This past Saturday at the December 4th quarterly meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee, State Chairman Steve Munisteri made the exciting announcement that the Republican Party of Texas was completely debt-free as of Wednesday, December 1st. Chairman Munisteri explained that when he used the term “debt-free” that this means two things. 1) That not only has the RPT retired the $708,494 worth of debt that his administration inherited when he was elected on June 12, 2010, but that 2) additionally, every bill that the RPT has received since then has been paid in full and that the party literally owed zero dollars to any creditor or vendor, as of Wednesday, December 1st.
Chairman Munisteri presented a chart (see below) which illustrates party debt as was reported in the FEC accounts for each year from the end of 1992 until the end of the year 2009. The chart also shows the level of RPT debt Munisteri inherited as of June 13, 2010. As the Chairman mentioned at the SREC meeting, it should be noted that the RPT debt may have even been higher in previous years, as debt is also sometimes carried in the state and corporate RPT accounts, but these records were not readily available. What the chart makes clear, is that the Party has been continually in debt for at least the past 18 years. By contrast, 2010 will be the first year for which the party has records, where the ending balance for accounts payables as of Dec. 31, 2010, is expected to remain at zero.
Chairman Munisteri also presented a chart (a copy of which is below) showing that the RPT’s cash on hand in the federal election account was the second highest on record at the end of an election cycle, and that the overall cash on hand (which is substantially higher than what is shown in the federal account) may be an all-time record. This despite the fact, that the State Party expended approximately $900,000 in October on behalf of candidates in the November election. More importantly, in a related chart (see below) Munisteri pointed out that records indicate that the RPT’s net worth just taking into account federal election account cash, is the highest at the end of any election cycle for which the Party has records going back to 1994.
Chairman Munisteri stated: “It has been a dramatic turnaround in the Party’s financial health – going from a literally bankrupt organization, to one that is financially solvent. The ability to do so in approximately five months is a result of several factors. First and foremost, is the generosity of our contributors. Second, the re-establishment of confidence and credibility of the RPT as an effective political organization. Third, the strong support from our officeholders and Chairman’s circle members. Since we have literally thousands of contributors, it is impossible to thank them all individually, but I would like to make special mention of the individuals who have had the largest impact on our finances.”
“First, thanks go out to our non-elected official Chairman’s circle members: Altria Corporation represented by Jack Dillard, Lynn Lasher, Ross Davis, Dick Saulsbury, Clayton Williams, Neal Adams and Pat Fallon. Also, our elected official Chairman’s circle members: Congressman Ron Paul, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Comptroller Susan Combs, and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. In addition, several other office holders have either raised, or made signficant contributions just below the Chairman’s circle level committment. These include: Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, Congressman Kevin Brady, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, Railroad Commissioners Victor Carrillo and Elizabeth Ames Jones, State Senators Dan Patrick, Tommy Williams, Florence Shapiro and Joan Huffman, and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.”
“We would also like to thank our elected officials who have held successful fundraisers for us – Governor Rick Perry, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, as well as thanking the hosts of those events – The Honorable Rob Mosbacher, Jr., John Nau, Paul Bettencourt (who also gave a substantial contribution), the Honorable Bill Ceverha, Louis Beecherl, Dee Kelly, Jr., Dee Kelly, Sr., State Rep. Vicki Truitt, State Rep. Charlie Geren, Ned Holmes, and Robert Miller. We’d also like to thank several large contributors – James D. Pitcock, Jr. (Williams Brothers Construction Company), Robert C. (Bob) McNair, Sr., Robert A Mosbacher, Jr., The Honorable William Clements, The Honorable Peter O’Donnell, Jr., Harold Simmons, Al Hill, Terry Looper, Bob Perry, William McMinn, Mike Boylan, Chief Pyle of the Choctaw nation, Stephen Jeffrey Davis, David Hartman, Boeing Corporation, AT&T, Anheuser Busch, Verizon, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, Chairman Tom Pauken, Ray Williams and Don Huffines.”
“We also had several grassroots clubs and party activists raise substantial amounts of money, which we would like to ?thank. These include: Dianne Edmondson – Denton County GOP Chairman and Fred Moses – Collin County GOP Chairman, the Star Republican Women club, Texas Federation of Republican Women, the R Club of Houston, the Texas Republican County Chairman Association, Senate District 24, the TFRW Dallas Metroplex Club, as well as those Republicans who joined our Grassroots Club.”
“Special mention should be given to Rep. Jim Keffer, who put together the House Republican Debt Retirement Committee, which we affectionately called “DebtBusters”, whose pledges and cash account for approximately a quarter million dollar contribution to the effort. Rep. Jodie Laubenberg and Rep. Larry Taylor are also to be commended as serving as spokespersons for the group. Those State Representatives that have contributed $5,000 or more to the DebtBusters are: Rep. Dennis Bonnen, Rep. Byron Cook, Rep. Charlie Geren, Rep. Todd Hunter, Rep. Jim Keffer, Rep. Susan King, Rep. Todd Smith, Rep. Burt Solomons, Rep. Joe Straus, Rep. Vicki Truitt, and the late Representative Edmund Kuempel. Those State Representatives that have pledged $5,000 or more to the DebtBusters are: Rep. Bill Callegari, Rep. Brandon Creighton, Rep. Dan Branch, Rep. Rob Eissler, Rep. Chuck Hopson, Rep. Tryon Lewis, and Rep. Jim Pitts. Special mention also goes to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for raising $100,000 for our “Rainy Day” fund, and Comptroller Susan Combs, who not only contributed $50,000 from her campaign account, but also left the Victory Committee with a cash surplus.”
Munisteri concluded, “It is my hope that the leadership of the Republican Party of Texas will never again allow the state party to accumulate debt. I am gratified that we can now assure future contributors that their monies will go solely to helping elect Republican candidates and promoting our principles, and not toward past debt.”