Is Rick Scott hurting RPOF fundraising to the tune of $3,675,312?

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$3,675,312.

That’s the difference between what the Republican Party of Florida raised during the first quarter of the presidential election year in 2008 and what it raised during the first three months of 2012 (obviously a presidential election year).

In 2008, with Charlie Crist in the Governor’s mansion, the RPOF raised $6,635,058.  During the first quarter of this year, the party only (the word “only” is written with a smirk), the GOP only raised $2,959,746.

That’s a big difference. So what gives?

Well, the legislative session occupied much of the first quarter of this year, so one could argue that House and Senate leaders weren’t able to raise money for the party and that may have hampered fundraising efforts.

Nah, because if you look at the comparable periods in 2008 and 2010, when the Legislature was in session during the spring, the RPOF did quite well.

Perhaps redistricting is to blame.  With all of the confusion involved in the reapportionment process, maybe donors were keeping their powder dry.

Except, the comparable fundraising period the last time reapportionment was underway (the first quarter of 2002), was the best non-election period over the last ten years.  During the first three months of 2002, the RPOF raised 9,877,480.

No, the answer to why the GOP had its worst fundraising period since Charlie Crist left the party in April of 2009 is Rick Scott – for at least two reasons.

One, some major donors are hesitant to give to the party when the standard bearer has a 36% approval rating.

Second, the money Scott is raising is going to his own political committee, despite the fact the party is paying for pro-Scott ads thirty months before his re-election.

That’s a little selfish, isn’t it?

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.