The truth about revenue

Last week I questioned the accuracy of Audrey Scott’s numbers when she claimed:

As State Party Chair, I retired a $250,000 debt in the first 5 months of my term and raised over $1.5M, in addition to obtaining another $1M from the RNC for the Victory Campaign.

After getting a chance to speak with party treasurer Chris Rosenthal, I can say that Audrey is somewhat right, but also somewhat wrong.

While I didn’t believe Audrey erased a $250,000 debt because I didn’t think we were that far in the hole, Rosenthal told me he thought the amount paid back was somewhere between $200,000 and $250,000. There was also someone else I trust who said the same thing, so I can give her credit for that one.

As for the $1.5 million claim, I found out I misread the financial report for 2010. After some guidance on how the numbers were compiled I found out the $482,482 number I originally used was a net number. After reviewing how the numbers were presented with Chris I learned how to figure out the gross number, so when I added the 2010 numbers up (excluding Victory 2010 revenue, which I’ll get to in a bit) I came up with a gross number of $764,168. It’s closer to $1.5 million but even if you figured she raised a sizable sum in the final month of 2009 when she became Chair, Audrey’s still somewhat shy of the amount she’s claimed.

But we couldn’t come up with $1 million of RNC money. The Victory 2010 revenue was $347,265 in the 2010 MDGOP report, and unless the RNC was fronting a lot of staff salaries and equipment we agreed that $1 million figure was probably an exaggeration. And remember, the FEC Victory 2010 numbers were like this:

I looked at both the RNC reports and the MDGOP reports to make sure everything checked out…the total cash that went from the RNC to MDGOP was $246,900.

In addition, there was $45,779.82 in salaries paid directly by the RNC between January and June (2010), and $63,525 in in-kind equipment (computers, voip phones, routers, printers, etc). The grand total, including inkinds, was $356,204.82.

I was told that some of the MDGOP staff was being paid by the national party, which may be explained in the paragraph above. But that $1 million in Victory Fund money seems like somewhat of an embellishment on Audrey’s part as well, and remember she’s claiming this comes in addition to the $1.5 million. So she’s holding herself personally responsible for $2.5 million raised when I’m barely finding $1 million for 2010.

I will grant, however, that looking at the partial 2011 numbers and comparing them to the same time period in 2010 makes Audrey look like a better fundraiser. Yet there is the caveat of Audrey running the state party during an election year while Alex Mooney was handling things in an off-cycle year.

On the other hand, I also contacted Nicolee Ambrose for a little bit of information on a fundraiser she had recently made happen, with Congressman Allen West. She didn’t raise a huge, six-figure amount by any means but there have been years our Red, White, and Blue Dinner barely made six figures, too. But $8,000 or $9,000 means roughly 80 to 90 people showed up for the event, and if she can pull off four to six events like this a year that would be a tidy sum for a National Committeewoman to contribute.

Moreover, this was the sort of fundraiser which could be easily replicated around the state given Nicolee’s Rolodex of connections she’s gained during her time as YR Chairman so I’m not worried about fundraising with Nicolee as National Committeewoman. I believe she will pull her weight to help the Maryland GOP.

It’s worth mentioning that we have been comparing apples and oranges here. The Chair gets to take credit for any money raised under his or her purview, whether directly through his or her efforts or not. Using those fundraising numbers from the year Audrey Scott was Chair as evidence of superior ability to be National Committeewoman is a little bit misleading, but misdirection has been a hallmark of this campaign.