RNC Political Chair: I Quit, and We’re Broke

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Steele.Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

In a bombshell letter to his boss, Michael Steele, and other GOP brass, Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins quit yesterday — and lambasted the committee for squandering its resources and failing to raise money on a par with previous years. "The RNC has a uniquely impactful role to play in American elections, and
therefore in putting America back on the right track," wrote Collins. "Sadly, if left on its current path, the RNC will not be a productive force in the 2012 campaign to deny President Obama a second term, retain our House majority, and elect a Senate majority." According to the former director, as many strides as Republicans made during the 2010 election, they were nothing compared to what could have been, had the RNC had more money to spend (Collins estimates there were up to 21 additional House seats that could have been in play had the funds been in place).


During the 2010 cycle, the RNC allowed its major donor base to wither. In the last two non-presidential cycles of 2002 and 2006, the RNC raised $284 million and $243 million respectively. So far this cycle, the RNC has reported raising just $170 million. Less than $18 million (10.53%) of that total came from contributions of $1,000 or more, collected from a mere 5,379 donors. This is a fraction of either the previous cycles. Most of the $170 million raised to date has come from small-dollar donors contributing online, by phone, or through the mail. These contributions do not result from personal solicitation by the Chairman but, like other macro-political trends, are reflective of the antiObama/Pelosi/Reid wave that drove energy and intensity to historic highs this cycle.

Fund-raising costs were higher per dollar this time around, Collins added, and too much RNC money was spent on projects other than winning elections. What's more, the committee is going into the crucial start of 2011 in the hole:


In the previous two non-presidential cycles, the RNC carried over $4.8 million and $3.1 million respectively in cash reserve balances into the presidential cycles. In stark contrast, we enter the 2012 presidential cycle with 100% of the RNC's $15 million in lines of credit tapped out, and unpaid bills likely to add millions to that debt.

Democrats: Take comfort — your losses could have been a lot worse if the Republicans had gotten their shit together in time. Or, wait, is that no comfort at all?

Top Republican Official, Breaking With Party Chairman, Resigns [NYT]