Senate’s Immigration Bill Hits National GOP Fundraising

Folks at the State Capitol are worried that the GOP base, which is furious with the Senate’s immigration bill, will withhold critical support from the Party, both in terms of dollars and volunteer man hours. Adding to their concerns is a story in today’s Washington Times which details a 40% drop in donations from the small donor base that is so critical to the national GOP’s success.

According to the Times, “The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors’ rebellion over President Bush’s immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times. Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee’s chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times.”

The RNC is denying that the firings had anything to do with decreased donations, cleverly claiming that “Any assertion that overall donations have gone down is patently false,” according to RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt, who added, “We continue to out raise our Democrat counterpart by a substantive amount (nearly double).” Of course, no one is claiming anything about “overall” donations, so Schmitt has carefully avoided commenting on the status of the small-donor telephone program. Still, one fired phone bank solicitor who asked not to be identified had this to say, “Last year, my solicitations totaled $164,000, and this year the way they were running for the first four months, they would total $100,000 by the end of 2007,” said . There has been a sharp decline in contributions from RNC phone solicitations, another fired staffer said, reporting that many former donors flatly refuse to give more money to the national party if Mr. Bush and the Senate Republicans insist on supporting what these angry contributors call “amnesty” for illegal aliens. “Everyone donor in 50 states we reached has been angry, especially in the last month and a half, and for 99 percent of them immigration is the No. 1 issue,” said the former employee.

You can read the article in its entirety here:

There is still no word on what kind of impact the bill is having on fundraising by the Arizona GOP, but many believe that the drop will be less than that of the national party because the Arizona GOP was proactive in opposing the bill, mitigating the negative effects of it on the party itself. Still, the longer the debate goes on, particularly with prominent Repubican officials from Arizona leading the charge for passage of the bill, the greater the damage that can be done locally, damage that state legislators fear may have a negative impact on their ability to rally the base for the 2008 elections. “We could be in major trouble,” said one politico here at the Capitol, adding with a smile, “then again, they could nominate Hillary and make everything okay!”

UPDATE:  Sources at AZGOP HQ indicate that donations from telephone soliciting are now INCREASING since the State Party took a public position against the bill.  Eyes believes that the script the State Party is using has likely been refined to remind donors that Arizona Republicans have already taken a position against the bill’s provisions and that the State Party is defending that position.  No word yet on whether the direct mail pitch has been altered, but it stands to reason.


  1. Eyes,

    Thanks for covering this issue. As to the State Party I just sent my check in the other day. I know it was not much but since it is a check the party will not loose any funds to a credit card processing fee. Further, the party did not have to feed me rubber chicken. So instead of netting $45 on a $100 dinner event they get the whole amount. The state party did not mail 5 solicitation letters to me or run a phone bank so they have an almost zero fund raising cost on my donation. Plus, no one had to wine or dine me, just stand up for our nations sovereignty.

    According to the Arizona Secretary of State web site there are over 1,000,000 registered Republicans in the state. If every one of them sent in $10 the party would be all set. If half of them sent in $20 they would be in great shape. No amount is too small so here is the address:

    Arizona Republican Party
    3501 N. 24th Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85016

    The party is required to ask for occupation and employer of each person donating. For more details please visit and click on Donate in the left column or call them at (602) 957-7770.

  2. Cool. Maybe all that money people won’t give the national party will flow to the state parties that are standing up and doing the right thing! It isn’t just Arizona by the way. Lots of state GOP organizations are out loud against this monstrosity.

  3. Great idea gnat! I think I’ll send in a donation to the state GOP to show my support of Randy Pullen and the principled stand that he’s taking on the Kennedy-Kyl amnesty scam.

  4. Send these to the RNC when they ask you for money:

    Then send all of these (real ones) that you can to the Arizona Republican Party:

  5. ThinkRight says

    I’d be interested to see how the fundraising was going year to date before things hit the fan. Just curious. I could see it being way down just because GWB and the entire Senate/Congress approval numbers are in the 20-30% range.

  6. John Q. Public says

    With all of the spew being thrown at our AZ GOP leadership by the non-elected sore-losers of the party, my wife and I have decided to send our checks to the state party rather than national. We also support individual local candidates.

    Whenever we get calls to donate to the RNC, we tell them we’ll consider returning as donors when our borders are secured and not another dollar until then.

    I am tired of hearing that the senate bill is a result of “bi-partisan” efforts and “not amnesty.” It most certainly is amnesty when we regularize lawbreakers. Should we also do that to bank robbers? Sure, they broke it, but it was just to afford their families a better life. Same ridiculous argument.

    As to the “bipartisan” efforts: if I wanted bipartisan, I wouldn’t be voting and working for Republicans! I urge all of you to rethink your donations to the the RNC as well as the local PACs that have been formed since Chairman Pullen was elected, in order to divert dollars from the state party. I agree with azgnat in getting behind our state party and sending our checks there.

  7. kralmajales says

    While this having an effect on GOP fundraising is probably true, I would worry a bit more about what the war in Iraq has done to GOP fundraising…I mean…the blank check on the war and its contribution to the deficit is the most traditionally anti-conservative thing I can think of.

    Before you ask why? American defense was to be strong and built up, but we were not to fight needless wars and we were not to police or nation-build. The other thing is the tax and spend part of it all. Are we really going to grow ourselves out of a $500 + Billion dollar war?

    I also wonder if the lack of contributions to the party are coming from the business/Chamber wing of the party that is angry about the tough on the border policies that the conservative wing of the party favors?

    Your money is as good as theirs…kudos…but I wager you don’t have as much of it.

Leave a Reply