Palm Beach County GOP collects some money, re-hires staff, eyes strategic planby George Bennett | June 20th, 2013
Less than two weeks after the Palm Beach County Republican Party responded to a donation downturn by laying off its two paid staffers and slashing its budget 44 percent, county GOP Chairman Ira Sabin announced that an infusion of money has allowed the party to re-hire its employees.
“We had some donors step up and that allowed us to resume normal operations,” Sabin said today.
Sabin said the party has collected at least $20,000 since its financial troubles came to light, with the Rooney family‘s Palm Beach Kennel Club and former party treasurer John Herrick making the biggest contributions. Sabin would not reveal how much individual donors gave, even though contributions will be publicly reported next month when the party files its quarterly finance report with the county elections office.
Sabin has also appointed longtime Republican operative Larry Casey to the new, unpaid post of “director of strategic planning” to help the party map its future course. Casey is a Capitol Hill veteran who also served in appointed posts in the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations and was a campaign manager and top local aide to former U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw.
Casey described his role as “putting some of the best and most creative minds of the party together to come up with a blueprint to make it financially stable, organizationally stable and politically stable into the future.”
Sabin last week tapped Angela West, a financial adviser and the wife of former U.S. Rep. Allen West, to be the party’s unpaid “interim director of marketing and fundraising.”
Before the latest financial drama, the county GOP had a $310,000 budget that included roughly $105,000 to pay the salaries of executive director Cathy Brandenburg and political director Mark Hoch. With contributions drying up this year, Sabin laid off the staffers this month and the Republican Executive Committee agreed to cut the party’s budget to $172,667.