‘Donors also read The Palm Beach Post,’ county GOP official says in arguing for review of party financesThursday, June 13th, 2013 by George Bennett
The Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee voted Wednesday night to appoint an “ad hoc special audit committee” to review party finances over the past 18 months.
The review, to be performed by five REC members, comes after a severe fundraising downturn led the party to slash its budget by 44 percent, from $310,000 to $172,667.
Former county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein, who opted not to seek re-election in December after 10 years on the job, said he has nothing to hide, but argued the “audit” would only generate bad press for the local party.
“If you want to keep this in The Palm Beach Post, vote for the motion. If you’re ready for Ira and I and all of us to shake hands…and do the work of the committee, vote no,” Dinerstein said.
The “Ira” Dinerstein mentioned is current Chairman Ira Sabin. Earlier in the meeting, Sabin and Dinerstein blamed each other for the party’s financial woes. But Sabin, who was treasurer from 2010 to 2012, agreed with Dinerstein that an audit would bring negative attention.
“My feeling is, as Sid’s is, let’s get it out of the newspapers,” Sabin said.
Sabin and Dinerstein ended up shaking hands toward the end of the meeting.
Palm Beach Republican Club President Marie Davis, who narrowly lost to Sabin in the December vote for party chair, argued otherwise.
“From the point of view of the public looking at us and the Democrats looking at us, this is probably a very good idea to move forward with a very general audit. I think we’ll be happy that we did in the long run,” Davis said.
“And also keep in mind the donors also read The Palm Beach Post, and if they think we’ve done an internal audit to see how we can conduct business better, I think that will make fundraising a little bit easier,” Davis said.
Davis’ argument carried more weight than the arguments of the current and former chairmen. REC members voted 67-to-19 to go ahead with the financial review.