This should be a time for the Republican Party of Florida to rake in the dollars.
It controls the political agenda with a Republican in the governor’s mansion, two party favorite sons in contention for the White House and commanding majorities in both houses of the state Legislature.
Instead, the state party is in the middle of its worst fundraising stretch in six years amid growing disunity within the GOP ranks and donors forsaking the party to instead put their money into the political action committees of favored candidates.
Between April and June, the RPOF raised just $1.9 million — marking the lowest fundraising quarter for the state’s dominant party since 2009 when the GOP was reeling from President Barack Obama’s winning the presidency. Back then, the party was led by Jim Greer, who resigned later that year and eventually pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering of party donations.
Since January when new chairman Blaise Ingoglia took over, the party has raised just $7.2 million. While well ahead of the Florida Democratic Party’s $4.3 million year-to-date, the numbers are more than a million dollars shy of party fundraising heading into the 2012 presidential election cycle. Most years, the RPOF has raised at least $8.4 million by July.
Ingoglia has been hampered by the fact that he is also a member of the Florida House of Representatives. When the Legislature is in session, he is barred from raising money by legislative rules. The Legislature met from March to May, then again in special session in June. More specials sessions are on tap this month and in October.