For the last quarter:
Pinellas GOP $29,891
Pinellas Democrats $22,700
Through June 30, the parties have raised:
Pinellas GOP $96,598
Pinellas Democrats $33,882
But, the Pinellas Republican Executive Committee is blowing through money like I do at Derby Lane.
Expenditures through June 30:
Pinellas GOP $86,677
Pinellas Democrats $24,223
Contributions minus expenditures:
Pinellas GOP $9,911
Pinellas Democrats $9,669
The drain on party resources has to be a point of embarrassment for PCREC Chair JJ Beyrouti, not that he’s been pinching pennies. He’s still taking his monthly $800 “allowance” despite the fact that the party would be broke if it weren’t for a handful of well-heeled donors…donors who are reported to be concerned about Beyrouti’s spending patterns.
Beyrouti authorized spending $7,690 on audio-visuals for the Lincoln Day Dinner. At 300 guests, the PCREC could make each person a $19.99 DVD filled with pictures of Sarah Palin and still have money left over.
What’s particularly troubling to Beyrouti’s detractors is his authorizing $4,000 in payments to consultant Jim Dobyns, the former campaign manager of left-winger Ed Helm. Dobyns, who oversaw the Dick Morris event fiasco, is also the Pinellas Coordinator for Marco Rubio.
Several local Republicans who support Charlie Crist, including one of JJ’s biggest donors, were very disappointed to learn that Beyrouti was essentially underwriting one of Rubio’s operatives.
Many of these same detractors also wondered why the party was so far off its previous fundraising efforts. Comparing the party’s current balance sheet with where it stood at this point in the last election cycle clearly shows that the party is worse off:
Contributions through June 30, 2007: $132,342
Contributions through June 30, 2009: $96,598
Contributions minus expenditures as of July 1, 2007: $58,217
Contributions minus expenditures as of July 1, 2009: $9,911
And don’t blame the poor fundraising on a post-Obama drop-off. Florida is still a Republican state, Pinellas is still a Republican county. The GOP controls the constitutional offices, the legislative delegation and most of the municipal governments. If the economy is to blame, then the PCREC should be cutting its expenses.
What the PCREC is suffering from is poor leadership. But for a Democrat like me, that’s fine by me.