The National Republican Congressional Committee, which raises money to help put GOP butts in House seats, sent an email this week bragging in big red letters that it outraised its Democratic counterpart for the month of June.
The NRCC raised about $9.15 million and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee came in a close second with around $9.02 million. The difference: $138,000.
The thing that put the NRCC over the top? A $500,000 settlement from the NRCC’s insurance company, stemming from the years-long bilking of the NRCC by its former treasurer, Chris Ward.
The memo on the FEC report next to the settlement reads, “FOR MISAPPROPRIATED FUNDS 2001-2008.”
Ward is accused of embezzling more than $700,000 from the committee while serving as its treasurer, allegedly created fake audits for the committee from 2003 to 2007 to hide his embezzlement. The Department of Justice has accused him of skimming more than $500,000 from fund-raising events to pay for his mortgage and almost $200,000 in home renovations.
According to court documents, Ward’s alleged scheme was brazen. The DOJ contends that he wrote checks to himself from an NRCC account and paid himself a $120,000 annual salary for a job that should have paid $10,000 a year.
Ward has not been charged with any crimes, but the DOJ seized his Maryland home and sold it for $228,000. In a settlement this month, the government paid Ward’s wife, Amanda, $90,000 of that.
Ward’s alleged scheme unraveled when a congressman asked to meet with the firm who had supposedly done the NRCC’s audits; Ward then admitted there had been no audits.
Ward additionally served as treasurer for a whopping 80 political action committees.
The NRCC has also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine to the FEC for filing incorrect reports.
NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay said confirmed the settlement and said the NRCC is “pleased” the FEC’s investigation has come to an end.
As for the DCCC, he said: “We still beat ‘em for the quarter.”
Late update: Lindsay also pushed back, pointing out that the DCCC got a $666,666 boost from the DNC.