Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Maryland GOP Chair Overspends, Republican Party Can't Pay Rent

Over two months ago, Maryland Juice published an article titled "Maryland GOP Overspends, Can't Save Money." We noted how after losing his State Senate seat, Alex Mooney took over as GOP Chair and promised to raise hundreds of thousands for the party's candidates. More importantly, we noted that Mr. Mooney was not keeping his promises and had instead drained the party's coffers on administrative expenses and mysterious "Chairman's expenses." Now, The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the GOP can't even pay rent. To reiterate my past points, when Mooney campaigned for GOP activists' support, Red Maryland reported that he promised the following:
In addition to being a workhorse for the party, as Chairman I would commit to raising the money described in my attached proposal.

It is my understanding that the state party in 2011 will have to spend at least $25,000 per month to fund the needs of the small staff and overhead expenses, which is approximately $300,000 for the year.  The additional $200,000 would go toward helping elect candidates. 

In the election year of 2012, with eight U.S. House of Representative seats and one U.S. Senate seat up for election in Maryland, we should increase the net amount raised to at least $700,000.  While this is less than our Democrat opponents, it is a reasonable amount to expect our party leaders to raise and it is crucial to electing our candidates.

EPIC FAIL. The Republican blogosphere (as usual) refused to listen to the facts and instead blamed the messenger. Now the Baltimore Sun is reporting things have gotten so bad that the GOP has to move out of its offices:
Maryland's Republican Party is once again in the red and plans to move its party headquarters to cut costs, according to financial reports discussed Saturday at the party's annual convention.
The party owes $122,000, most of it to two vendors, and has $48,000 in its bank accounts....

...the debt shows a contrast from 18 months ago, when then-GOP leader Audrey Scott brought the party from the brink of bankruptcy with an aggressive fundraising program....

The weekend convention was the first since Alex X. Mooney became state party chairman....

Rosenthal, the treasurer, said he expects to raise roughly $600,000 in 2012, but did not specify how. The party now spends $30,000 a month on rent, salaries and other fixed costs, he said....

Remember that Mooney promised to cover the GOP's $300,000 of expenses for 2011 and bank $200,000 for candidates. As of 7/31, the Maryland GOP had actually raised $231,353 -- that is almost 50% of Mooney's fundraising target for the year. However, Mooney also spent almost all of the new money, with hardly a penny going to aid candidates.

I hope this once again brings scrutiny to Maryland Juice's prior questions about Mr. Mooney's expense reports (see below). What category of political expense does "Chairman's Expenses" fall under?  Is that a fundraising expense or is it a Palin-sized wardrobe? Mr. Mooney should clarify - especially since his party appears to be nearly bankrupt!

And these guys want us to trust them with the keys to government?

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