Sunday, April 4, 2010

Giving to the RNC is a Good Choice

Okay, we get it. A mid-level staffer decides to use her discretion to approve an expense just under her signing authority of $2000 and reimburses a donor for some after hours decadent entertainment. She was wrong to do it and she paid the price by being terminated, because it flat out violated RNC policy and this employee knew better.

The good news is the system worked. That's right it worked. The transparency of what happens to money given to the RNC and expended by the RNC is the sunshine that casts the light of truth on what actually happens. Someone (who was either smart enough - or deviant enough - to know what the Voyeur in West Hollywood was) picked up on a questionable expense. They were able to do that because of transparency.

We ought to applaud the fact that the RNC had a policy forbidding such actions and further did not try to hide, diminish or excuse such a flagrant break with policy. Thank you Chairman Steele for taking swift action and for tasking your staff to further tighten policies to help avoid these incidents from happening again! (had this occurred in another party I'm sure we would have heard something akin to "boys will be boys", blah blah blah... Jay Leno may have had it right when he said, "what do you call republicans that go to strip clubs, (comic timing pause), Democrats!).

The punishment fit the "crime", a staffer who wantonly disobeyed policy and directives was fired when it came to light that she had indeed violated policy and the funds reimbursed are now being repaid to the RNC... Choices have consequences.

So why the moral outrage, the "slashing and burning" of the RNC image and why punish the other employees and members of the RNC, its leadership, and maybe most especially, the candidates who will need the support of the RNC? I suppose the obvious reason is there are many in the media and some political pundits and insiders who will look to any incident and take any opportunity to tear down and denigrate an organzation that has lofty principles, values and ideals. Further, many will delight in it just because it is the RNC. I do understand that when you espouse moral values that you become a target and expectations are higher than if you do not.

But the incident was handled properly by the RNC and I haven't seen any reports from the media who have indicated how effectively the RNC leadership dealt with this aberration of behavior by one of its employees.

Yes, Choices have consequences... but when someone speeds through a school zone, who receives the consequence? The person who broke the rule. Not the legislative body who passed the ordinance, not the police chief who is charged with enforcing the law. When an embezzler is caught, that person is punished, not the other members of the organization. Especially when there are clear rules and policies in place.

Choices have consequences... not giving to the RNC will create consequences indeed. The consequence of not being able to support state and local parties and candidates. Just think of the impact the RNC had on the races in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachussets after they contributed 10's of millions of dollars into those states' races! What candidate and party will be negatively affected if people decide not to give to the RNC because of this incident?

If you want to see a return to a more conservative congress and a nation more grounded in the Constitution, then giving to the RNC is a great way to show your support for those principles. The party has raised record dollars this year and spent record dollars in support of Republican candidates and in support of other Republican Parties and Committees. This is no time to slow the momentum, especially when you consider what is at stake in November.

No comments: