I don't link to the Washington Times all that often, but this is kind of interesting. The Republican National Committee has fired all of its in-house phone solicitors. They say it is because it would cost too much to update the phone bank equipment. The fired employees are singing a different tune:
The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times.
Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times.
The national committee yesterday confirmed the firings that took place more than a week ago, but denied that the move was motivated by declining donor response to phone solicitations.
"The phone-bank employees were terminated," RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt wrote by e-mail in response to questions sent by The Times. "This was not an easy decision. The first and primary motivating factor was the state of the phone bank technology, which was outdated and difficult to maintain. The RNC was advised that we would soon need an entire new system to remain viable."
The employees also say why donations have dropped so fast and so badly:
There has been a sharp decline in contributions from RNC phone solicitations, another fired staffer said, reporting that many former donors flatly refuse to give more money to the national party if Mr. Bush and the Senate Republicans insist on supporting what these angry contributors call "amnesty" for illegal aliens.
"Everyone donor in 50 states we reached has been angry, especially in the last month and a half, and for 99 percent of them immigration is the No. 1 issue," said the former employee.
Keep in mind that this is coming from fired employees who may not be completely objective in their assessment. But it sounds about right. The real base of the Republican party is angry about this deal the Senate cooked up. And, according to polls, so are a lot of the Democratic base and a lot of independents.
A LOT of politicians from both parties are going to get their political heads handed to them over this issue.