As our state committeemen and women gather at RPOF quarterly this weekend in Tampa, one question should be on everybody’s mind: How does this help get Republicans elected?
Although it’s been widely reported that intraparty fighting can cost us upwards of $10 million in a critical presidential election year, party fundraising has been decimated.
How are we going to pay for this?
Many state committeeman and women are starting to privately confide that they are concerned that money has dried up under Chairman Ingoglia. A quick glance at state records shows that for two of the last three quarters the state party hasn’t even raised $2m. The last time we didn’t raise $2 million was spring of 2009, right after our party was stunned by the election of Barack Obama and our economy was in free fall.
The simmering dispute threatens to burst open this weekend over a plan by Chairman Ingoglia to roll out the replacement voter database called DataCenter 2016 and train hundreds of loyal county party officials on the new software. While a laudable goal, sources tell me that the RPOF wants to charge the local parties to use it.
“I’m a huge supporter of law enforcement, but not the Sheriff of Nottingham,” joked one committeewoman who wished to remain anonymous.
The grassroots work our county executive committees do around the state is effective without the lavish extravagances of million dollar budgets. Some of our strongest, hardest working committees have to scrape together funds just to pay for meeting space.
If the local parties and candidates are charged to access this new database, we will be depriving them of the basic tools they need to do essential work. If implemented, we will be gutting our most effective asset in a critical election year: our grassroots volunteers on the street.