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Posted on Jun 13, 2008 in Uncategorized

Not your typical day for the NRCC

This morning Roll Call released an article discussing the NRCC and their dilemma that they have been facing with fundraising this election cycle

From Roll Call:

Rep. Tom Cole’s (Okla.) decision to overhaul fundraising operations at the National Republican Congressional Committee appears to be a key factor in the NRCC’s precarious cash position. The changes are expected to pay dividends in future election cycles — but not in time to help House Republicans in what is turning out to be a very difficult 2008 cycle.

Cole, the NRCC chairman, indicated in an interview this week that his move to transform the committee’s fundraising from a telemarketing-based operation to one built around direct mail is partly responsible for the NRCC’s nearly $30 million cash-on-hand disadvantage compared to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Still, Cole contends his committee’s thin $6.4 million war chest is largely the result of his desire to spend 2007 paying off $14 million in debt.

Cole declined to reveal what the NRCC has spent on building its direct-mail fundraising program since January 2007, citing the need to protect trade secrets. But the chairman acknowledged that the committee continues to invest significant resources to build a small-donor fundraising base that he hopes will eventually rival what new NRCC Finance Director Janice Knopp built for the Republican National Committee during her 15 years there.

“You have to think of the long term. That usually calls for some people being willing to have less so that their successors can have more,” Cole said. “It will take several cycles, in my opinion, to get where we need to go.”

While everything that Cole is claiming seems fine, this story was taken to a completely different level this afternoon when the following article was released about an unfortunate situation one employee of the NRCC has created

From CNN.com:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — An accounting scandal at the Republican Party’s House campaign organization has federal agents investigating what happened to hundreds of thousands of dollars and could affect several congressional campaigns, party officials said Thursday.

Christopher Ward, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s longtime treasurer, was fired in January after committee officials learned that he had been making unauthorized fund transfers dating to 2004, said Rep. Tom Cole, the committee’s chairman.

“Based on analysis conducted to date, it appears likely that over a period of several years Ward made several hundred thousand dollars in unauthorized transfers of NRCC funds to outside committees whose bank accounts he had access to, including joint fund-raising committees in which the NRCC participated,” Cole said in a written statement.

“He also appears to have made subsequent transfers of several hundred thousand dollars in funds from those outside committees to what appear to be his personal and business bank accounts.”

I think this could be a small factor in why the NRCC is having some difficulty raising funds.

Luckily, they were able to catch this crook before the election came even closer, and more races were put in jeopardy.

Unfortunately, actions like this can destroy the groundwork of any organization, especially those like the NRCC that have time sensitive projects, where they need donor money to come in fast and at a high level.

I have a feeling that in the short term, this is going to severely hurt the NRCC’s fundraising abilities, at least for the next quarter.

With the outcome of house races looking bleak for the GOP across the country, the NRCC is going to have a very tough time building the war-chest that they need to compete with the Democrats.

However, the NRCC still has one thing working to their advantage, that being the fact that politics is completely unpredictable. If there is a large news story that exposes a scandal on the other side of the aisle, this will become the story of the day. But, with the media coverage I’ve been seeing lately, I don’t know if that will happen.

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