Internal report: RNC spending more money on major donors than it's taking in

Actually, the headline probably should have been “Internal report: RNC finance department a total shambles,” but since out-of-control spending’s been the big issue, I’ll lead with that.

The investigation found that the Republican Party’s national governing body is losing money on its major-donors’ fundraising program — spending $1.09 for each $1.00 raised, according to RNC members privy to the investigation’s findings. It typically costs about 40 cents for every dollar raised from donors who give more than $1,000.

The investigation also found that the RNC has allowed employees to forge Finance Director Rob Bickhart’s initials on expense-reimbursement request approvals, according to an RNC member who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. The RNC’s top elected and appointed management have united in defense of the committee’s practices. RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele can withhold or increase RNC contributions to a state party…

The report also said widespread employee abuse of RNC-provided American Express cards prompted a recommendation at the end of last year that the cards be yanked from all employees and officers except for Mr. Steele and his chief administrative officer, Boyd Rutherford.

The Committee’s communications director disputes the expense numbers, claiming they’re up $800,000 between what they’ve raised from big donors and what they’ve spent, but this is their own internal report written by their own treasurer. Oh, and that detail about forging Bickhart’s initials? Allegedly, one of the expenses that was approved that way was — you guessed it — the $2,000 bar tab at Voyeur. Bickhart claims that Allison Meyers, the staffer who organized the outing to the club and who was eventually fired, was the one who put his “RB” on the approval form. Another fun detail about Bickhart: According to the Wash Times’s review of the report, he makes more than twice Steele’s salary despite exercising “little or no financial control” and his consulting company gets more than 20 grand for every $9 million the RNC raises through direct marketing sources — whether or not the Committee loses money in that endeavor or not. Randy Pullen, the RNC Treasurer who wrote the report, actually recommended that Bickhart’s contract as finance director be canceled. Imagine the atmosphere in the department these days.

Between this and yesterday’s pep talk from the chairman, I think we may have finally reached the point of unilateral disengagement. No need to give to the RNC, after all, when the NRSC and NRCC are available for all your generic Republican fundraising needs. Bookmark ’em!

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Duane Patterson 2:01 PM on June 05, 2023