Pressed to help the state party erase almost $80,000 in debt, the Davis County and Utah County Republican parties have come to the rescue.
The county party arms are forgoing a revenue stream associated with the check-a-box donation to political parties made on individual state income tax forms.
Davis County GOP Chairman Phil Wright confirmed the county organization had donated almost $8,000 to the state party in the last month, from donations associated with the check-box system. That represents two years worth of revenue from the line item, Wright said.
GOP State Chairman James Evans said he called on county parties in Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties to help erase a debt associated with spending linked to the failed congressional bid by Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love against Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, in 2012 and also linked to an investment the state party made in technology and infrastructure.
Evans said he has not asked the GOP in Weber County to donate to the debt and is not sure he will, to this point. He estimated the revenue stream from the check box to be approximately $2,000 a year for the Weber County GOP.
The Utah County GOP voted on Saturday to also join in the effort, with approximately $5,000 being contributed to the debt.
Evans downplayed the existence of debt, calling the spending a party investment and suggesting previous state party leaders did all they could to further their agenda. He said the expense includes storing data in the cloud and establishing a system where every precinct will have its own website and be able to integrate social media into the mix.
"When you have the local counties, everyone is territorial. My whole approach is we're one party here, so in the future we're able to have our strategy integrated on the data side," Evans said.
He also suggested resistance to the request, especially from several in Utah County, did not come as a surprise.
"Look it wouldn't be a political party if someone didn't call (to complain). That's just how it works," Evans said.
Wright said there was little resistance among GOP leaders in Davis County to forgo the local revenue stream to help the state party.
"We're all on the same team," Wright said. He said he did not see any hard feelings among local Republicans in diverting the money.
Evans said the GOP occasionally has some disagreements in the course of business. He said some Republican leaders at the local level were upset when he sent out an email from former Gov. Mike Leavitt, touting a book Leavitt has written. Leavitt is heavily linked to "Count My Vote", a move to change the party caucus system, which was defeated by both the GOP and Democratic state parties. He said the former governor desired the courtesy of promoting his book.