Effort to Get Initiative on the Ballot Was Momentarily Derailed Last Month When It Was Revealed That Its Sole Financial Backer Was a Rudy Campaign Chair, But It's Now Back on Target...
By Jon Ponder on 11/29/2007, 9:58am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Fundraising is down dramatically nationwide for the Republican Party, but things are especially bad here in California, where the state GOP is in such dire straits that its ability to compete in both state and federal races could be affected.

But while the state party is cutting programs and considering layoffs, hundreds of thousands of dollars are flowing in from out-of-state fatcat supporters of Rudy Giuliani --- funds the state GOP can't touch because they are earmarked specifically to promote a ballot initiative that would, if passed, give Rudy (i.e., the Republican presidential candidate) 20 or so of the state's 55 Electoral College Votes, even if he loses the state to the Democratic candidate.

The California Republican Party has been in a death spiral since the 1990s when, under former Gov. Pete Wilson, the decision was made to make illegal immigration its signature issue. It's way too soon to send for the embalmers but the current crisis couldn't be worse:

According to state records, the California GOP was $1.7 million in debt at the end of October, the most recent figures available. Its federal committee was nearly $430,000 in the red, records show.

An e-mail sent by regional vice chairman Jon Fleischman to other party officials, which was obtained by AP, pointed to a shortage of cash.

"I don't know how to sugarcoat this," Fleischman wrote in the e-mail. The party "is going through a very fiscally challenging period."

Warned by the party's chief operating officer that state GOP layoffs could follow if the county funding was continued, "I was forced to vote to end a program that I believe is a good one, simply because we are faced with a situation of limited resources," Fleischman wrote. He later predicted finances would improve.


At the end of the year the state party will eliminate what is called its county executive director program, which distributed about $260,000 a year among about a dozen counties to assist with fundraising activities and grass-roots organizing.

Its finances are so shaky, the state party faced the choice of ending the funding or possibly laying off workers from its staff, according to one official.

While the the California GOP struggles to pay its workers, the ballot initiative is awash in funds:

Backers of a California ballot initiative that would drastically increase Republican chances of retaining the White House in 2008 have raised $1.2 million, including $316,000 in eight days this month — and supporters say they’re on pace to qualify for the vote in June.

The group, California Counts — Make Your Vote Count, reported [earlier this month that] it had raked in $855,000, mostly from a handful of huge contributions, according to a filing with the California secretary of state’s office.

That doesn’t include $350,000 in contributions which are either below the reporting threshold of $5,000 or which arrived in the past week, campaign manager Dave Gilliard said.

He had predicted it would cost $2 million to collect the signatures to earn a spot on the state’s ballot in plenty of time to affect the 2008 election.

An earlier effort to get this same bogus initiative on the ballot failed because its backers couldn't raise the funds required --- and because of the revelation that its single anonymous donor was Paul Singer, one of Giuliani's fundraising chairmen.

This is just one more example, as if any more were needed, that Republicans are so crazed for power that when they can't win on the issues or the merits of their ideas, they will not hesitate to lie, cheat and steal.

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