HOME | Contact Editor | Add Comment | Forum | Directory | Search | Advertise | Tell-a-Friend
October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


Join us in
South Carolina Headlines

Sign up today to take part in the forums, interact with the content, receive South Carolina Headlines newsletters, display current weather conditions in your area, and more.

Already a member?



The Common Voice
Where you help make the national headlines!
Visit our Advertisers!


Author (last 7 days)

My Almost-Not-Quite Interview With 'The Bear'


 :: Jonathan Pait
 :: Benj Buck

 :: Jimmy Moore
Press Releases

 :: List All

Want to be a columnist? Contact the editor to learn how.

Disappointing GOP Fundraising Tactics
Jimmy Moore
February 24, 2003

Don’t you just love getting unsolicited junk mail as much as having a root canal! Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I received two fundraising letters last week requesting money from me for political purposes.

One of the letters was from Gov. Mark Sanford and the other one was from Mike Retzer, Treasurer of the Republican National Committee. After reading both of these letters pleading me to send them money, I have to admit that I am very disappointed in the fundraising tactics of the GOP.

The letter from Gov. Sanford was sent on official letterhead and labeled “personal correspondence” from the governor himself. It was addressed to my formal name, James Moore, and had a photocopied signature of the governor next to his typed name.

In the letter, Sanford explains that life has been busy for him and Jenny and their little boys since he became governor of South Carolina last month. He expressed his appreciation to me for helping him get elected and promised to follow through on the issues he talked about during his campaign.

Then, in the next few paragraphs, Gov. Sanford discloses the real reason why he is writing me. He says that he wants to help former Attorney General Charlie Condon retire the $200,000 in campaign debt he accrued during last year’s GOP gubernatorial race.

A pledge card is included in the packet that states, “Yes, Mark, I am willing to help retire Charlie Condon’s debt.” The minimum contribution on the card is $250 that can be paid for with a credit card. There is even a curious statement on the right hand side of the pledge card that declares, “Note To Staff: Please deliver a copy of this card to Governor Sanford so that he can reply personally to contributors.”

Thanks, Gov. Sanford, but no thanks. I doubt you will want to hear what I have to say about your request. But, just in case you do, here is what I have to say:


Dear Gov. Sanford,

Thank you very much for asking me to give a contribution to help retire Charlie Condon’s gubernatorial campaign debt. However, with all due respect, governor, I cannot believe you would ask me to give any more than I have already given.

You see, I gave over seven months of my life working for Charlie Condon in his race for governor last year. I toiled full-time on the Condon for Governor campaign working in excess of 40 hours a week from January to July last year writing, stuffing envelopes, sending e-mails, talking on the telephone to voters, assisting Mr. Condon at his town hall meetings, putting up signs and just about anything else that needed to be done. After investing over 1500 hours of my time helping a candidate that I strongly believed in, I never received one dime of compensation for my work! That to me is a travesty!

Even if all I got paid was $7.00 an hour to do what I did (and the work I performed was worth a LOT more than that!), then I would have been much better off financially to take care of my family today. As it stands, I am still trying to catch up from the time and energy I gave to the Condon campaign when I could have used that time to find other employment.

I find it very insulting to receive a letter asking ME to send money to help retire Charlie Condon’s debt! In my estimation, I have already donated in excess of $10,000 worth of services to the Condon for Governor Debt Retirement Fund. Since I have already contributed to this cause, would you please send me a receipt for those services I performed so I can write them off on my 2002 taxes?

I’m glad you’re reading this personally, Gov. Sanford, because I certainly wouldn’t want this note to be ignored you know. To that end, I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Jimmy Moore
Spartanburg, SC


As for the letter from the Republican National Committee, I am not only disappointed but actually incensed by the words that were chosen for this fundraising letter. In the past, I have received telephone calls from the RNC that were similar to this letter. I dismissed them as evidence of an overzealous staff and spoke with RNC officials about this. They assured me that these methods are not acceptable for collecting revenue for the Republican Party. But now I know that is not true because they have come from the Treasurer of the RNC himself. I am still stunned and dumbfounded by what I read in this letter!

The letter was written on official Republican National Committee letterhead with the name of the Treasurer of the RNC listed at the top. Instead of a date, though, the words “Wednesday morning” were typed, which seemed a bit odd to me. But that was not near as strange as the opening sentence of the letter:

“I don’t want to believe you’ve abandoned the Republican Party, but I have to ask ... Have you given up?”

