Will Wash. Post report that GOP apparently overstated amount raised at June fundraiser?
Research ››› ››› JOSH KALVEN
A June 20 Washington Post article reported that a Republican Party fundraiser featuring a speech by President Bush the day before had raised $27 million to be given to the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But recently filed campaign finance reports show that by the end of June, the committees could not have possibly received as much as the Post had claimed they raised at the event. Will the Post investigate the discrepancy?
In a June 20 article, Washington Post staff writer Zachary A. Goldfarb reported that a June 19 Republican Party fundraiser featuring a speech by President Bush had raised $27 million. Goldfarb noted that the "infusion of cash could not come at a better time for Republicans" and quoted Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) boasting that the "Republicans have certainly wrested the momentum from the Democrats." But while Goldfarb reported that $15 million would go to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the remaining $12 million to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), recently filed campaign finance reports show that by the end of June, the committees could not have possibly received as much as Goldfarb claimed they raised at the June 19 event. Indeed, the NRSC raised only $4.8 million during the entire month of June -- as Goldfarb himself noted in a July 21 Post article -- while the NRCC raised only $9.5 million, for a total of a little more than half of what the June 20 Post article reported. In light of this discovery, will the Post investigate the discrepancy?
In the original article -- headlined "Bush Raises $27 Million for GOP" -- Goldfarb reported that Bush spoke at "a $27 million fundraiser meant to provide a needed boost to the campaign war chest of congressional Republicans." (At the time, Goldfarb's byline read "Special to The Washington Post.") He went on to describe the gala as the "largest fundraiser of the year for the Republicans' two congressional campaign committees" and noted that the $27 million raised "eclipses the $23 million the committees took at the event last year." Further, Goldfarb repeatedly quoted McCrery claiming that the fundraiser would push the GOP committees ahead of their Democratic counterparts:
But Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.), the House chair of the dinner, said in an interview: "I think this dinner is going to reestablish the cash advantage ... that we've historically had."
McCrery said that "the atmosphere that hung over the political scene was a contributor to members having to make more phone calls to raise money for the dinner." But he added that good news for the president in recent weeks -- successes in Iraq and the clearing of his top adviser, Karl Rove -- encouraged Republicans and led to a spike in ticket-buying.
Sarah Feinberg, press secretary for the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], said "the reality is" that Republicans are struggling to keep pace with what they have raised in years past while the DCCC "continues to break fundraising records. ... The American people desperately want change and a new direction in Washington, and they are making that preference abundantly clear by contributing to Democratic campaigns."
But McCrery said the dinner marks a change in that pattern: "Republicans have certainly wrested the momentum from the Democrats."
On July 20, both the DCCC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) posted their fundraising totals for the month of June, as well as those of the NRCC and NRSC. But not only did the Democratic committees come out ahead, the total for both Republican committees amounted to only $14.3 million -- just over half of the $27 million that the Post had reported the GOP raised at the June 19 event alone, as the weblog Daily Kos noted. Indeed, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has reported that the NRCC raised $9.5 million over the course of the month. And while the NRSC's June report to the FEC is not yet publicly available, a July 21 Post article -- penned by Goldfarb himself -- reported that the committee raised $4.8 million.