Ralph Hallow of NewsMax reports on April 22 that an internal investigation by the Republican National Committee (RNC), the GOP’s national governing body, has revealed that the organization is beset with questionable financial management and oversight and is spending more money courting top-dollar donors than it raises, spending $1.09 for each $1.00 raised.
The investigation also found that the RNC has allowed employees to forge Finance Director Rob Bickhart’s signature for reimbursement for the purchase of clothing, wine and entertainment expenses, including some that were labeled as office supplies. One such expense was the nearly $2,000 that a Finance Department employee named Allison Myers — since fired — received for money spent by a friend and non-employee at an Los Angeles nightclub that featured a sexual-bondage theme.
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 RNC Chair Michael Steele and his chief administrative officer, Boyd Rutherford. Although the recommendation was first made in December, the cards were not yanked until April 12.
Since Steele’s term as national chairman began in January 2009, there has been controversy over his fiscal management of the RNC. Over Steele’s objection, members have ordered that all contracts worth more than $100,000 be authorized by an officer or by the whole Executive Committee. But the internal investigation found many instances of the RNC’s “good governance” rule being ignored under Steele’s leadership, including contracts with eCapitol Direct LLC and GKV LLC which had not been approved by an officer or the Executive Committee.
Several federal agencies—including the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service—are conducting the widespread probe which is focusing on some of the state’s most high-profile politicians, including the party’s frontrunner for an open U.S. Senate seat, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.
A Florida newspaper investigation recently revealed that Rubio billed the party for more than $100,000 worth of highly questionable items during the two years that he served as House Speaker. The charges included repairs to the family minivan, grocery bills, airline tickets for his wife and purchases from various retailers near his home. Rubio also charged the party for dozens of meals during the annual lawmaking session in Tallahassee, even though he received taxpayer subsidies for food.
Rubio is not the only one in trouble. The former state party chairman (Jim Greer) and executive director (Delmar Johnson) are also suspected of misusing their party credit cards for personal expenses. Political parties are tax exempt and are only allowed to spend money on political activities such as fundraising, running campaigns and registering voters.
In Florida Republicans dominate state government and the party’s coffers are routinely filled with millions of dollars from lobbyists and special interests. Elected officials and their staff have long been suspected of spending the money illegally with no oversight.
Bottom line is this:
Money talks. So if you have contributed dollars to the GOP, don’t. And when you get mail from the RNC dunning you for contributions, tell them why.