HUH?!?! Before I even got to the meat of the letter, I was not only offended but also quickly disenfranchised as a long-time supporter of the Republican Party. How dare the Treasurer of the Republican National Committee send me a letter accusing me of abandoning the Republican Party! What the blankety blank does he know about my involvement in the Republican Party anyway? As these thoughts began to enter my head, I continued to read:

“Our records show we have not yet received your 2003 Republican National Committee membership contribution!”

Ohhhh, I see! Now it makes since. Since I have not sent the RNC any money this year, that means I have “given up” on the Republican Party! This is a disgraceful and shameless way to raise funds. Why should involvement in the Republican Party be limited to the actual dollars given by any one individual?

What about all of the time and energy I have invested in helping GOP candidates get elected? And, since I am the executive committeeman of my local precinct of the Spartanburg County Republican Party, does this mean I need to resign my position since the RNC thinks I have abandoned them? Words cannot begin to describe how much this has angered me.

Mr. Retzer continues in his letter to describe how important it is to have grassroots leaders like myself to continue the success of the Republican Party. He expressed that my role in the 2004 elections is vital and that I should not become complacent because of the historic victories in 2002. He added that President Bush is counting on leaders like me to take on the challenges that lie ahead, such as increasing the slim majorities in the U.S. Senate. And that is why my money is so “urgently needed” at this time. He requests that I send $50, $38 (where did they come up with THAT number?!) or even $25 if I am really supporting President Bush and Congressional leaders.

Once again, why is an individual’s commitment and support of a political party predicated on the amount of money given to that particular party? Why can’t I agree to donate 100+ hours of my time over the next year in support of President Bush and the Republican Party? I can (and will) use at least that amount of time to assist Republicans whenever possible.

Why is the sole emphasis of the RNC on monetary donations? What good does it do to ridicule and demean those people who believe strongly in the principles of the Republican Party, but are unable to give money at this time? It just doesn’t make sense to me when so many people are going through financial difficulties.

The letter finishes by explaining that President Bush’s agenda faces stiff opposition by liberal Democrats in Congress. He warns that liberal special interest groups will do everything they can to obstruct and delay this agenda. The money collected will provide the early help needed for the 2003 and 2004 candidates. He remarked that this is a team effort.

Then he says if “you feel the RNC has let you down or (if you feel they) no longer need you, please let me know. I want to hear from you.” Well, you’re hearing from me now, Mr. Retzer. This letter is an absolute disgrace. But you are still not finished with the personal attacks in your letter!

Retzer concludes by stating, “please don’t turn your back on President Bush and our GOP leaders in Congress who are counting on your help.”

This is an unacceptable fundraising tactic for the Republican Party, Mr. Retzer! Surely you can do better than this in future GOP fundraising mailings. For the sake of growing the numbers of the Republican Party, it is incumbent upon the RNC to be a little more sensitive to the fact that there are a lot of families struggling to make ends meet.

Most Americans are conservatives or moderates who are happy with the way President Bush is leading the country. If they are able to give, then they will give. You don’t need to guilt trip or threaten people to participate in GOP fundraising. The genuineness of President Bush and his agenda for America is the best fundraising tool you have in your arsenal. Don’t blow your opportunity to further strengthen the Republican Party by turning off the very people you are trying to reach!

While I strongly believe the tax cuts that are being implemented by President Bush and the Republicans in Congress will make a real difference in the long run for Americans, they do not alleviate the difficulties many of us are going through at this time.

Although I am currently working full-time and my wife is working part-time, every bit of our money goes towards paying the bills. While it may not be possible for me to give actual dollars to the RNC, that does not mean I am not an active participant in the Republican Party. On the contrary, I am on the frontlines of activism in support of GOP candidates and ideas on a local, state and national level. Don’t discourage me or others from participating just because we don’t have any money right now to send the RNC!

Here’s my advice to you for your next fundraising mailer: Market the Republican message clearly and the money will come. If this advice is not heeded, then I think we need to take a hard look at getting a new Treasurer at the RNC.

Post a comment for this column

You must be logged in to participate. You may use the MyVoice! area at the top of this page to log in, or you may set up a new account.


Use the partisanometer to put this columnist in his place - liberal or conservative? Just click left or right. First, you'll need to sign on.

Join in the fun! Sign on and give your rating on the partisanometer.


Join in the fun! Sign on and give this article a thumbs down or a thumbs up.


Refer Column

Refer this column to a friend. Highlight the fields below, fill them out and press "Send."



Send your comment to the author of this column.


This column has no comments. If you would like to make a comment, go here.

Site Stuff

Sessions: 814866
Members: 829

  South Carolina Headlines
Made possible by The Worthwhile Company, Inc.