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RPOF's Not Good, Very Bad Fundraising Quarter

July 11, 2017 - 11:45am

To put it lightly, the second fundraising quarter of 2017 was not kind to the Republican Party of Florida, which posted one of its worst fundraising quarters in over 20 years for the second part of the year.

Campaign finance reports show the party raised only $338,000 from the beginning of April to the end of June, nearly $2.1 million less than the party raised during the first quarter of the year.

POLITICO Florida first reported the numbers late Monday evening.

The “Big Mouse” funneled the largest contributions to the party, with Disney’s Parks and Resorts and Disney Worldwide Services donating $84,000 and $50,000, respectively. 

Other large donations came from Sen. Bill Galvano’s political committee, Innovate Florida (which gave the party $25,000), Jobs for Florida (which pitched in $25,000) and telecommunications company Charter Communications, which chipped in $20,000.

The second quarter numbers are the worst the party has seen since 1996, which is as far back as the state’s election records go.

To put it in perspective, the second quarter numbers are the lowest since the fourth quarter of 1996, when the party only raised $573,000.

Party fundraising numbers have typically remained steady over the last few years, even amidst controversy. The RPOF has routinely posted millions of dollars in contributions for the last 10 years, even when former chairman Jim Greer was under criminal investigation for fraud.

The last time the party fundraised during an off-year before a midterm election cycle was in 2013, when the RPOF raked in nearly $2.9 million.

The numbers come as a massive blow to the RPOF, which is already severed as Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP Florida Senate committee continue to have nothing to do with the RPOF, raising money in entirely separate accounts all the while.

Both Scott and the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (FRSC) parted ways with the RPOF in 2015 after current chairman Blaise Ingoglia defeated Scott's hand-picked chair, Leslie Dougher, in a massive upset, causing a deeply-rooted schism in the party. 

Both Scott and GOP senators continue to reel in donors. During the same timeframe, Scott continued to raise money for his Let’s Get to Work committee, bringing in  $681,000. The bulk of that money -- nearly $485,000, was raised in April.

On the Senate side, the FRSC raised $720,000 during the same three-month period. 

If the committees had never split from the party, the RPOF would have raised at least $1.7 million.

Former RPOF chairwoman Leslie Dougher laid into Ingoglia over the numbers. 

"Let's get to Work Pac and the Senate funds raised over $2M into their own PAC," she wrote on Facebook. "Under your leadership everyone is looking out for themselves. Who is looking out for the Republican Party of Florida?

Calls to RPOF chairman Blaise Ingoglia were not immediately returned.

Meanwhile, the Florida Democratic Party’s numbers have remained somewhat steady in spite of underperforming in the fundraising game.

The FDP reported it raised $1.67 million during the second quarter, bringing their yearly total to $3.5 million.

FDP chairman Stephen Bittel said the fundraising numbers were a strong indicator the electorate is already getting fired up heading into 2018.

“Florida Democrats are immensely grateful for the generous support of our donors and Democratic legislators from across the state,” FDP chairman Stephen Bittel said in a statement. “We are committed to supporting Democrats from school board to U.S. Senate, and as we continue to build grassroots enthusiasm and raise resources, we are confident that Florida Democrats will win in 2018."



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.



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Blaise is a joke. He has brought absolutely 0, ziltch, nada to the party. He was against trump and openly pushing jeb and rubio from day 1. He plays to his cronies and basically became a dictator over individual counties RECs. He tries to put his hands on everything and tip the scales as he seen fit. I am of the opinion a RPOF chairman should not be a member of the FL Legislature. I believe it creates a major conflict. As a state Rep he is supposed to have all of his constituents in mind. As Chairman of RPOF he is taskes with furthering the party 1st in every manner.. How you can say you are doing both without conflict totally defies logic. He has made some of the worst decisions as Chairman and it is now showing. He tries to take credit for turning FL red but let me assure you it was the work of individual county RECs and Trump county Chairpersons who organized and rallied and got the vote out... Blaise just showed up when he could get his name and photo in the paper. Its time for him to go and for the state of FL to reunite our party under principles and honor, not cronyism and back room deals.

Amen, Joseph! You are 100% correct about Blaise. His actions are the Trump supporters in FL will not contribute to the party. That, plus, the Republican legislature and Corcoran not suppprting Scott. The grassroots Republicans voted for Scott and Trump, and the RPOF fights against both of them.

We had higher expectations for Florida considering we now had an American President, but the RPOF was a disappointment. Start governing like Republicans and you'll do much better. And BTW putting a bureaucrat like Adam Putnam up front as a candidate for governoris not going to go well for the party, you need an outsider like Rick Scott or Donald Trump. We have become too savvy to feed the Government. In the 50's there was a movie called the blob, I think it is a perfect analogy for the way government works. The Blob was a living organism like an amoeba that absorbed everything it touched. It couldn't be killed just like government, it had to keep growing. The more it ate the bigger it got. They couldn't shoot it, couldn't burn it, but in the end they were able to prevail by freezing it. That is the answer to government, freeze it. Get the government you can afford not the government the government wants.

AMEN!, Republican Conscience!

Agreed about Putnam.. just look at his congressional votesand you will see a RINO. Help draft congressmann Ron Desantis for next FL Gov if we want a true principaled conservative as our next Gov!

Republican Party had a perfect chance to win over the country and they blew it .

RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia is only in it for the title and perception of power that comes with it in order to advance his standing in Tallahassee. He has no interest in running the party, managing staff, setting goals and sure is hell not interesting in raising money. Blaise has 0 self-generation accomplishments. His successes have all come from riding coattails like he did in 2016 when Trump won Florida. Blaise didn't help, he actually hurt Trump's efforts. It's a shame no one is willing to call him out for his inaction. Any CEO in any organization would have been fired for lack of results + lack of focus.

Exactly, Karen!! You hit the nail on the head.

Bingo. No performance by Congress no contributions! Stiffleling bills in legislature by individuals without even a committee vote! Continuously sticking their finger in their constituents eye! The answer is donations will continue to dwindle.

This is NOT the Chairman's fault---it is the Governor's fault. The Governor is the defacto head of the party and he has a responsibility to leave it stronger than he found it.... Contrary to the comments of the State Democrat Chairman---the numbers do not reflect a shift of the electorate----in fact if you look at all of the money being raised by Republican officer holders that should be raised through the party---the Republican brand in Florida is stronger than ever...

Don't be an idiot. The Republican "party" did not support Scott, he won in spite of the RPOF why should he raise money for them. Also, the RPOF did not truly support Trump. They only gave him lip service, no real action. The grassroots Republicans elected both Scott and Trump. The "grassroots" Republicans no longer trust the RPOF. And THAT is why they did not give money.

The amount of money reflects the amount of work they do. Oh! do they work? Congress is out to lunch. Support the candidate, not the party.

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