The Republican Governors Association has contributed $2 million to the Republican Party of Florida, $1.3 million of which was spent immediately on an attack ad linking Democratic candidate for governor Alex Sink to President Obama, reports The Fix blog of The Washington Post. The RGA had already spent $2 million on anti-Sink ads earlier this month.
RPOF only had $468,500 cash-on-hand as of July 31, so the RGA infusion was much needed and raised $7.7 million while spending $6.1 million in its state account between April 1 and Aug. 19. RPOF’s former chair, Jim Greer, was indicted for funneling party funds into a front corporation that he funneled into his own personal checking account. Under his tenure, party officials also spent donor money lavishly using the party-issued American Express cards.
Here’s the ad, which links Sink to President Obama:
Ben Smith at Politico notes that if Sink were running in 2008, Sink might be linking herself to Obama — after all, he won Florida. Now, his approval rating in the state is similar to his national rating: either even or a small majority disapproving of him. Sink is at a disadvantage by simply having a more enthusiastic Republican electorate. Public Policy Polling analyzed that if Sink were running with a 2008 electorate, she would have a lead of 12 points, whereas she is either tied or has a small lead in recent polls.
An earlier of version of this story reported RPOF’s federal cash-on-hand figure ($468,500) as the its flat cash-on-hand sum. An RPOF spokeswoman said the party has $7 million cash-on-hand in the group’s state account. The Florida Division of Elections does not calculate that figure, but between April 1 and Aug. 19, RPOF raised $7.7 million and spent $6.1 million.
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.