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Pinellas GOP suffers worst fundraising quarter in nearly a decade

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
At the most recent meeting of the Pinellas County Executive Committee, treasurer Chet Renfro delivered a speech in which he vigorously defended the fundraising and spending patterns of the PCREC — a speech which was said to have come in direct response to my blog post in October and the subsequent media coverage.

Unfrotunately for Mr. Renfro and PCREC Chairman JJ Beyrouti, the latest fundraising report for the Pinellas GOP clearly shows that the party’s finances are not in sound shape.

According to the latest fundraising reports filed with the Supervisor of Elections, the PCREC raised just $6,946 during the last quarter — the party’s lowest quarterly total in nearly a decade. Despite the paltry fundraising number, the party’s spending actually increased from the last quarter, with expenditures amounting to more than $18,710.

That’s right, the Pinellas GOP spent three times more than what it raised last quarter, almost a year before the elections.

The party’s prolifigate spending under Beyrouti has left the Pinellas GOP with less than $11K in cash-on-hand — a reserve that will, if current spending patterns continue, run dry within two months.

Compare the PCREC’s fundraising and spending with the party’s efforts at this point in the 2008 election cycle.

4Q fundraising:
2007 – $30,375
2009 – $ 6,946

YTD fundraising:
2007 – $238,567
2009 – $132,024

2007 – $171,455
2009 – $121,941

Cash-on-hand as of 12/31:
2007 – $67,122
2009 – $10,083

Accorind to Beyrouti, “this operation is running perfectly.” Is raising $100K less than the party did two years ago an operation running perfectly? Does having 20% of the cash-on-hand the party had at this point in the 2007 election cycle appear like the operation is running perfectly?

The Pinellas Democratic Party reports raising $2,265 during the 4Q, spent $8,447 and has $4,323 cash-on-hand.

As for other county-wide races:

Calvin Harris raised $5,475 during the 4Q and has $5,275 left-on-hand.

Beverly Biliris raised $7,950 during the 4Q and has $13.800 left-on-hand.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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