This article from Politico about the RNC’s ‘Young Eagle’ program, the one that got them in trouble with the faux-lesbian bondage club, is truly hilarious and a must-read.
The upshot seems to be that a lot of young guys — and yes, pretty much just guys, it seems — with lots of money managed to do a lot of partying on the RNC’s dime without sharing that many dimes with the RNC. Basically you could pay a relatively small sum in contributions — a few thousand dollars or maybe less — and then be okayed in to all the Young Eagles events, many of which cost a lot to put on. Obviously the way this is supposed to work is that you give these richies a lot of free stuff and they end up giving you back a whole lot more in political contributions. But apparently no one was watching the inflows and outflows very closely. Even funnier are the descriptions of just why the program is necessary and the pained laments of young rightwingers trying to make their way in a world as conservatives when all the cool stars they want to chill with are Democrats.
“Everything that’s cool from a pop culture perspective is Democratic — whether it’s Kanye West or Bruce Springsteen — and with younger conservatives, a good event is often a big way to help sell,” said the former Young Eagle, who left the program in 2008. Traditional fundraising events such as golf and tennis outings don’t quite cut it with young donors, he said. “How many times can you go to the U.S. Open?”
The Young Eagles are “a fun group,” the former member said. “If you’ve got a little insecurity complex, but you’ve got money — what a cool group to hang out with.”
Reading this piece I found it hard to tell whether this was just a good way to blow a lot of money on events for rich kids who didn’t actually give much money or some sort of nerd empowerment program gone terribly wrong.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.