Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper features a New Jersey Globe story about recent fundraising problems for the Morris County Republican Committee.
The fundraising issue has become the focal point of a race for GOP county chairman between Ron DeFilippis and Rob Zwigard. DeFilippis has been serving as the party’s finance chairman and has been criticized for running high-overhead, low-profit events that leave the Republicans without enough money to fund local campaigns.
DeFilippis says he’s raised over $113,000 since taking over the fundraising last year. That may be true, but so much of it was spent on fundraising costs that there wasn’t a lot left over. Several Republican candidates who ran in 2017 contacted the Globe to complain about the lack of funds.
In February, DeFilippis paid Greg Gutfeld $30,000 for his appearance at an expensive dinner at the Trump National Golf Club. They even spent $500 on a photographer to take photos of the GOP bigwigs with Gutfeld.
DeFilippis, a former commissioner of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, has pushed back on claims that his organization is hurting for money. He brought in Craig Heard to conduct an “independent audit.” But Heard, who won 13% of the vote when he challenged Rep. Leonard Lance in the 2016 Republican primary, is hardly independent: he’s a supporter of DeFilippis and serves on the finance committee.
“So we should just keep all the cash in the bank instead of helping candidates?” Heard asked in an e-mail. “Makes no sense. ELEC reports are accurate.”
But according to those reports, Republicans had just $9,011 in the bank at the end of last year, and $13,956 at the end of March. They did not report spending any money on GOP candidates during that time.
“These people wouldn’t know the truth if it was standing in front of them,” said John Sette, who spent sixteen years as the Morris County Republican Chairman. “Where’s the money?”