On Tuesday, the Wire covered concerns how the RNC strip club spending spree
was likely to affect donors
. Now answers are beginning to surface. Donors are beginning
to bypass the RNC, donating directly to candidates
or giving instead to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and
National Republican Congressional Committee. Meanwhile, the Beltway media
is beginning to buzz with news of a new fundraising group supported by,
in the words of National Journal's Peter Stone
, "GOP uber strategists Ed Gillepsie and Karl Rove." Here's the debate on the extent of the bondage story's damage:
with This Now or Deal with It Later' Aware that this is just one more
in a long string of RNC-tires-of-Steele stories, conservative Hot Air's
Allahpundit points out, as many do, that Steele is unlikely to get sacked. That doesn't mean this isn't a big deal, though.
so, the expense at the nightclub is just the tip of the RNC’s
fundraising iceberg, as NPR describes it, with some grassroots righties
already wondering just how free the "free-spending culture" is under
Steele that an almost $2,000 bar tab at a place called "Voyeur" would
be mindlessly rubber-stamped by the RNC finance department. Suffice it
to say, if the RNC gets caught short-handed financially in the fall and
loses winnable House races because it can’t pay for ads, the wrath of
conservatives will be unimaginable.
- Donors Deserting "In January," notes irritated conservative Kathleen Parker
in The Washington Post, "the RNC spent $9 million of its $10 million
monthly haul, much of it on its annual winter meeting in Hawaii.
Keeping a buck out of every 10 is probably not inspiring confidence in
donors, who are beginning to put their money elsewhere." She also
rebuts the notion that Steele not having been present at the
bondage-themed nightclub settles that story: " RNC and lesbian bondage
are now tattooed on the American brain, and the buck stops at the top."
- Very Bad Timing, says Joe Gandelman
of The Moderate Voice. "This kind of scandal has profound implications
for the GOP --fundraising problems at a time when many Republicans
think the party is on the brink of making big political gains."
- Are GOP Money Issues Really About Steele? Conservative blogger Dan Riehl
questions the conventional wisdom on this topic: "How much does [RNC
credibility and fundraising ability] have to do with the way the GOP in
the WH, House and Senate behaved for the last five years, long before Steele was ever around? ... Change that behavior and I don't care who's running the RNC."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
hhorn at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.