RNC Website Gathers Dust While OFA Thrives
The Republican National Committee’s (RNC) website has been very inactive since the Romney-Ryan defeat in the presidential election on Nov. 6 and, as the site shows, it has not updated some pages since at least July 2012.
In contrast, President Barack Obama’s “Organizing for Action” website refreshes most of its content weekly, with up-to-date video and slick graphics highlighting the president’s agenda.
Despite having more than $7 million cash on hand and paying a consulting firm nearly $20 million during the election cycle, GOP.com, the official site of the RNC, has numerous idle pages, including one aimed at outreach to Hispanics, a group whose support many Republicans have cited as necessary to win elections in the future.
The “RNC Hispanics” page, which is written in Spanish, seeks to “engage the Hispanic community across the country.”
“Join our team and help strengthen the relationship between Latino voters and the Republican Party,” it says. “Together we can UNITE.”
However, its last posting was on Oct. 18, 2012, announcing a new Spanish radio ad for the since-defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The “RNC Women” page? Its last posting entitled “Mitt Romney’s Strong Record on Women” was on Oct. 17. The page reads, “The upcoming 2012 election will be the most important of our time and that’s why we need your help today.”
“Black Republicans” has not seen an update since September 5. Prior to that, its most recent link was on July 26, 2012.
Visit RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s blog and its leading post is dated Oct. 12. The chairman’s page does have one post from Jan. 25, 2013 featuring Priebus’s remarks from the 2013 RNC Winter Meeting. All other postings are from last October.
The “Weekly Republican Response” has not seen a posting since July 14, 2012, and currently says, “No Posts Are Available.”
The main GOP.com blog has two postings since the general election, Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) editorial in the Wall Street Journal on the sequester last week, and a pre- State of the Union address post.
Prior to that, the blog’s last post was entitled “For Democrats, It’s (Ground) Game Over,” on Nov. 5, 2012.
Conversely, BarackObama.com, the hub for the president’s reelection campaign, has not stopped updating despite Obama winning a second term, transforming itself into a social welfare non-profit. “Organizing for America” is now “Organizing for Action,” the first time a campaign has converted into an advocacy group.
Organizing for Action also has a tumblr blog, which updates every few weeks.
The Democratic National Committee website, democrats.org, has also regularly updated its main page, leading with “Call on Congress to Act” support forms for comprehensive immigration reform and gun control. Its most recent blog postings call for a stop to the sequester and highlight the administration’s position against the Defense of Marriage Act.
Similar to the RNC, however, other pages on its website have scarcely seen updates. Pages devoted to the “Faith Community,” “Americans with Disabilities,” and “Ethnic Americans” have not been added to since July 2012.
Pages for African Americans, the LGBT Community and Women, though, have been updated this year.
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the RNC raised $662,987,400.32 in 2012, outraising the DNC, which brought in $620,190,520.97. The RNC also spent more than the DNC -- $656,692,260.66.
Meanwhile, the RNC paid the consultant firm FLS Connect, LLC, $19.6 million between October 18, 2012 and November 26, 2012 for telemarketing services--which did not go towards the website-- according to Breitbart News. RNC Chief of Staff Jeff Larson co-founded FLS in 1999.
The RNC said in a statement that the telemarketing costs were used for the “Get Out the Vote” campaign and fundraising efforts during the 2012 election cycle, and not for GOP.com
“The past few months have been spent working on the Growth and Opportunity Project to identify how to grow the party and turn voters out most efficiently and with the latest technology,” said RNC Press Secretary Kirsten Kukowski.
“With that said, the RNC had a robust online presence the past cycle with our 176 videos getting over 14 million views on YouTube, our blog and Tumblr have been extremely helpful in our rapid response efforts, our Twitter following increased by 700 percent, we released double the ads as 2010 and we touched over 104 million people through our social media presence,” she added.
The RNC continues to raise money, adding $6.9 million in January. “The RNC ended [January] with $7.1 million cash on hand,” according to a statement on Feb. 20.
The DNC has $4.6 million cash on hand, but $20.7 million in debt from the 2012 campaign. The RNC is operating debt-free.