Given that Republicans have essentially lost the last three election cycles, a growing number of GOP voters have called for the replacement of Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel in her role as head of the party apparatus.
Among the latest to demand that McDaniel be “removed” from her leadership position is the conservative author and pundit Mark Levin, Breitbart reported.
During the Thursday broadcast of his popular talk radio program, Levin said of McDaniel, “She needs to go,” and later reiterated, “She needs to be removed” as chair of the RNC.
Big spending at the RNC … with few wins to show for it
According to Breitbart, Levin’s call for McDaniel’s removal came in reference to a bombshell “exclusive” report on Wednesday from RedState‘s Jennifer Van Laar that fully exposed the seemingly excessive and extravagant spending habits of the RNC under McDaniel’s leadership.
Per a leaked copy of an internal financial report dated Oct. 7 that covered the 2021-2022 election cycle, it appears that McDaniel’s RNC spent more than $1.3 million on “luxury travel,” approximately $500,000 on private jets, more than $321,000 on “floral” arrangements, nearly $166,000 on “home improvement and decor,” and tens of thousands each on categories like alcohol, food and beverage, entertainment, and retail shopping, among other things.
To get an even fuller picture of the RNC’s spending since McDaniel was first elected as chair in 2017, Van Laar also reviewed prior Federal Election Commissions expenditure reports and spoke with various vendors, state party officials, and RNC members and staffers. It was duly noted, however, that even this stunning picture was incomplete, as numerous expenditures were reportedly misclassified
It was found that, since 2017, the RNC has spent at least $17.1 million on gifts for donors, $3.1 million on private jets, $1.3 million on chauffeurs and limousines, $750,000 on floral arrangements, $400,000 on tickets to sports and entertainment events, and $80,000 on alcohol, as well as hundreds of thousands more each on things like furniture, luxury spa retreats, clothing, and hair/makeup services, among other things.
The real kicker, though, was the comparison drawn between the RNC’s spending for the 2021-2022 cycle and the reported expenditures of the rival Democratic National Committee, which spent only around $1.5 million on gifts for donors, just $35,000 on private jet travel, and a mere $1,000 on floral arrangements.
McDaniel fires back through spokeswoman
In response to that RedState report, a spokeswoman for McDaniel and the RNC, Emma Vaughn, issued a statement that attacked Van Laar and conservative civil rights attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who is challenging McDaniel for the RNC chair and previously represented Van Laar in a separate case.
“A client of Harmeet Dhillon decided to publish a hit piece in the middle of the night without making a serious attempt to engage with the RNC or Chairwoman McDaniel’s team,” Vaughn said. “This blog post is as blatantly false as the lies she has been spreading that RNC members are being bribed for their votes. If critics want to misrepresent and push false narratives about the RNC’s spending this past cycle, they should do the math before realizing it only adds up to 0.8 percent of the total amount the Chairwoman raised.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson took a moment on Thursday to address the RedState report and RNC response and keyed in particularly on the comparative spending of the RNC and DNC. He aptly noted that Democrats weren’t spending lots of money on private jets and retail shopping and instead “were spending money on winning elections, which is why they did.”
If RNC was winning elections, nobody would care about expenditures
Dhillon also made an appearance Thursday on Fox News with host Laura Ingraham to discuss the RedState report and the accusatory response from the RNC to the exposure of its excessive spending under McDaniel’s leadership.
Thank you @IngrahamAngle for having me tonight to discuss reporting by @jenvanlaar on how the RNC spends precious donor dollars. Bigger issue is hundreds of millions blown on consultants who fail. No one cares about floral excess if you are winning elections. Time for change! 🕰️ pic.twitter.com/hEEVt6LYu5
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) December 16, 2022
The conservative attorney rightly noted that, had Republicans actually won the past three election cycles under McDaniel, nobody would really care about how the RNC spent its funds, but that the string of electoral losses proved that it was time for new leadership at the organization.