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GOP fundraising worsens as elections near

By Ralph Z. Hallow-The Washington Times

Despite help from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican National Committee‘s severe money problems have only worsened as the GOP‘s chief campaign fundraising organization enters the last few weeks of the midterm elections, The Washington Times has learned.

The RNC has come up $3.8 million short of its money-raising target for September and well over $5 million shy for the past two months, RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen said in private e-mail to members of the RNC’s Executive Committee. A copy of the Pullen e-mail was obtained by The Times.

Mr. Pullen said he has found more instances of unreported debt and has had to file an amendment to his Sept. 20 financial report to the Federal Election Commission, increasing the reported debt to $2.8 million from the $1.1 million originally reported.

Mr. Pullen, who is chairman of the Arizona GOP, also had to file FEC amendments correcting underreported debt for his June, July and August reports.

The RNC did not respond to requests for comment.

The disappointing donation figures were reported despite Mrs. Palin‘s signature of a mass fundraising appeal in September that was expected to boost the RNC‘s cash intake to at least the recently revised, more modest goals. The Palin letter was as part of a deal involving the RNC‘s agreement to pay more than $250,000 of her defense fees related to lawsuits filed when she was governor, as The Times first reported last month.

The former Alaska governor has achieved some high-profile successes in endorsing GOP primary candidates. More important from the RNC‘s viewpoint, she has proved to be a potent fundraising draw for GOP donors.

Mr. Pullen‘s e-mail memo, sent Thursday to members of the RNC executive committee, detailed the extent of the organization’s money problems.

“In August, we raised $7.7 million versus a budget of $9.4 million, a $1.7 million shortfall,” the RNC treasurer wrote.

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