Eric Hoplin, GOP party hack, new GOP MN state deputy chair:
Eric Hoplin, chairman of the College Republican National Committee, announced at the press conference the he is running for deputy state Republican Party chairman. A native of Detroit Lakes, he is a 2001 St. Olaf College graduate. Both Pawlenty and Eibensteiner endorsed his candidacy.
It is unfortunate that questionable individuals like Eric Hoplin can have so much success. If I were a more tactless man, I would call Hoplin a scumbag. Maybe I should anyway.
The reason I have such ill regard for Mr. Hoplin is because he was most recently invloved in a scandal involving the College Republicans National Committee (CRNC). Here is an article about that:
The College Republican National Committee is under fire for using front organizations to collect millions of dollars in contributions, including money from elderly people with dementia. During the 2004 campaign, the group sent out direct-mail solicitations under such letterheads as “Republican Headquarters 2004” and “Republican Election Committee.”
One four-page letter asked prospects to send $1,000 together with an American flag pin for President Bush to wear to “Republican Headquarters” to ensure that Bush knows “there are millions who are giving him the shield of God to protect him in the difficult days ahead.” In small print at the bottom of one page, the letter notes: “A project of and paid for by College Republican National Committee.”
Many donors complained that they thought the money was going directly to the Republican Party, and not to the college group, which is no longer affiliated with the GOP
I wrote a controversial column on this subject that is available at the Minnesota Daily website:
My main observation:
What is more unfortunate is that, of all the money collected by the College Republicans this year, only $1 in $10 actually went to the cause of furthering GOP candidates.
The rest of the money raised by the College Republican National Committee went to private vendors and postage for the misleading letters.
Some might call this legitimate. Some would say spending $9 to earn $10, thus gathering a $1 profit, is a sound policy.
But this needs to be compared to how other 527 groups earn and spend their money. Take MoveOn.org. They raised approximately $20 million this year. They spent 93 percent of that on media: TV ads, radio spots, etc.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth raised approximately $13.7 million; approximately 90 percent of that went toward media.
If those groups can be fiscally responsible, why can’t the College Republicans?
Now we can look forward to seeing this type of political activity from Hoplin where it really counts. I truly hope he cleans up his act, the man was responsible for the first round of infighting between the various Republican groups on campus, and he was partially responsible for the eventual split of the Campus Republicans from the State and National CR boards. While the infighting and the petty campus politics I were involved with are no big deal, the questions about fundraising at the national level are very legitimate.
Seriously, I want this crap out of my party.
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