I’ve previously written about fundraising reports for the Democratic and Republican Parties of Arkansas, and now that they’ve filed their latest reports with the Secretary of State, it’s time to review them again.
From October 1 through December 31, 2011, here is what the state parties raised and spent, according to their latest state reports.
Republican Party of Arkansas
Democratic Party of Arkansas
The Republican Party seems to be hovering once again near insolvency. Last quarter, state Republicans spent $8,000 more than they raised, which is surprising considering they had a fundraiser with Governor Jan Brewer and had a crowd of 500 people in attendance. Makes one wonder if State Republicans lost money on that event.
As you may recall, the Republican Party of Arkansas told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in early November they only had $33,000 in the bank. In contrast, the Democratic Party of Arkansas reported over $1.5 million on hand at that time.
In short, the Republican Party of Arkansas is still broke. And yet Republicans somehow think they can take over the State Legislature without a well-funded campaign structure?
The Democratic Party of Arkansas didn’t raise much money last quarter, only bringing in $27,972, which frankly is disappointing for a three-month period. However, as I mentioned a moment ago, they did have $1.5 million in the bank at the time of their last report.
State Democrats spent $296,131 last quarter, with the largest expenditure being $200,000 to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee on December 29th. The DLCC is the arm of the Democratic Party that helps Democratic legislative candidates get elected.
This substantial contribution prompted me to seek comment from the Democratic Party of Arkansas on why they gave $200,000 to the DLCC. I spoke today with the DPA Communications Director Candace Martin and got some comments about the expenditure.
“The DLCC has a proven track record of electing Democrats to State Legislatures across the country and as part of that they expect Democrats at the local level to work with them and contribute to their efforts. We didn’t specify any particular use of the funds, but we’re confident that the DLCC will put them to good use,” said Martin.
I asked why did the DPA contribute to the DLCC funds instead of keeping them here in Arkansas? Martin’s response: “It’s part of our election year strategy to combine our efforts with the efforts they put forward in electing Democrats to the State Legislature.”
Due to past large Democratic majorities in the Arkansas State Legislature, the DLCC hasn’t spent much effort in Arkansas, but I predict that changes dramatically this cycle. Arkansas is the only Southern state where Democrats control both legislative chambers and it sounds like the DPA and the DLCC are going to fight hard to keep it that way. (Democrats control both Chambers in West Virginia, but there’s a perennial debate on if it should be considered a Southern state.)
With a near bankrupt Republican Party of Arkansas, it appears well-funded State Democrats are on the right track to retain both legislative chambers.