Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Ramifications of a bust-out

A "bust out" is a fraud tactic, commonly used in the organized crime world, wherein a business' assets and lines of credit are exploited and exhausted to the point of insolvency.

from Wikipedia

I should probably start by admitting that I have only a general idea of what national and state party organizations do or how big a role they play, but it's clear to even a casual observer that between the mafia-style takeover of the RNC and the total dysfunction we're seeing in places like Michigan, lots of Republican candidates with the exception of Trump will not be able to count on the support from the party they would normally expect, particularly given the recent GOP money problems.


Will that make a difference? I don't know, but people who think about elections for a living should probably factor this into their thinking.

Antonia Hitchens writing for the New Yorker:

“There have always been strong ties between the presumptive nominee and the R.N.C.,” Oscar Brock, a committee member from Tennessee, told me as we stood by the breakfast buffet. What’s notable here is the extent to which not only Trump’s campaign but now the committee also will focus on what they refer to as “election integrity” ahead of November. In his endorsement of Whatley, Trump praised Whatley’s passion for election integrity. Whatley, a member of George W. Bush’s recount legal team in 2000, promised that he would significantly increase the number of poll watchers to monitor the voting process this year. Under Whatley’s watch, Trump said, 2024 “can’t be stolen.” (At CPAC, in 2021, Whatley had said, of the 2000 election, “We knew, if we were not there, they were going to steal it.”) On Friday, he told the gathered members, “Over the next eight months, the R.N.C. will work hand in glove with President Trump’s campaign.”


In the meeting, there were no dissenting votes against Lara or Whatley. In his acceptance speech, Whatley spoke mostly of “protecting the ballot” and the “sanctity of their vote,” outlining plans for securing elections in battleground states: “recruiting and training tens of thousands of volunteers to serve as poll judges, workers, and observers who will act as real-time monitors.” Lara took the stage in a purple skirt and white shirt, and told the group that she was going to speak from the heart instead of from her speech. “The goal on November 5th is to win, and, as my father-in-law says, ‘bigly,’ ” she said. “We have to have election integrity like we’ve never seen it before. . . . We need to make sure that nothing is left to question on November 5th.” She held up a recently donated check for a hundred thousand dollars, and the room applauded.


One question hovering over the meeting was whether the R.N.C. would pay Trump’s legal bills. Using the already cash-strapped organization to help with his half billion dollars in legal judgments would create a barrier that’s too porous for some. (The R.N.C. is supposed to spend on down-ballot G.O.P. races, not pay legal bills. “We can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Brock told me.) The committeeman Henry Barbour, from Mississippi, had drafted a resolution to prevent the R.N.C. from covering the legal bills, but he didn’t get enough co-sponsors to bring the resolution to a vote. (Barbour said he knew it wouldn’t pass, but he thought the gesture was still important.) Several committee members told me that their constituents were keen to help with Trump’s legal fees.“It’s a legitimate expense because the only reason he’s being sued or indicted is for political reasons. I think ultimately every single one’s gonna be overturned. It might take him years and millions of dollars to do it, but I think that was all political retribution,” the committee member Roger Villere, Jr., told me as we waited to enter the ballroom. “These litigation expenses are campaign expenses. It is as legitimate an expense as a TV ad or travel or anything else. If we take a different position, we’ve surrendered to the Democrats,” Lyman, from Virginia, told me. Though Lara has said that she’s committed to using “every single penny” of R.N.C. money to make sure that her father-in-law wins, LaCivita has repeatedly insisted he won’t let it happen.

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