College Republicans act unethically

The Republican Party is the party of right and wrong. We should, and must, act the part.

First and foremost, I am a Republican. What I say in this column is purely a critique of the state of affairs as I see them.

That being said, I want to warn fellow Republicans out there to be wary of College Republicans seeking gifts.

The story broke in the Seattle Times last month, under the headline “Fund-raising group milks vulnerable senior citizens.” The article was about the College Republicans.

Basically, the College Republican National Committee has been spending a great deal of time and effort taking money from old people in misleading and deceptive letters.

This does not surprise me all that much. One of the less noble elements of politics is fund raising. I have received countless letters like the ones the College Republicans sent out.

“Donate now or New England Rhinos will get rid of the pro-life stance in the platform” reads one such letter I got from an independent abortion opponent group I occasionally donate to.

I don’t mind these letters; I understand they can be a little misleading, but NASCAR runs on gas, and politics run on money.

What is more unfortunate is that, of all the money collected by the College Republicans this year, only $1 in $10 actually went to the cause of furthering GOP candidates.

The rest of the money raised by the College Republican National Committee went to private vendors and postage for the misleading letters.

Some might call this legitimate. Some would say spending $9 to earn $10, thus gathering a $1 profit, is a sound policy.

But this needs to be compared to how other 527 groups earn and spend their money. Take MoveOn.org. They raised approximately $20 million this year. They spent 93 percent of that on media: TV ads, radio spots, etc.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth raised approximately $13.7 million; approximately 90 percent of that went toward media.

If those groups can be fiscally responsible, why can’t the College Republicans?

People need to know what’s going on with their donations. Republicans who want their money to go toward helping Republican candidates need to know not to send money to the College Republicans.

People also need to know the College Republicans are running their group unethically and potentially criminally. And people need to stop this sort of nonsense from occurring.

Let me tell you, there are people out there hoping for Republican failures.

Liberalism lives off failures. Some liberals would love it if things went wrong in Iraq, and all gladly exploit failures and setbacks in Iraq for their own political purposes. Some tendencies and tactics apply if the economy would tank. These would be victories for them. The list goes on.

The left in this nation want nothing more than to have blatant examples of right-wing corruption. I know I collect every story I can about corrupt leftists and put them in a file.

Yet, this need not be a total loss for Republicans. This should be a call to action. The College Republicans are set up hierarchically: Local chapters support state boards that are affiliated with the National Committee. I implore the Minnesota College Republicans to condemn these actions by the National Committee.

Further, I recommend that the Minnesota State Board separate themselves from the national group until these issues are resolved.

If this doesn’t happen, then I would call upon local leaders, like the chairman of the College Republicans chapter on this campus, to disassociate from the College Republicans.

And if none of that happens? Is there still some hope for young conservatives out there? Yes.

If you’re on the University campus, the Campus Republicans are an independent Republican group that has never taken money from seasoned citizens.

I know the Campus Republicans are a more conservative lot; I’d understand if moderates were scared away. If nothing else, quit supporting the College Republicans if they choose to continue down their dark path.

If you want to help get GOP candidates elected, send money to the candidates themselves.

If you want to spread conservatism on campus, get involved in another conservative group; there are plenty out there.

If you want to spend time socializing with people, try a bar. But do not let yourself become a willing accomplice in such actions.

The Republican Party is the party of right and wrong. We should. and must, act the part.

Marty Andrade welcomes comments at [email protected]