Donor Funds Drying Up for ‘Do Nothing’ Establishment Republicans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A recent piece in Politico highlights the increasing displeasure of the GOP donor class with Republicans’ seeming inability to pass a single piece of the stated Republican agenda. Having delivered Republicans to majorities in the House and Senate, capped off with the message-sending election of an outsider swamp-draining president, it’s no wonder Republican donors are holding their wallets tighter after nine months of bewildered disappointment.
“Tensions reached a boiling point at a recent dinner at the home of Los Angeles billionaire Robert Day. In full view of around two dozen guests, Thomas Wachtell, a retired oil and gas investor and party contributor, delivered an urgent message to the night’s headliner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Just do something.
Wachtell, who has given tens of thousands of dollars over the years to Senate Republicans, recalled that McConnell responded defensively. Passing legislation takes time, the Republican leader responded, and President Donald Trump didn’t seem to understand how long it required.
“Anybody who was there knew that I was not happy. And I don’t think anybody was happy. How could you be?” said Wachtell, who has previously given over $2,000 to McConnell but recently stopped donating to Senate GOP causes. “You’re never going to get a more sympathetic Republican than I am. But I’m sick and tired of nothing happening.””
That mood may be becoming more pervasive in GOP donor circles as evidenced by the disappointing hauls of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NSRC) in the past few months. In charge of NSRC fundraising is none other than North Carolina’s own Senator “Traitor Thom” Tillis.
Tillis may have been the perfect casting for the job, as he wasted no time at all cozying up to an establishment leadership that appears more interested in protecting entrenched interests on K Street than respecting the wishes of the voters that put him in power.
“The backlash is threatening to deprive Republicans of resources just as they’re gearing up for the 2018 midterms. Party officials are so alarmed that North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who oversees fundraising for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told his colleagues at a recent conference meeting that donations had fallen off a cliff after the Obamacare flop. The committee’s haul plummeted to just $2 million in July and August, less than half of what it raised in June.
“When you’re in a business and you tell your stakeholders you’re going to build a building or something, you have to follow through,” said Houston-based energy executive Dan Eberhart. “I can’t borrow money to build a building and then not follow through, which is what these guys are doing.” He said he’s spoken to four Republican senators over the past month to express his displeasure, mostly over the party’s failure to repeal Obamacare.””
The blessing of Senate Republican leadership may turn out to be more of a curse for the former Speaker of the N.C. House as 2018 midterm primary elections near. The Republican primary victory of Judge Roy Moore in Alabama, handily beating incumbent Luther Strange who was backed by the NSRC and endorsed by President Trump, could be the first trickle in a wave of incumbent ousters fueled by discontent with the lack of progress on the GOP agenda.
Moore’s victory has likely already caught the eye of wealthy Republican donors, thereby compounding GOP fundraising troubles. Much like the business acumen that made them wealthy in the first place, the donors aren’t likely to throw good money after bad in politics unless they see results.
You can find the entire story here.