RNC faces donor falloff, fires solicitors

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The RNC has been more successful than the two Republican congressional committees because the RNC has completed its major annual donor gala, gathering money from corporate and business donors who either care little about the immigration issue or side with Mr. Bush in support of the Senate bill that would allow almost all the estimated 12 million to 20 million or more illegal aliens in the United States to gain legal status.

Yet there has been a definite downward trend in Republican fundraising, said Massie Ritsch, spokesman for the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in elections.

“The GOP’s overall haul from its three national fundraising committees [the RNC, NRSC and NRCC] is down 25 percent from the equivalent period in 2005,” Mr. Ritsch said. “The Republicans still have more money than the Democrats but fundraising is down for Republicans and up for Democrats. That has to be a cause of concern for Republicans.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee collected $4.6 million in April, more than double the NRSC’s $2.1 million in April contributions. What’s more, the Republican group spent about $60,000 more than it had received in donations, while using only $260,000 to pay its debt.

Overall, the NRSC’s total receipts of $9.1 million trails its Democratic counterpart’s total of $18.3 million since January.

The Republican Senate committee’s total is less than one-twelfth of the $118 million goal that its chairman, Nevada Sen. John Ensign, had set for the committee.

One of the fired RNC staffers estimated that two-thirds of the phone-bank solicitors employed by the committee were black, with a smattering of Hispanics and Asians. Miss Schmitt said that in order “to smooth their transition, all employees will remain on the payroll for 60 days.”

One of the fired staffers quoted a letter from Miss Hathaway saying that maintaining the RNC’s current phone system “is cost prohibitive and given changes in the fundraising environment, the difficult decision has been made to end phone-bank operations at RNC headquarters.”

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