Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Where the Lucas County Republican Party gets its money

Yesterday, I looked at how the Lucas County Republican Party was spending its money - primarily for the personal benefit of chairman Jon Stainbrook.

Today, I want to share with you where the LCRP gets those funds.

I looked at the campaign finance reports on file with the Lucas County Board of Elections for 2009 to present.

The party has four separate funds: Judicial Fund, Building Fund, Candidate Fund and General Fund. The first three are restricted in how the funds can be used. The general fund pays for regular party expenses.

The Judicial Fund had $872.91 in it according to the filing of July 31, 2009. As of the last filing on January 31, 2012, there is $2.91 in that account. Interestingly, none of the reports show any expenditures to account for where the $870 went.

The Candidate Fund had $225.92 in it on July 31, 2009. As of the January 31, 2012 filing, it has only $.92. Again, there is no report that shows any expenditures from this fund so there is no accounting for the $225 discrepancy.

The Building Fund, as of the January 31, 2012 filing, has $63,663.19. There have been no expenditures from this fund - but no contributions either. The only income has been from interest paid on the fund account by the bank.

In yesterday's post I also included the following information regarding the general fund:

Interestingly, their 2011 Semi-Annual Report filed on July 29, 2011, doesn't add up.

It lists the following:

$25,034.50 total funds available

$19,797.03 total expenses

$ 2,940.68 on hand

However, when you subtract expenses from total available, you get $5,237.47 - not the $2,940.68 that they have on the form.

There has been no correction filed as of this posting.

According to the last filing for the general fund on December 16, 2011, the party has $64.75 on hand.

So Stainbrook has not raised any money for the Building Fund, the Candidate Fund nor the Judicial Fund since becoming chairman.

So where is the money he's spending coming from?

Well, primarily, from regular fundraising events like election night parties and the Lincoln Day Dinner.

The largest individual contributors over the 2009-2011 period are:

* $3,000.00 from Allan Block of Buckeye Cablesystem in 2010

* $3,000.00 from Citizens for Sarantou in 2011 (probably to help cover costs of his legal challenge to the outcome of the Lucas County Commissioner race)

* $3,500.00 from Jim Brennan Jr. of Brennan Industrial Truck in 2010

* $3,134.98 from the Ohio Republican Party in 2009

* $1,000.00 from Gina Kaczala in 2010

* $1,809.33 from the Kaczala Campaign Committee in 2010

* $1,000.00 from John Eldred in 2010

Jim Brennan Jr. also made a $10,000 loan to the party in January of 2011 and has received a repayment of $4,000 with a balance of $6,000 still due.

There are other donations of less than $500, but few of the donors are repeated. It appears that they gave small amounts and usually only on one occasion. There is an entry for $200 in donations of less than $25 amounts, though how many people that represents is not required on the form.

The total number of itemized donors, not counting the above list, is 10.

That's all.

Just 14 people have made a decision to donate more than $25 to the LCRP since 2009. And only 2 people donated in 2011.

Let that sink in for a minute.

By contrast, the 2006 pre-general report for the general fund had well over 50 individual donors, though several were under the $25 amount and a couple were repeat donors. But that is just for the pre-general report, not the entire year.

Stainbrook's Lincoln Day dinners have been somewhat successful. According to the reports, these events have raised a net of $32,222.57 over the last three years. This averages just under $10,750.00/year. But the amount raised by Stainbrook at these events is less than what other chairmen raised. For example, the 2005 Lincoln Day dinner netted over $17,000.

The lack of other donations shows that Republicans are willing to come to an event to hear special speakers and guests, but are not willing to make a direct contribution to the party. Clearly, Stainbrook is not seeing anywhere near the financial support that other party chairman have been able to attain. And big-dollar donors who routinely gave in the past have not given since he became chairman.

Stainbrook will probably say that these absent donors are 'old-guard' Republicans or make other excuses as to why he has been a failure at fundraising. But despite issues the past, previous party chairmen have raised the monies necessary to support the candidates they recruited.

The primary role of a local party chairman is to get local Republicans elected. This is accomplished in several steps:

1) Recruit good candidates. Sadly, the lack of names on the 2012 Republican primary ballot shows he's not been able to recruit any candidates for most offices, much less good ones.

2) Raise money. The funds will support campaign literature, signs, wires, advertising, slate cards and get-out-the-vote efforts. Again, Stainbrook has failed to do this.

3) Provide a support system for the candidates: helping with parades, festivals and events, phone banking, putting together mailers and absentee voter communications, emails, keeping track of events and providing experienced advice. I don't know what the party has done in this respect, but the track record of candidate failures speaks for itself.

4) Be the spokesman for Republican Party principles of limited government, individual responsibility, personal property rights and lower taxation. Other than his negative comments about other Republicans I've not seen much from this chairman where he has spoken out against government spending, taxation or in favor of conservative principles. I'll admit that I may have missed something along the way, but the lack of a consistent advocacy for conservative principles is clear.

In all the major tasks of a party chairman, Stainbrook has failed. And the inability to raise funds is a clear reflection of that fact

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