RNC Once Again Under Fire For Extravagant Expenditures

As America prepares for a presidential election that, despite widespread concerns about President Joe Biden’s job performance and cognitive health, will probably be a nail-biter, the two parties are making strategic decisions regarding how to spend their respective campaign war chests.

According to Federal Election Committee data, the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Convention have exhibited much different priorities over the past several months. Looking specifically at expenditures by each committee between October 2022 and November 2023, the RNC spent many times more money than the DNC on seemingly lavish purchases while Democratic Party leaders focused more on get-out-the-vote initiatives that could pay dividends on Election Day.

For example, the RNC spent more than $250,000 on limousines during the 13-month period, whereas the DNC’s expenditure on such services totaled a paltry $7,000. Similarly, Republicans spent more than six times as much on office supplies than Democrats.
On the other hand, most of the money doled out by the DNC went toward organization and outreach.

Party leaders spent $235,865 on voter file maintenance and more than $1.6 million on texts encouraging Americans to vote. The RNC’s spending in these categories totaled just $39,223 and $86,019, respectively.

As for the amount of money from the national party that made its way to state-level party organizations, the DNC transferred nearly $24 million compared to the less than $14 million transferred by the RNC.

Ronna McDaniel was re-elected to serve a fourth term as RNC chair last year despite facing intraparty challengers who opposed, among other things, her oversight of the party’s expenses.

She has faced pressure to step down since then, including by then-presidential primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy from a debate stage in November.

Of course, McDaniel is not the first RNC leader to face backlash over seemingly extravagant spending. Michael Steele was ousted from the position more than a decade ago over similar concerns.

Among the expenses that came to light ahead of that decision was a nearly $2,000 event funded by the RNC at an exotic nightclub in Los Angeles, though a committee spokesperson asserted at the time that Steele “had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location acceptable.”