RNC organizers apologize to Adelson for misrepresenting donor info

GOP organizers are apologizing to mega-donor Sheldon Adelson for sending a letter begging for cash that misrepresented some of the information.

The convention starts Monday, and organizers are still millions short of their fundraising goal. 

Organizers sent the letter to Adelson last week, but four of the five signatories on the letter never saw it.  And some of the companies they claim had pulled their financial support from the convention had never pledged funds in the first place.

Politico:

The letter, obtained by POLITICO on Thursday, outlined two dozen major corporations — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Duke Energy and Apple, among them — that it claimed had backed out a combined more than $8.1 million in pledged donations in recent months.

But on Friday, Emily Lauer, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, acknowledged to POLITICO that the list of lost donors in the letter to Adelson was inaccurate — and that the committee has now reached out to Adelson’s aides to apologize.

“Some of what were referred to as pledges were actually expectations based on pledges made to previous conventions, while a handful had been withdrawn,” David Gilbert, the CEO of the host committee, said in a prepared statement.

Lauer also said that Gilbert was the only one of the five named signers of the letter that had actually seen the document, which blamed “negative publicity” around Trump for its financial shortfall, before it was sent.

One of the signatories who never saw the letter was Christopher Kelly, a partner at Jones Day, the prominent law firm where Trump’s top election lawyer, Don McGahn, is also a partner, and where Trump has held meetings while in Washington D.C.

The other signatories were Christopher Connor, executive chairman of The Sherwin-Williams Co., Alexander Cutler, chairman and CEO of the Eaton Corporation, and Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp.

None of the four responded to a request for comment.

Lauer said the letter came about because the “last 10 percent” of fundraising — the group has raised $58 million of its $64 million goal — is typically the most challenging and must be secured quickly close to conventions.

“Our staff approached a very generous donor that has a history of supporting host committee efforts and asked for a contribution,” she explained. “After initial discussion with Mr. Adelson’s staff, they requested very specific information, at a late hour in the day, and indicated the need for an immediate response and so the host committee, with input from our planning partners at the RNC [Republican National Committee], provided the information in a letter that was address to Mr. Adelson and his wife.”

Lauer added: “Part of that expedited, late-evening process included the decision by our host committee CEO to include the names of our co-chairs as signatories. The co-chairs, however, did not have knowledge of the letter being sent.”

Just how bad is the fundraising problem for Donald Trump?  According to FEC records, the joint Clinton/DNC fundraising effort over the last three months has raked in $82 million, $21 million of that earmarked for her campaign.

The Trump/RNC effort raised $32 million, but only $2 million of that will go into the Trump campaign coffers.

The two fundraising joint committees in which the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign and the RNC are participating — Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee — raised $32.4 million between their formation in late May and the end of last month, according to their FEC reports.

Of that, Trump Victory transferred only $2.2 million to Trump’s presidential campaign committee, as compared to $10.1 million to the RNC, though $5.8 million of that went to funds that can’t be used for campaign activity, and are earmarked instead for the party’s buildings and legal and convention expenses. Trump Victory didn’t transfer any money at all to the 11 state parties participating in it. Meanwhile, Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which comprises only the Trump campaign and the RNC, did not transfer any money to either.

Even if you believe the fantasy that Trump really doesn't need a lot of money to win, the same can't be said for state parties that are being starved for cash because of the toxicity of the nominee at the top of the ballot.  Only 14 donors gave the maximum to the joint committee – an alarming statistic when you consider that hundreds have given the maximum to Clinton.

Maybe Trump's fundraising will take off and he can make a serious dent in Clinton's cash advantage.  But to date, there is zero evidence that it will happen, leaving Republicans hoping that Trump's celebrity will make up for a shortfall of several hundred million dollars.

GOP organizers are apologizing to mega-donor Sheldon Adelson for sending a letter begging for cash that misrepresented some of the information.

The convention starts Monday, and organizers are still millions short of their fundraising goal. 

Organizers sent the letter to Adelson last week, but four of the five signatories on the letter never saw it.  And some of the companies they claim had pulled their financial support from the convention had never pledged funds in the first place.

Politico:

The letter, obtained by POLITICO on Thursday, outlined two dozen major corporations — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Duke Energy and Apple, among them — that it claimed had backed out a combined more than $8.1 million in pledged donations in recent months.

But on Friday, Emily Lauer, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, acknowledged to POLITICO that the list of lost donors in the letter to Adelson was inaccurate — and that the committee has now reached out to Adelson’s aides to apologize.

“Some of what were referred to as pledges were actually expectations based on pledges made to previous conventions, while a handful had been withdrawn,” David Gilbert, the CEO of the host committee, said in a prepared statement.

Lauer also said that Gilbert was the only one of the five named signers of the letter that had actually seen the document, which blamed “negative publicity” around Trump for its financial shortfall, before it was sent.

One of the signatories who never saw the letter was Christopher Kelly, a partner at Jones Day, the prominent law firm where Trump’s top election lawyer, Don McGahn, is also a partner, and where Trump has held meetings while in Washington D.C.

The other signatories were Christopher Connor, executive chairman of The Sherwin-Williams Co., Alexander Cutler, chairman and CEO of the Eaton Corporation, and Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp.

None of the four responded to a request for comment.

Lauer said the letter came about because the “last 10 percent” of fundraising — the group has raised $58 million of its $64 million goal — is typically the most challenging and must be secured quickly close to conventions.

“Our staff approached a very generous donor that has a history of supporting host committee efforts and asked for a contribution,” she explained. “After initial discussion with Mr. Adelson’s staff, they requested very specific information, at a late hour in the day, and indicated the need for an immediate response and so the host committee, with input from our planning partners at the RNC [Republican National Committee], provided the information in a letter that was address to Mr. Adelson and his wife.”

Lauer added: “Part of that expedited, late-evening process included the decision by our host committee CEO to include the names of our co-chairs as signatories. The co-chairs, however, did not have knowledge of the letter being sent.”

Just how bad is the fundraising problem for Donald Trump?  According to FEC records, the joint Clinton/DNC fundraising effort over the last three months has raked in $82 million, $21 million of that earmarked for her campaign.

The Trump/RNC effort raised $32 million, but only $2 million of that will go into the Trump campaign coffers.

The two fundraising joint committees in which the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign and the RNC are participating — Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee — raised $32.4 million between their formation in late May and the end of last month, according to their FEC reports.

Of that, Trump Victory transferred only $2.2 million to Trump’s presidential campaign committee, as compared to $10.1 million to the RNC, though $5.8 million of that went to funds that can’t be used for campaign activity, and are earmarked instead for the party’s buildings and legal and convention expenses. Trump Victory didn’t transfer any money at all to the 11 state parties participating in it. Meanwhile, Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which comprises only the Trump campaign and the RNC, did not transfer any money to either.

Even if you believe the fantasy that Trump really doesn't need a lot of money to win, the same can't be said for state parties that are being starved for cash because of the toxicity of the nominee at the top of the ballot.  Only 14 donors gave the maximum to the joint committee – an alarming statistic when you consider that hundreds have given the maximum to Clinton.

Maybe Trump's fundraising will take off and he can make a serious dent in Clinton's cash advantage.  But to date, there is zero evidence that it will happen, leaving Republicans hoping that Trump's celebrity will make up for a shortfall of several hundred million dollars.