R.S.V.P. – S.V.P

The big news that was new to me at the Huffman Advance wasn’t the handicapping of candidates for state-wide office, which is always great political theater, but rather the R.S.V.P. The RSVP is the acronym for the committee of VA State Senators O’Brien, Cuccunelli, Newman, Obenshain, and Martin to raise money for Conservative candidates for the GA. I asked why they didn’t like “the Gang of Five” as a name, but we agreed that that had too much baggage.

Once upon a time there was a joint Senate and House GOP election fund, separate from the GOP incidentally, to support Republican candidates. Bloggers will add or correct any details I mess up. Now the money, the Virginia Leadership Fund, is under the control of his Lordship Sir John Chichester. So, Conservative Republican candidates need not apply for funds. I understand the Moderates/RINOs/Governing Majority/Apostates – choose your label – control about $2m. That is a nice war chest for 2007 and still growing.

How much will they give to GOP congressional candidates and Sen. George Allen in 06? Or are those Republican races not their concern?

The numbers sort of jump off the page. If the whole RPV operates with less than $3m @ year and hands out probably – using ballpark figures here – $1m, then compare that to $2m controlled by one faction of Lords and the $23m that Jerry Kilgore raised for his race alone.

If the tax increases push $1 billion (and the 04 Chicken Little Tax hike moves more) to special interests that make their living from VA government, then a $1m payment from the special interests to the Lords has a payoff of $1,000:1. Not a bad payoff. Follow the money.

So, how are the RSVPs going to get $2m or more to help Conservatives? Tough call. Gov Mark Warner could do it with his ATM card. Or 100,000 Virginians could contribute $20 @ to pull in $2m. I know there are 100,000 Conservative Virginians with $20 discretionary funds. Problem is that they give now to their churches and synagogues, VCAP, and other good causes for The Cause.

For the RPV or the RSVP to matter more, they need more of the Mother’s Milk – money, money, money. Where is that Republican George Soros?

You can respondez s’il vous plait, to the Republican Senate Victory PAC (RSVP) at P.O. Box 606, Centrevile, VA 201222, s’il vous plait.

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9 responses to “R.S.V.P. – S.V.P”

  1. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Money raised for those legislative accounts would not be allowed in federal elections, because they include corporate dollars and gifts over the federal limit. So don’t hold that up as a failing on their part. Where the late and lamented Joint Caucus made its contribution was in giving opportunities to the people who later ran for seats in Congress or statewide offices (George Allen, Randy Forbes, Eric Cantor, Bob McDonnell, Thelma Drake and Joann Davis, et. al.)

  2. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Thanks Steve for reality check.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    There is a lot here that is simply overblown.

    The name of the fund is the Virginia Senate Republican Leadership Trust. The other 17 GOP members of the Senate belong to it. The five members of RSVP were extended membership but declined and decided to do their own thing. Chichester has a vote on the use of funds but the other members of the GOP Senate leadership also have a vote. John is far from the sole decision maker.

    According to VPAP, the fund does not control $2 million…but has $318,000 on hand. Hardly the financial juggernaut you attempt to portray.

    RPV’s annual budget is around $1m per year. That figure is often bumped up by pass-through money that is sent through RPV but is not actually raised by the party and the party does not control its usage. RPV’s funds for direct candidate support that it raises on its own are about nil.

    As for VCAP being a “good cause” they were strikingly absent from the general elections this year. According to VPAP, they gave a whopping $12,000 after Labor Day. Where, oh where, is Jerry Parker?

    RSVP has every right to do what it wants to do, but let’s at least get the facts straight.

  4. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Anon: I knew someone had the details better in hand. Thanks much.

    Glad to know that the RINOs have $300k, not $2m.

  5. NotGroverNorquist Avatar

    JAB: On Sunday you posted “people who make their living from government spending.” Today you refer to “special interests that make their living from VA government.” Just who are these people, how much do they make, what portion of the budget goes to them and do they provide any worthwhile servies?

  6. GOPHokie Avatar

    I am assuming he is referring to the road builders who got $650 mil and look like they will get another $850 mil this coming year from this increase.
    Thats a pure guess though.

  7. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    GOPHokie got it right. Sorry,I don’t have a complete list of special interests, but here is a partial.

    Road builders.
    The VEA
    Other State Employees
    Some lawyers
    Waste management and environmental studies analysts
    Energy producers regulated by government
    Government building owners/builders, office supplies, IT providers…

    I’m sure other folks can help me list others who get their income from state government spending.

    Different folks make different incomes. And likewise some corporations do better than others.

    If I could read the online budget better – and I can’t – with more detailed line items – I could tell you how much goes where.

    Everyone provides a service or a product or they wouldn’t get paid by Virginia. Some services are more worthwhile than others.

    The issue I tried to raise is to follow the money. Know who gives what to politicians and who gets what.

    It is the same principle in the Federal government and in the Military-Industrial complex where I have my day job.

    See if you can find a list of donors to the Yes! Campaign in 02. I believe you will find that they would profit from the transportation spending and the unelected regional government proposed.

    The people who support tax hikes aren’t altruists. They will gain from the tax. The ideologues in favor of higher and higher taxes and more, bigger state and local government are not Mother Teresa clones, but just socialists of one stripe or another.

    Lasswell’s classic definition of politics is without perjorative – who gets what.

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    Don’t know if it helps any but APA has the Commonwealth Data Point site that shows all expenditures by program/fund/agency at http://www.apa.virginia.gov/.

    You can drill down to individual expenditures for each program there.

  9. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Thanks so much Anon. This is one power of blogs to share information widely an deeply. I’ll check out the site in detail when I get home from a business trip.

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