- Feds tout nearly 200 arrests, $625K in seized cash in Texas border crackdown
- Joy Behar: Sarah Palin should be ‘turning letters over on some game show’
- Rhino poacher in South Africa sentenced to 77 years in jail
- John Kerry defies FAA and flies to Israel to talk peace
- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
GOP panel urged to root out consultant cronyism
Question of the Day
The Republican National Committee’s new special panel to study where the party went wrong in this year’s election is already taking heat from leaders who say the RNC’s first priority should be addressing its own ineptitude and cronyism and reining in the rampant profiteering of consultants.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced the five-member Growth and Opportunity Project earlier this week, saying it would look at flaws in the party’s voter-turnout program and the problems with delivering the GOP message.
“Until Chairman Priebus and other GOP leaders focus on rooting out the greed, cronyism, and corruption of the ‘little white boy’ consultants who make millions of dollars, year in and year out, and yet lose elections — and until there is real accountability and transparency to donors to ensure that integrity is restored to GOP circles — none of these initiatives will matter,” Mrs. Mitchell said.
Mr. Priebus named Mississippi RNC member Henry Barbour, the nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, to be chairman of the panel. Joining Mr. Barbour are Zori Fonalledas, a well-liked, quiet RNC member from Puerto Rico; South Carolina RNC member Glenn McCall; Sally Bradshaw, who was chief of staff for then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; and Ari Fleischer, who was President George W. Bush’s White House spokesman.
“This process will include individuals and groups that span the spectrum from the tea party to evangelicals, to business and grass roots,” RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said. “Everyone who wants to help grow this party will be given an opportunity.”
Veteran GOP campaign adviser Charlie Black gave his blessing to the Priebus initiative, calling it a “good committee, with a lot of campaign experience, all from outside the Beltway.”
But Paul Erickson, an adviser to the campaign of presidential nominee Mitt Romney, registered his skepticism, predicting that “change, if it comes, will be driven by forces and ideas outside of the RNC, which the RNC will then mimic.”
“Serious reviews are certainly necessary, and they will be conducted inside and outside of the RNC,” said Mr. Blackwell, who has publicly endorsed Mr. Priebus. “No such study or comprehensive reform program will be credible unless serious steps are proposed to identify and crush consultants responsible for warping campaign spending toward commissionable expenses and allowing the [political] left a huge advantage in effective ground-game activities.”
In one example of “warping,” days before the Nov. 6 elections, news broke that authorities were investigating Nathan Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting for suspected voter-registration fraud in several states. Mr. Sproul had been accused of similar crimes in the past.
The GOP paid Strategic Allied Consulting millions to register voters in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.
Mr. Priebus is seeking re-election next month to another term as RNC chairman and enjoys broad support from GOP congressional leaders and RNC members from almost all 50 states. He has asked his panel to come up with ways for the GOP and its candidates to make more voters feel welcome in the GOP tent while keeping all the party’s conservative principles intact inside that tent.
But while Mr. Priebus and the panel look for answers to what went wrong, others in the GOP ranks have already singled out at least one factor: the party’s dependence on consultants who, some critics contend, are more dedicated to lining their own pockets than to advancing Republicanism.
Accusations of cronyism and profiteering by consultants hired by the Romney campaign and by the RNC have been hurtling around the Internet in the wake of President Obama’s successful voter-turnout effort that helped him win 67 percent of youths, 73 percent of Asians, 71 percent of Hispanics and, in Florida, more Cubans than Mr. Romney, by 49 percent to 47 percent.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- Conservative convert Susana Martinez converts voters with her personal story
- The prison that dared to pray: Angola used faith, family to stem violence
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry draws rivals into political showdowns
- Cleveland chosen to host 2016 GOP convention
- Tennessee long shot Joe Carr is tea party's best hope
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- EDITORIAL: A new witch hunt in Salem
- Outrage over $190M border security deal for troubled federal contractor USIS
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq