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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 42. | WILLisms.com | Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Forty-Five -- Defined Benefit Pension Plans. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 262 -- Rock The Vote.

Rock The Vote Is Awful-

Great news.

Rock the Vote is hurting, financially:

Saddled with about $700,000 in debt, the group has cut its staff from more than 20 people in 2004 to just two today. Its president, who left last summer amid disagreement about the organization's direction, has yet to be replaced. And last month, Rock the Vote was sued for the second time in just eight months.

How fitting that Rock the Vote, which lobbied so hard against saving Social Security for young people, would manage its own money so poorly.

I could go on for pages about how ironic and wonderful this is, but I won't. Here are some of the details:

From 2000 to 2004, Rock the Vote's annual fundraising grew 69%. The group raised a total of $10.4 million in that period, IRS documents show. But in the same period, the organization spent more than $11.1 million and ended two of those years owing more than it had in the bank.

"They basically ran out of money," said Mark Weiner, president of Financial Innovations, a Rhode Island-based merchandising firm. Weiner says he does not expect that the group will pay the $50,000 it owes him.

Given the cyclical nature of campaigning, political organizations often overspend during presidential election years. Still, it is unusual for a group as established as Rock the Vote to live so close to the edge.

For instance, fundraising at the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group, fell 60% in 2003 to $1.4 million, but the group significantly scaled back spending and ended the year with $575,000.

By comparison, Rock the Vote's fundraising fell by a comparatively modest 22% in 2003, to $1.3 million, but the group spent $1.66 million, ending the year $241,000 in debt.

According to Ayeroff and other board members, the group's financial problems worsened last year, when it relocated its annual fundraising gala — typically held during Grammy week in Los Angeles — to Washington. The event drew lawmakers from both parties, but spiraling costs consumed most of the donated funds, Ayeroff said.

Just days after the gala, Rock the Vote was sued by fundraising firm ConklinScott, which the group owed $25,000. Both parties declined to discuss the pending suit.

Then last month, Los Angeles County sued Rock the Vote over a 2002 contract. The county had paid Rock the Vote $320,000 to develop an anti-discrimination public education campaign. But the organization mishandled the campaign and impeded its success, the county alleges. The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, is pending.

Awesome. Hopefully this heap of trash of an organization just falls apart, entirely.

Hat tip to Heritage for the find.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Entitlements Trump Pork.

Posted by Will Franklin · 8 February 2006 07:19 PM


What about Puffy and his Vote or Die folks? Good times. Apparently the RTV folks chose to die.

Posted by: Justin B at February 9, 2006 12:09 AM

Good riddance.

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What about Paris Hilton did she ever get registered?

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