RNC, DNC Pig Out on Donor Bucks

Lavish dinners, digs, fishing guides eat up millions
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2010 5:17 AM CDT
RNC, DNC Pig Out on Donor Bucks
Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaks in New York last week.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Nearly two-thirds of donations to the national committees of both the Republican and Democratic Party are spent on staffers and to pay for luxuries like lavish dinners, limousines and mysterious "tips" to lure more donations, reports the Washington Post. In the last spending period, administration and fundraising expenses gobbled up $60 million—59% of total revenue—for the Democrats and $74 million—68% of revenue—for the Republicans. Money was spent on luxuries like trout fishing guides, whitewater rafting trips and triple-catered buffets. A single RNC donor trip to Jackson Hole cost $170,000.

"There is inadequate budget oversight" for how the tax-exempt money is spent, said the head of the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, which carried out the survey at the Post's request.The newspaper launched the survey after recent revelations that GOP staffers had spent nearly $2,000 at a strip club. Party leaders have long claimed that they must spend money to make money. But similar costs at most nonprofit organizations usually consume only 20% of income.
(More Michael Steele stories.)

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