Last year, Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support incumbent Republicans. But now, when the first term is suddenly divisible feel a little hot Before a controversial primary round, those accounts were drawing goose eggs.
A new campaign finance submit from Cawthorn’s joint fundraising account with the Republican National Congressional Committee — known as the “Cawthorn Triumph” — shows zero-dollar receipts for the first three months of the year. Several fundraisers last year raised $673,000 in donations, but October has dried up and the Cawthorn Triumph hasn’t raised any since.
To make matters worse, a submit shows that Cawthorn’s leadership PAC—“Make a difference to serve our nation” (MADISON PAC)—has also cooled down, reporting only a $2,000 contribution. (That 2,000 dollars comes from PAC treasurer Thomas Datwyler, who donated in February and also runs books for the Cawthorn campaign.)
Both committees have also sunk into oblivion, boasting a total cash balance of $14.52 – all in the accounts of the PAC leadership. While Cawthorn’s campaign committee file won’t arrive for another week, he’s already spent all that money, keep only about 10% of the $2.9 million he raised last year.
These two subcommittees – both broken and comatose – are also significant in that they are designed to support allies and thus may, to some extent, reflect the relationship between the two. of an anti-election person in his party.
Time is also curious.
Cawthorn, one prone to snobbery anti-election and conspiracy theorist, has never been a favorite establishment. But this year, he is facing a new round of pressure from within the GOP, some of which are aimed at swapping his seat.
Like The Daily Beast before reportRepublican opponents and outside observers alike have noted that the flamethrower of war – the culture of ambition finds itself increasingly alienated.
Most recently, founding Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, put Cawthorn in inventoryafter Cawthorn remarked that he had seen Republicans doing “primary hits” with cocaine and had been invited to parties with some of his GOP colleagues. ta.
But last year, as the Republican leadership squabbled internally after the uprising, Cawthorn’s popularity with the far right has benefited the party financially.
The NRCC transfers its funds to Republican incumbents around the country. And in 2021, the Cawthorn Triumph shared $372,000 with the team, more than half of the total raised. Cawthorn took a cut of $83,000 for his own campaign and another $65,000 that went to MADISON PACs.
For that leadership PAC, its financial performance can also provide a snapshot of Cawthorn’s priorities.
Officials are prohibited from using leadership PACs to support their own campaigns, and the committees are designed to allow candidates to throw more money at their friends. Last year, the MADISON PAC contributed $45,400 to Cawthorn’s right-wing allies, including Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and former Representative Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), an opponent. voter died in February after contracting COVID-19 on top of a previous cancer diagnosis.
Of course, leadership PACs are also often viewed, and sometimes referred to as personal funds. And this year, while MADISON PAC has far behind the $2,000 it raised from its treasurer—six times more—none of it has promoted other candidates.
Expenses appear almost entirely related to travel. That included a trip in late January to Miami, far from home in Smoky Mountain in Cawthorn, where PACs raked in more than $4,000 in expenses at the JW Marriott and the Ritz Carlton. But since the record does not mention any corresponding fundraising events or transfers to other committees, and news reports from that time do not appear to take into account any of Cawthorn’s activities in the area, so it’s not clear what those costs are associated with any PAC activities.
Asked about Cawthorn’s the same for the Sunshine State, a Republican source with ties to his campaign suggested that his frequent trips reflect an effort to connect with the party’s power brokers. (The Cawthorn Triumph raised $18,000 in a series of 10 donations from the young Florida Republican president.)
“President Trump is down there, and the state has become a major draw for Republican political figures across the country. That is the heart of MAGA,” the person said. “And the work of Republican officials in the state, namely [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis, is being used as a yardstick for other elected representatives”.
However, the fiscal burn rate and the election year slowdown have confused some insiders. And it’s hard to ignore the financial ties between Cawthorn and the national party.
For example, NRCC didn’t give Cawthorn a dime for his re-election efforts beyond his pot cut last year. And RNC never gave him any money.
Obviously, those committees focus their resources where they need them most. And Cawthorn represents an area of deep red, which was previously occupied by his former mentor, Mark Meadows. Whoever wins the Republican primaries will most likely be locked out of the generals, and while the national party has always backed incumbents, the party’s main concern is keeping the seat. ; Main combat is usually not high on the list.
Cawthorn’s main road this year could prove another political element, however, as some local Republicans have stepped up to challenge what they see as a weak candidate. chili and potentially toxic. Party figures have criticized him privately and publicly, including Senator Thom Tillis, a colleague of Tar Heel who has been support a Cawthorn challenger in the primary round. And Cawthorn waited until the last minute to commit to running again in his county, a hesitation some say is nervous about losing a close race.
However, the GOP source involved in the campaign dismissed the idea that fundraising patterns reflected a growing rift within the party, noting that Cawthorn had never been a candidate for the organization and was unconcerned. interested in becoming one of those people.
“Madison’s outspoken personality favors him with the MAGA constituency, and he attracts more support from individual donors than from the founding branch of the party,” he said, describing accurately describe the small dollar donations that increased Cawthorn’s account after the riots of January 6. Those numbers, however, reduction in the following quarter.
The Cawthorn insider also dismissed the idea that the numbers could indicate a weak hand fast approaching the primary stage, which is set for May 17.
“Madison never really had a need or desire for help with the establishment in the first place,” he said.
A spokesman for the Cawthorn campaign did not respond to a request for comment.