GOP panel urged to root out consultant cronyism

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“If any of Chairman Priebus‘ autopsy committee members had a specific suggestion that was ignored by the powers that be in the past campaign, then by all means trumpet such a cure. Otherwise, let the body rest in peace until it can be reanimated by techniques championed by doctors outside, rather than coroners inside, the morgue,” said Mr. Erickson.

Mrs. Mitchell was specific in her criticisms and recommendations to Mr. Priebus about cronyism and consultant profiteering, saying that “the very consultants I am talking about are probably looking at the initiative, and where some of us see votes and voters, they’re seeing dollar signs.”

Reince has to pull the plug on that if he wants to be bold and if his efforts are going to succeed,” she said.

She said one key will be to get an explanation for how Mr. Sproul won contracts this cycle.

Mrs. Mitchell said Mr. Sproul “had done the same thing in previous cycles … so who were his sugar daddies who kept getting him fat contracts to do nothing?”

For the 2012 presidential election cycle, the RNC raised $400 million, in round numbers, compared with the Democratic National Committee’s $315 million. The RNC also spent more — $394 million compared with the DNC’s $308 million — yet lost in the voter-turnout battle to Mr. Obama and the Democrats.

But the DNC wound up nearly $21 million in debt, while the RNC finished debt free. That was considered quite an accomplishment after Mr. Priebus, who took over as chairman in 2011, inherited a committee deeply in debt after the controversial chairmanship of his predecessor, Michael S. Steele.

Mr. Priebus and his postmortem committee have the delicate task of assessing and then revealing how much of the GOP’s presidential and Senate campaign losses resulted from any inadequacies in the RNC voter-turnout effort and how much was attributable to ineptitude or worse on the part of Mr. Romney’s and other GOP candidates’ campaigns.

The Romney campaign all but took over the RNC’s voter-turnout operation.

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About the Author
Ralph Z. Hallow

Ralph Z. Hallow

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.


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