- Mexico plans how to safely box up recovered cobalt
- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
Romney loss: Big bucks, but less bang
Personal ties faulted in outlays
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign paid millions of dollars to companies led by top advisers and, by many measures, the campaign got less to show for it than in-house staffers performing a labor of love for President Obama’s campaign, expenditure records show.
The Romney team spent twice as much as the Obama campaign on direct mail and telemarketing, paying tens of millions of dollars to two companies tied to Romney aides. Republican operatives said that resulted in a potential conflict of interest that could explain why the party’s nominee relied heavily on those tactics, and not enough on the kinds of grass-roots efforts Mr. Obama rode to victory.
“The problem is the Republican consultants have a very incestuous relationship. They’re sending money to companies they all control at a profit, and they’re telling donors this is what wins elections. And I think they were exposed badly” on Election Day, said Drew Ryun, a former Republican National Committee official whose brother runs American Majority, a nonprofit that helps train Republicans to organize volunteers.
SCM Associates Inc., a company bearing the initials of close Romney associate Stephen C. Meyers, billed $48 million for direct mail, according to the records. FLS Connect, which counts as a partner Romney political director Rich Beeson, charged $36 million for telemarketing and robocalls, the records show.
Through Oct. 17, Mr. Romney and the RNC spent $130 million on direct mail, far more than the $80 million their Democratic counterparts spent, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of Federal Election Commission records. The largest portion of that money went to Mr. Meyers‘ company, which has been sending mail solicitations on behalf of Republicans since 1991. Mr. Romney and the RNC spent $60 million on telemarketing, compared with $25 million by Mr. Obama and his allies, with most of it going to FLS Connect, which also performed non-telemarketing work.
“It’s statistically proven that face-to-face contact is most effective, and that it drops off dramatically on live phone calls, and then the bottom completely drops out with direct mail,” he said.
The majority of Mr. Obama’s fundraising and digital operations were performed in-house by salaried employees. Among major telemarketing and direct-mail vendors for Mr. Obama were AB Data, at $37 million, and Telefund, at $8 million, but neither appeared to be owned by Obama advisers.
Andrew Boucher, a Republican consultant and former political director for former Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, said the Romney campaign paid consultants rather than investing in mundane expenditures such as coffee and doughnuts for neighborhood volunteers, reached a saturation point with direct mail and calls, and failed to get neighbors knocking on doors.
“No one has figured out how to make a 15 percent commission when they hire a field representative to line up county commissioners and precinct captains and, shockingly, we do too little of it,” he said. “The fact that someone’s making money from a specific type of voter outreach has got to at a certain point affect their judgment.”
The complaints are being expressed as Republicans assess how they lost what many assumed to be a winnable race, given the economic climate and questions about Mr. Obama’s record.
After the election, Mr. Romney blamed his loss on an Obama strategy of doling out “gifts” to various demographics and interest groups, but many Republicans rejected that explanation as insulting to voters.
Political pros instead have looked to Mr. Romney’s failure to connect with voters, coupled with his reliance on outdated campaign strategies, as key reasons for why he lost.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Luke Rosiak is a projects reporter on The Washington Times’ investigative team. He formerly covered lobbying and campaign finance for two watchdog groups as well as transportation for The Washington Post. Luke can be reached at email@example.com.
- Md. couple indicted in scheme to cheat SBA on minority contracts
- As federal agencies trim fat, contracts feed billions in profits to 59 companies
- Conflict of interest in $4 billion government minority program
- $4 billion program for disadvantaged businesses lacks oversight
- Maryland's minority-contracting program gets failing grade on 'graduation'
Latest Blog Entries
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- 'Harry Potter' and 'Hunger Games' fans debate over political messages in films
- Democratic infighting erupts with squabble over entitlements
- Young and healthy millennials create risky imbalance by shunning Obamacare
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Allen West warns Obamas backdoor gun control is moving forward
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Susan Rice slams Russia, China on human rights
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.