RNC Document Mocks Republican Donors and Deploys Fear Card to Fundraise


100303_rnc_screenshot_289.jpgPolitico‘s Ben Smith has one of those “Wow, I can’t believe this” scoops.
The only problem is that I actually can believe it. I just don’t want to.
Smith has just written about and produced a copy of an RNC fundraising document and powerpoint set (pdf) that denigrates RNC donors — suggesting that the way to move them is by through fear, pugnacious nationalism, personal ego, and tchochkes.
The caricatures of various classifications of RNC donors in the document that Smith was trying to get reaction to have the RNC itself now running scared.
According to Smith, the RNC has been calling donors to beware inquiries from an intrepid reporter.
Smith writes:

The RNC reacted with alarm to a question about it Thursday, emailing
major donors to warn them of a reporter’s question, and distancing
Steele from its contents.
“The document was used for a fundraising presentation Chairman Steele
did not attend, nor had he seen the document,” RNC Communications
Director Doug Heye said in an email. “Fundraising documents are often
“Obviously, the Chairman disagrees with the language and finds the use
of such imagery to be unacceptable. It will not be used by the
Republican National Committee – in any capacity – in the future,” Heye
The most unusual section of the presentation is a set of six slides
headed “RNC Marketing 101.” The presentation divides fundraising into
two traditional categories, direct marketing and major donors, and
lays out the details of how to approach each group.
The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described
under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as
“fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;”
and “Reactionary.”
Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.”
Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.”
The slide also allows that donors may have more honorable motives,
including “Patriotic Duty.”
A major Republican donor described the state of the RNC’s relationship
with major donors as “disastrous,” with veteran givers beginning to
abandon the committee, which is becoming increasingly reliant on small

Good old-fashioned reporting by Politico.
Unbelievable behavior by the Republican National Committee’s finance team.
— Steve Clemons


6 comments on “RNC Document Mocks Republican Donors and Deploys Fear Card to Fundraise

  1. Sweetness says:

    Completely OT, but…
    Steve has something like 30-40,000 readers.
    Isn’t it strange and telling (telling of what I’m not sure) that 10 of
    them, at most, make 98% of the comments on these threads?
    Steve’s readership, I imagine, is pretty highly educated and well-
    informed. They read this blog and, no doubt, have things to
    contribute. One would think they would more than they do.
    And yet they don’t.


  2. questions says:

    Obama is backing down on civilian trials because: Bloomberg went ballistic over security issues, because the main prosecutor (I can’t remember his name) of the previous civilian trials also went ballistic. He came out with a statement that he had been utterly unprepared and had been badly supported to be the main mechanism for dealing with terror trials and the defense of the US against terrorism.
    There’s actually a really interesting underlying point here which is that even if justice is better served by open civilian trials, the sacrifices we would be demanding of civilian institutions might be more than civilians can make. Think about being on that jury — if you don’t convict, the whole country hates you, if you do convict, you feel threatened for the rest of your life. I think mafia trials and gang trials go part of the way towards what this experience would be like, but only part of the way.
    The other point the prosecutor guy made was that the investigative issues are huge. Domestic investigators don’t have the expertise, money, or wherewithal to manage international terrorism.
    I think it’s troubling and sad that what is demanded ethically can’t always be done institutionally, but that does seem to be the problem here.
    Jane Mayer suggested in an interview with Steve a while ago that a new court system maybe needs to be created. That might actually be the direction to go. The military tribunals might stack the deck too much in one direction, so some other system might be better.
    Add in to all of this the possibility of intel’s being exposed, the torture issue (which we did to ourselves, let’s face it), and the circus ring that would likely result and voila, Obama backs down.
    We should always hope for justice, try for justice, and realize our shortcomings are for real. Then we build better institutions and hope all over again. It’s Sisyphean, but it’s the process we’re stuck with.


  3. David says:

    They’ve just put GOP campaign and governance strategies on steroids, sensing the ease with which those strategies can be employed against Obama and the Democrats. Nothing new there. Add in the ease with which too many Democrats can be pushed around and their inability as a party to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the absolutely absurd behavior of Republicans, and it is no wonder we are watching this unimaginable spectacle of the Republican machine steamrolling the Democrats and everything progressive.
    I have no idea why Barack Obama is backing down on civilian trials. I also have no idea what in god’s name Rahm Immanuel is thinking. I do think he has much more ego than wisdom.


  4. Bill says:

    “Unbelievable behavior by the Republican National Committee’s finance team.”
    Why is this unbelievable? The GOP has been dishonest to it’s own supporters for a long time now. You can see from the grandstanding, and foolishness that they say to them. The leadership clearly has no respect for the people who vote for them. They just manipulate their base, to get them out to vote. They make it clear that they are appealing to race, and the fears of the white religious voters, about their continued special place in our society.


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