RPOF’s Not Good, Very Bad Fundraising Quarter | Sunshine State News

To put it lightly, the second fundraising quarter of 2017 was not kind to the Republican Party of Florida, which posted one of its worst fundraising quarters in over 20 years for the second part of the year.

Campaign finance reports show the party raised only $338,000 from the beginning of April to the end of June, nearly $2.1 million less than the party raised during the first quarter of the year.

POLITICO Florida first reported the numbers late Monday evening.

The “Big Mouse” funneled the largest contributions to the party, with Disney’s Parks and Resorts and Disney Worldwide Services donating $84,000 and $50,000, respectively. 

Other large donations came from Sen. Bill Galvano’s political committee, Innovate Florida (which gave the party $25,000), Jobs for Florida (which pitched in $25,000) and telecommunications company Charter Communications, which chipped in $20,000.

The second quarter numbers are the worst the party has seen since 1996, which is as far back as the state’s election records go.

To put it in perspective, the second quarter numbers are the lowest since the fourth quarter of 1996, when the party only raised $573,000.

Party fundraising numbers have typically remained steady over the last few years, even amidst controversy. The RPOF has routinely posted millions of dollars in contributions for the last 10 years, even when former chairman Jim Greer was under criminal investigation for fraud.

The last time the party fundraised during an off-year before a midterm election cycle was in 2013, when the RPOF raked in nearly $2.9 million.

The numbers come as a massive blow to the RPOF, which is already severed as Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP Florida Senate committee continue to have nothing to do with the RPOF, raising money in entirely separate accounts all the while.

Both Scott and the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (FRSC) parted ways with the RPOF in 2015 after current chairman Blaise Ingoglia defeated Scott’s hand-picked chair, Leslie Dougher, in a massive upset causing a schism within the party. 

Both Scott and GOP senators continue to reel in donors. During the same timeframe, Scott continued to raise money for his Let’s Get to Work committee, bringing in  $681,000. The bulk of that money — nearly $485,000, was raised in April.

On the Senate side, the FRSC raised $720,000 during the same three-month period. 

If the committees had never split from the party, the RPOF would have raised at least $1.7 million.

Calls to RPOF chairman Blaise Ingoglia were not immediately returned.

Meanwhile, the Florida Democratic Party’s numbers have remained somewhat steady in spite of underperforming in the fundraising game.

The FDP reported it raised $1.67 million during the second quarter, bringing their yearly total to $3.5 million.

FDP chairman Stephen Bittel said the fundraising numbers were a strong indicator the electorate is already getting fired up heading into 2018.

“Florida Democrats are immensely grateful for the generous support of our donors and Democratic legislators from across the state,” FDP chairman Stephen Bittel said in a statement. “We are committed to supporting Democrats from school board to U.S. Senate, and as we continue to build grassroots enthusiasm and raise resources, we are confident that Florida Democrats will win in 2018.”



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.