Atlanta (CNN) – The Republican Governors Association delivered a not-so-blunt message to donors Thursday: your contributions are safe with us.
The RGA emphasized this point just as the Republican National Committee is coming under fire from social conservatives for picking up the tab at a risqué Los Angeles nightclub.
“The smart money is with the RGA this year,” Nick Ayers, executive director of the RGA, said in a statement announcing the organization’s latest fundraising numbers. “We are receiving a record number of donations from supporters at all levels because they are confident in our strategy and know we will win back a majority of governorships this November.”
Ayers’ statement comes less than 24 hours after Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, urged conservatives to redirect contributions to the council’s political arm or just give directly to candidates who champion like-minded goals. And other social conservative leaders have questioned RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s stewardship of the committee.
While the RGA and RNC both have the same goal of electing Republicans, there is always competition to tap into the same pool of contributors. The 2010 midterm elections will be especially important at the state level as governors play an important role in redistricting.
RGA spokesman Mike Schrimpf did not deny that a message was being sent.
“The RGA picked up two governorships last year and is the first GOP committee to make net gains since the end of 2006,” Schrimpf said. “There is no doubt that we are in a position to make even more gains this year. We’ve always said the Republican Party would best be rebuilt at the state level and our donors agree.”
UPDATE: RNC spokesman Doug Heye highlighted the financial resources the RNC put into last year’s elections and noted the committee will do more in the midterm elections.
“The RNC remains focused on raising the money necessary to fund victory programs in key states as we move forward to November,” Heye said. “Last year, the committee spent $9M in Virginia, $3M in New Jersey and gave $2M to each of the national party committees to help ensure electoral success. We look forward to providing more funding in the future.”