Federal Election Commission reports filed by the Republican National Committee on Thursday show that one-third of the $59.3 million it spent directly with vendors in the last five weeks of the election was paid to one telemarketing firm, FLS Connect, LLC. As Breitbart reported on Friday, FLS Connect, LLC was paid $19.6 million by the RNC between October 18, 2012 and November 26, 2012 for telemarketing services.
RNC disbursements during this five week period totaled $94 million. Of this amount, $8.4 million was transferred to affiliated committees, $2.3 million went to coordinated party expenditures and other disbursements, $14 million went to independent expenditures, $10 million paid off loans, and $59.3 million was devoted to operating expenditures.
Current Republican National Committee chief of staff Jeff Larson co-founded FLS Connect, LLC in 1999 along with Tony Feather and Tom Synhorst, who now serves as the chairman and managing partner of the DCI Group, a powerful Washington lobbying and public relations firm. Larson was a partner in the firm until November, 2010. In February, 2011, incoming RNC Chairman Reince Priebus named Larson as his chief of staff.
It is unknown how FLS secured its lucrative contract and in particular whether any other telemarketing vendor appears to have been given an opportunity to bid on the contract.
During the two year election cycle beginning on January 1, 2011 and ending on November 26, 2012, the RNC paid FLS Connect, LLC $38.6 million for telemarketing services. Many critics are wondering what FLS Connect, LLC delivered to the RNC in return for these payments.
Reagan biographer Craig Shirley recently called for the RNC to open up its vendor selection process. In an interview with The American Spectator on Tuesday he said:
“All bids for RNC contracts should be competitive and determined by revolving members of the national committee. All contracts would be transparent. All hidden agendas disclosed. All contracts should be terminated based on moral, professional, and ethical turpitude. The party has to begin to set an example. A management committee to oversee the books and money in and out, made up of revolving members of the national committee, ought to be created.”
Ron Paul has for many years said it’s time to audit the Fed. Perhaps now it’s also time to audit the RNC.