Almost predictably, after the news got out that the Georgia GOP is financially in basically the same shape it was back in February, I saw social media status updates decrying the financial stewardship of GAGOP chair John Padgett. The complaints were very similar to those made prior to Padgett’s re-election at the state convention. The gist of one was that the party had ignored its base, and the disappointing cash flow was the result.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had on the Sunday after the convention. It was with a big muckety muck who works at a major Atlanta based company. You would know the company if I mentioned its name.
“Who won the chairman’s election?” he asked. “Padgett,” I said. “That’s good,” he continued. “My company usually makes a big contribution to the Georgia GOP, but we were waiting this year until we knew the results of the election.”
He told me that had Alex Johnson won the chairmanship, the company’s money would have gone to a SuperPAC instead of the party. I asked him if he knew if other companies were doing the same thing. He allowed that his was not the only one to hold back. That made me wonder. “So maybe the complaints by Alex’s supporters that the party wasn’t raising enough money were the result of the fact that Johnson was in the race.”
I have no idea whether his company, or any of the others he referenced, made their contributions to the party yet or not. I’m not going to speculate as to why the party’s cash position hasn’t improved much in the last six months. I may not have quoted my conversation with the company exec exactly, but it’s pretty clear that those who think the party would be in a better financial position now if a different chairman had been elected back in May don’t understand where much of the party’s money comes from.