A new report reveals that Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was flying high (literally) on GOP donors’ dimes.
An examination of RNC spending records for the past five years tells a tale of millions spent, not on Republican candidates, but on luxury vacations, expensive spa treatments, and private jets.
A grand total of $2,668,892.93 was spent in the 2021-2022 election cycle alone.
According to the right-wing media site Red State, the party of fiscal responsibility isn’t very happy with the head of its fundraising arm – and neither are its donors.
“Major donors who are learning of the expenditures are understandably upset about how their contributions are being spent,” Managing Editor Jennifer van Laar wrote.
Country music star, John Rich, one-half of the popular duo Big & Rich, has been vocal in his criticism of both McDaniel and the handling of the RNC’s finances.
“The RNC has betrayed its supporters, and I for one will never help them raise another red cent until the Judas elements of the organization have been purged,” the Celebrity Apprentice winner said.
“The leadership of the RNC has taken advantage of millions of regular, everyday Conservatives by pretending to support what Patriots support, but in reality, are blowing untold troves of cash on extravagant nonsense, and supporting RINO candidates while ignoring America First contenders. They are nothing more than controlled opposition. The RNC ran ads in 2021 raising money under the phrase ‘Fight for Trump!’ while simultaneously telling Trump and his team to ‘stand down’ from questioning the election results, stating he was ‘ruining the party.’
Photo courtesy of Red State.
Spending nearly $400,000 on flowers in a year? Wow.
These revelations can’t come at a worse time for McDaniel, who is seeking a fourth term as chair.
Hand-picked by the ex-President himself, she seems to have fallen out of favor with her idol who has thrown his support behind none other than self-proclaimed cyber-security election expert and MyPillow CEO, Mike Lindell.
While Lindell may not seem like a viable or serious contender to challenge the incumbent, we are talking about Republicans, so anything is possible.
Another contender is Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who has launched an all-out attack on McDaniel.
The former Vice Chair of California’s Republican Party has been aggressive in her pursuit of the GOP’s top fundraising spot, and securing “commitments from more than 100 of the RNC’s 168 voting members earlier this month,” The Washington Post reported.
RNC Federal Election Commission filings reveal expenditures in the hundreds of millions by the committee in a two-year span.
From January 1, 2021, through November 28, 2022, over a quarter billion dollars in contributions were received by the committee – with operating expenditures exceeding the amount by roughly $40 million.
Only $17 million in cash remains out of the $80 million on hand nearly two years ago.
Perhaps spending $80,000 on alcohol-related expenditures since 2017 – over $36,000 just in the 2021-2022 cycle – $25,000 at a coffee chain (curious for someone who claims to be Mormon), more than $100,000 on hair and make-up, $400,000 on entertainment and over $17 million on donor mementos, according to Red State.
According to the financials, the RNC is quite generous to its donors, spending $17 million on donor mementos – and possibly more – during McDaniel’s tenure. Custom pins by legendary DC jeweler Ann Hand and Christmas ornaments from Chemart (the company that makes the White House Christmas ornaments) are listed as donor memento expenses, but the financials also include $65,000 in office supplies from Ann Hand and $28,000 from Chemart.
The Democratic National Committee by contrast has reportedly spent a significantly lower $1.5 million on donor gifts.
Wow, Ronna has been living the good life on the RNC gravy train! pic.twitter.com/3kfWv7DGpV
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 15, 2022
The spokesperson for McDaniel’s reelection campaign, Emma Vaughn, pushed back on the reports, alleging the accusations are little more than a politically motivated “hit piece,” from within the party.
“If critics want to misrepresent and push false narratives about the RNC’s spending this past cycle, they should do the math before realizing it only adds up to 0.8% of the total amount the Chairwoman raised,” Vaughn told Red State.
Despite the argument from McDaniel’s team, it’s evident the GOP is growing increasingly impatient, and unhappy with the madame chairwoman.
Disappointing performances in the 2020 election, including Donald Trump’s loss, and the failed materialization of the highly touted “Red Wave,” in the 2022 midterms have put Sen. Mitch McConnell’s niece in the crosshairs.
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer woman.
Original reporting by Jennifer van Laar at Red State and H/T @Ron Filipkowski
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick