Blaise Ingoglia wants to put the Florida GOP’s second quarter fundraising numbers into context, telling state Republicans that a number of factors, including the possibility of special sessions, contributed to the mediocre haul.
Ingoglia, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and a Spring Hill state representative, acknowledged that second quarter fundraising numbers “were not great,” but told committee members that those numbers were “not inconsistent with what has been raised in similar situations.”
“What was completely glossed over in media reports (as well as detractors of our Party) is that in addition to legislative session, there was the prospect of AT LEAST one elongated special session this reporting period,” said Ingoglia in a July 12 email to state committee members obtained by FloridaPolitics.com. “Therefore, fundraisers weren’t scheduled during the second quarter for fear of the events having to ultimately be canceled and then losing deposits. It was simply not good fiscal policy to risk canceling events and then lose money.”
State records show the Florida GOP raised $338,942 between April 1 and June 30. The fundraising period covered the second half of the 2017 Legislative Session and a three-day special session, during which state lawmakers were prohibited from raising money.
Ingoglia said the prospect of multiple sessions didn’t just have an impact on the state party, but also the Florida Republican Senatorial Committee, which raises money for state Senate races. That committee raised $720,000, down from $1.4 million in the first three months of the year.
“We do have some historical apples-to-apples data to compare this to: In the second quarter of 2015, under similar circumstances (2nd quarter new year after an election, legislative session and prospect of multiple special sessions) the FRSCC reported raising $591K,” he wrote. “This clearly shows these effects on fundraising (we cannot accurately compare RPOF report to this because of the effects of the Jacksonville Mayor’s race at that time).”
Ingoglia also reminded committee members that state numbers show just one part of the quarterly fundraising effort. In his email, Ingoglia said the “media keeps forgetting that as a political party, we raise money in both state and federal accounts.”
While the state numbers were widely reported, Ingoglia said what has not been reported was “another $217K that was raised into the federal account, making the total raised approximately $556K.”
Ingoglia also warned that comparisons to the Florida Democratic Party’s reported $3.5 million haul are not accurate, since those comparisons compare a quarter to “their year-to-date number.” He also said Democrats’ numbers include money that was never in their account, pass through money that was raised and spent by gubernatorial candidates, and a more than $200,000 contribution from the chairman of the Florida Dems. The state’s Democrats, he said, also had their largest fundraising event of the year in the second quarter, while Republicans will hold their event later this year.
“The bottom line is this … as of yesterday the Republican Party of Florida has more than $4 million cash-on-hand between both its federal and state accounts, and fundraising is starting to ramp up. By comparison, it has been reported that the Florida Dems are low on cash, as evidenced by them having to take out a $200K line of credit to make ends meet,” wrote Ingoglia, before telling members it was unfortunate that people within the party appear to be rooting for failure by spreading “erroneous information on social media and via email.”
“Last election cycle, we ignored all the noise, completed the task at hand, and finished the election with millions left in the bank,” he continued. “This election cycle will be no different!”