calculated, however, that administrative and fundraising expenses consumed about $60 million of Democratic revenue in this cycle through the end of February, or 59 percent of total revenue that exceeded $100 million. For Republicans, the amount exceeded $74 million, or 68 percent of $109 million in revenue

“There is a class of [political] donors who expect to be wined and dined and who expect to have gala receptions as part and parcel of giving a donation,” said Anthony J. Corrado, a Colby College professor specializing in campaign finance. But he said many current expenditures “are not the type that are going to translate into a large financial boon . . . such as spending on charter flights, limousines, entertainment, food and beverages at party headquarters.”

The DNC’s spokesman responded to the story with the standard “you have to spend money to make money” line. The RNC’s spokesman simply didn’t respond (to “most questions,” at least, according to WaPo). Which brings us to Hawaii:

According to FEC reports filed late Tuesday, the RNC spent $167K on facilities for the 3-day meeting, which took place at a posh resort in Waikiki. That figure doesn’t include rooms and office space for the party employees who staffed the meeting, which added up to at least another $90K.

At least 33 RNC staffers and officials made the trip to HI, including top members of the political, communications and research departments, as first reported by Hotline OnCall. Party staff were reimbursed for meals and travel as part of the trip…

The amount the RNC spent in HI is likely to eclipse the amount the national committee will spend on a crucial special election to replace ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) next month. Abercrombie quit to pursue a GOV bid; in his place, 2 prominent Dems and a strong GOP candidate are running in a May 22 winner-take-all election.

Why whine about this when the DNC is almost, if not quite, as bad? Well (a) as noted by Hotline, there are potential special-election upsets that this cash could have been spent on instead; (b) the three Democratic fundraising committees all outraised their GOP counterparts last month, so money is more of a crunch for our side; (c) dumping money into exotic vacations is not only poor politics during a major recession, it’s poisonous for a party trying to reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility; and (d) as noted in the post title, they typically hold this meeting in D.C. In fact, Cantor unloaded on Steele in January, before the new scrutiny related to the “Voyeur” bar tab started, for wasting money on a “beach resort” when House Republicans were content to have their winter meeting in Baltimore. No expensive airfare needed for staffers, no hotel rooms, no restaurant budgets: When you’ve got a home base in the capital, makes sense to take advantage of it, no? It used to.

The latest poll in that Hawaiian special election, incidentally: Djou (R) 32, Case (D) 28, Hanabusa (D) 27. A huge upset, if it happens.


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RNC spent $340,000 on Hawaii meeting

Meanwhile…Obama decides to keep one million in GoldSachs campaign money. mmm mmm mmm

labrat on April 21, 2010 at 2:26 PM

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 2:22 PM

To answer your question, no. It’s obviously not coming just from this blog. The RNC’s spending shows awful image management on the part of its leadership. Imagine the cumulative effect of every news story about this on your average voter. This sort of spending creates conflicting messages.

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Good Grief.

Now, I have to put up with Class Warfare.

*sigh*

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Given a choice between of the royalists, by the royalists and for the royalists and of the people, by the people and for the people, I will chose the later, thank you.

MB4 on April 21, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Wouldn’t it be nice, if someone would point out the difference between spending campaign contributions, as opposed to spending tax dollars?

My original question on the matter was, what difference does it make?.. Campaign contributions are freely given.. Tax Dollars are stolen.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Wouldn’t it be nice, if someone would point out the difference between spending campaign contributions, as opposed to spending tax dollars?

There is a difference, but the PR hit and the drained campaign coffers that result from the private spending will make it a lot harder to win elections and stop the public spending.

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Here’s how I look at it…

If I give $25 to the Republican’s campaign, and they spend that $25 to schmooze someone into giving $1,000,000, I’m fine with it.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I’m personally sick of the whole GOP schtick.

First, they let their own pile onto Palin, now Steele.

It’s just sick dysfunctional crud.

AnninCA on April 21, 2010 at 2:07 PM

You’re conflict avoidance is predictable, but luckily you aren’t king of the world. The process itself in the end will prove to be a good thing. This is a distillation down to the core elements of what conservatism is. The guys that are composed of the right materials will survive and the ones who aren’t will evaporate and disappear.

DFCtomm on April 21, 2010 at 2:42 PM

I just received my ‘Republican Congressional’ census in the mail so I can just use the enclosed envelope to tell them that they are $340,000.00 and a bad decision away from getting bucks from me.

TexasDave on April 21, 2010 at 2:48 PM

If I give $25 to the Republican’s campaign, and they spend that $25 to schmooze someone into giving $1,000,000, I’m fine with it.
franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I don’t mind that at all. That’s basic fundraising.

What I object to are things like holding the annual convention in Hawaii. I’ve lived there, and the cost of living is higher and things more expensive. Why not hold it where it’s normally held, in DC?

Also, like the excerpted section of the article states:

But he said many current expenditures “are not the type that are going to translate into a large financial boon . . . such as spending on charter flights, limousines, entertainment, food and beverages at party headquarters.”

If you’re in an organization that needs donations to survive, don’t spend money when you don’t need to – stay in cheaper hotels, fly commercial, etc.

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Sounds like your Materra argument. Aren’t you getting tired of saying this? (I know I am.)

shick on April 21, 2010 at 1:25 PM

If you’re content to go back to 2006, when Republicans were spending like water, that’s your choice. I’d rather we didn’t.

MadisonConservative on April 21, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Lucky for me, I’m Independent.

I don’t support any parties.

I’ll plow my own donations and energy into candidates.

