Facing Near-Term Shortfall, RNC Raises Its Own Debt Ceiling

Whoever wins the RNC chairmanship tomorrow will inherit a committee deeply in debt. According to Reid Wilson of The Hotline, the party faces more than $21.8 million in outstanding debt as of the end of 2010.

But in an ironic twist, the RNC basically raised its own debt ceiling. The committee was scheduled to make a $5 million payment on its debt by the end of February, but has been granted a significant reprieve.

At its winter meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, a hurried RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen confirmed to me the party had “negotiated an extension from the bank for one year,” on its debt.Fundraising will still be a big concern for the 168 committee members selecting a new chair. But paying off near-term debts won’t be a huge concern.

“Whoever’s going to be the next chair will raise the money,” said RNC committeewoman Ada Fisher, of North Carolina. Fisher’s backing Maria Cino, who — along with several other candidates — currently trails frontrunner, Wisconsin Republican Party chair Reince Priebus. Cino, however, has earned the endorsement of House Speaker John Boehner.

Fisher says Cino would be the best fundraiser — but she’s talking about the 2012 election, not the RNC’s current shortfall. She thinks Cino can raise $500 million. “Money determines if you win campaigns,” Fisher told me, “whether you like it or not.”

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