Sunday, March 16, 2008

Davis Helped Taint Republican Brand

After reading the Washington Post, one could compare the Republican brand to "Made in China". Recent stories ranged from bad handling of Republican campaign donations to tainted blood thinner supplies from Chinese factories. Both groups are experts at dodging real accountability. Take Rep. Tom Davis, R-VA's words from the Post piece:

The latest blow came with the revelation that the former treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) had allegedly diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and possibly as much as $1 million -- from the organization's depleted coffers to his own bank accounts.

If Republicans needed any more evidence of how difficult this fall may be, the past week had it all, analysts said. The Illinois race (special election won by a Democrat) demonstrated new levels of disaffection, the party's efforts to go on offense elsewhere were thwarted by recruiting failures, and the NRCC scandal will divert campaign resources and could frighten off badly needed contributors, they said.

"It's no mystery," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). "You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."

Guess who was Chair of the NRCC for the early part of the accounting/embezzlement scandal? That would be Tom Davis who served from 1998-2002. The last real financial audit was done in 2001.

Ward faked and submitted a string of bogus financial statements to Wachovia and to committee leaders from 2002 to 2006, an NRCC media statement said.

Incompetent governance allowed NRCC Treasurer Chris Ward to perpetrate his "stealthy scheme." No auditors on site, no governance interview, no partner presentation to the NRCC Executive Committee, no Q & A on the management letter and audit? These are governance basics, especially post Enron, Worldcom and the Sarbanes-Oxley Bill, which ironically, Mr. Davis signed. Tom, you've helped kill the Republican brand, and I think you know it:

But other Republicans worried that news of what could become one of the largest political frauds in recent history may dampen fundraising as donors question the committee's controls on their money.

"It's not helpful; it doesn't attract donors," Davis said.