RNC Fires Fundraising Director, a Penn State Alum
The Republican National Committee fired its top two financial officers last Friday, the higher of whom, Rob Bickhart, happened to graduate from Penn State in 1978. The reasons cited in asking for Bickhart and his deputy’s resignations were, according to RNC Chief of Staff Michael Leavitt, “to improve on strong fundraising numbers” and to “help to provide the resources for defeating Democrats across the country.”
The resignations are two more in a series of personnel changes after the $1,946.25-debacle at a strip club in March that was widely publicized. Even if Bickhart wasn’t directly involved in that spending scandal, he occupied the fundraising director position when it came out, which would usually be enough to call for his job. However, Bickhart also made a fundraising PowerPoint presentation, which was leaked to Politico less than a month before the strip club incident. In it, he advocated using fear tactics against the Obama administration (specifically fear of socialism), dubbing them the “Evil Empire” and “dressing up” images of prominent Democrat politicians as cartoon villains. Though Leavitt’s words don’t explicitly mention these incidents, the chain of events has strong implications.
Bickhart had been working for the RNC since 1982 and was active in the Rick Santorum camp since 2006. He’s racked up an extensive résumé that you can see on his LinkedIn profile. There’s certainly something to be said for playing aggressively and competitively, but the untruthfulness of the PowerPoint coupled with the irresponsibility of the strip club spending shows that Bickhart was damaging the Republican Party. Maybe he should have stuck to doing fundraisers at Five Guys, they seem a lot easier.