AnninCA on April 21, 2010 at 2:55 PM

You’re conflict avoidance is predictable,

Me? I’m considered aggressive.

BTW, I agree with you.

I think I am an avoider type.

AnninCA on April 21, 2010 at 3:02 PM

It is one thing to rationalize/excuse the lavish spending on big donors on the grounds that “the ends justifies the means”, but pampered Michael “Marie Antoinette” Steele and his pampered Royalist Frenchie Court seem to be spending lavishly mainly on themselves.

MB4 on April 21, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Yeh,

That big Donee will be really, REALLY impressed, when you row out to his yacht in your little dingy.

heh

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Lucky for me, I’m Independent.

I don’t support any parties.

I’ll plow my own donations and energy into candidates.

AnninCA on April 21, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Unfortunately for Texas, you brought your liberalism there after ruining California. Now your votes will turn Texas into California.

Well done.

/s

fossten on April 21, 2010 at 3:10 PM

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Well, those big donors are certainly not impressed with Steele’s spending.

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Stoppit !!!

In the article above, it clearly states, Democrats have spent in excess of $100 Million.. The Republicans, only $74 Million.

Now, you want they should spend EVEN LESS?

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I find “but the Democrats do it too!!” a somewhat less than persuasive argument.

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 3:32 PM

That’s, clearly, not the argument I’m making.

It’s about greasing the skids.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:35 PM

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:35 PM

As the article makes clear, the RNC is not spending that money on donor maintenance. The spending is erratic, not strategic.

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 3:37 PM

I’ll plow my own donations and energy into candidates cigarettes and Krispy Kremes.

AnninCA on April 21, 2010 at 2:55 PM

right2bright on April 21, 2010 at 3:39 PM

I have just one question..

“Who” benefits from a negative article about the RNC?

An honest answer puts the whole argument to rest.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM

If I give $25 to the Republican’s campaign, and they spend that $25 to schmooze someone into giving $1,000,000, I’m fine with it.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM

And if you give $25 and they spend $15 on themselves and so now they need two of you to get that $1,000…but that $1,000 is only $500 because of mis-spending so you need two of them.
Which means now you need 4 of you to get one of them.
But with 4 of you, they will continue to mis-spend and they will soon need 8 of you…that is how bureaucrats work, and that is what we have to change.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but good policy will also get you $1,000 with less effort and little money.
So with good management, and good candidates your $25 will get you $2,000…

right2bright on April 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Right. Must never criticize inappropriate behavior by party leaders, or Obama smiles.

Gotcha.

Slublog on April 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

“Who” benefits from a negative article about the RNC?

An honest answer puts the whole argument to rest.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM

We do, if there is misspending, then we need to show fiscal responsibility.
How would you know if some scoundrel is living off our donations, do you think they are going to report it to you?

right2bright on April 21, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Why do the contributors have to be wined and dined at all? Does that mean their contributions have to be bought? Do they understand that the money they contribute will be used to wine and dine them?

Why don’t they contribute as a matter of principle, and then throw themselves a party?

cheeflo on April 21, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Here’s how I look at it…

If I give $25 to the Republican’s campaign, and they spend that $25 to schmooze someone into giving $1,000,000, I’m fine with it.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Do you think twenty-five bucks is going to elicit a million dollar contribution? That would be some schmoozing alright.

cheeflo on April 21, 2010 at 4:04 PM

The DNC’s spokesman responded to the story with the standard “you have to spend money to make money”

Which is, of course, perfectly, irrefutably true.

And, if the Democrats are allowed to spend $100 Million, while right wing constituents crab about $74 Million,

Guess what.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I’ve given the RNC about 150 over a few months and I’m fine with them spending it to raise more than that from folks who can afford more. So, it used to be in DC–now it’s in Hawaii–so what! Going to go right on doing it, and I’d really like it if HA backed off on the not so subtle implications that it might be wasted.

jeanie on April 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM

cheeflo on April 21, 2010 at 3:58 PM

You should start a business.. Preferably, one where you need investors.

See how far you get on the cheap.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 4:13 PM

STOP FUNDING THE BEAST!! Donate directly to the conservative candidates or to DeMint’s PAC!!

Oh yeah and…Hey, hey, ho, ho, Micheal Steele has got to go…..hey, hey….

ihasurnominashun on April 21, 2010 at 4:24 PM

I also donate directly to one of the GOP candidates here in my state as well as the RNC. Plan to continue donating to both of those and the Rep. Senatorial Committee too.

jeanie on April 21, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Business as usual.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 21, 2010 at 4:50 PM

You should start a business.. Preferably, one where you need investors.

See how far you get on the cheap.

franksalterego on April 21, 2010 at 4:13 PM

I reiterate: Do you think twenty-five bucks is going to elicit a million dollar contribution? That would be some schmoozing alright.

Talk about cheap.

cheeflo on April 21, 2010 at 5:48 PM

I think I am an avoider type.

AnninCA on April 21, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Yes, you have been avoiding the truth about Bill Clinton for almost 2 decades now.

Del Dolemonte on April 21, 2010 at 6:11 PM

We need to end the race baiters rein on the GOP. He is just Al Sharpton in cheaper suits. I have had enough of diversity liars

charmingtail on April 22, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Maybe they’re just safer there.

LarryG on April 22, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Maybe this is an opportunity for the Tea Party! Issue a challenge to both parties to cut their overhead down to one half (50%) of the take, and whoever gets there first gets kudos from the Tea Party (and something else TBD perhaps?).

RD on April 23, 2010 at 1:42 PM

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