By Joseph Hammond
The Republican Party is positioning itself for the 2018 elections with new appointments to the finance arm of the Republican National Committee.
The RNC announced the appointment of Elliott Broidy, Louis DeJoy and Michael Cohen today. Broidy, DeJoy, and Cohen will serve as national deputy chairmen to the RNC’s finance chairman, the American Media Institute has learned. Steve Wynn had been named finance chairman of the RNC in February.
The trio will work under the direction of Wynn, a Las Vegas hotel magnate. Elliott Broidy is the chairman and CEO of investment firm Broidy Capital Management. DeJoy is the former CEO of New Breed Logistics, and the former North Carolina Finance Chair for the Trump Victory Committee. Cohen has been Trump’s personal attorney, and was active in his political campaign.
“This troika of deputy national chairman contains outstanding selections,” said Niger Innis, a conservative activist. “In particular, the selection of Broidy shows that Trump is trying to unify the party by choosing an established Republican leader who is a fantastic fundraiser.”
Innis, who is the national spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality, believes the appointments will allow the RNC to better focus on its 2018 priorities.
“The RNC now needs to build on Trump’s success with the grassroots movements and widen the base of the party. The RNC and its finance arm must not just focus on the battleground states. The party must also reach out to African-Americans, Hispanics and grassroots groups.”
Other Republican insiders on Monday focused on the pairing of Broidy and Wynn. They see a potential for this pair to pay dividends for the Republican Party in the 2018 mid-term elections. The 2018 election cycle will be an early indicator of how President Trump might fare in a re-election campaign in 2020.
“Wynn and Broidy should be a very formidable combination,” said longtime Republican political advisor and consultant Jeff Ballabon. “They each are extremely influential in their own rights and have vast Rolodexes. Wynn’s willingness to get involved at this level is testament to the significant new blood Trump is bringing to the party. Broidy complements Wynn – he’s a GOP establishment stalwart with very deep and successful experience.”
Both Wynn and Broidy served as vice chairmen on Trump’s presidential inaugural committee. The committee raised over $90 million for the ceremony.
“Usually, the White House calls the shots at the President’s Party Headquarters,” said political Michael Barone in a written statement. Barone declined to speculate on what the personnel changes could mean for the 2018 elections.
Broidy served as RNC Finance Chairman during the presidency of George W. Bush and served as Vice Chair on the Trump Victory Committee. Broidy was also involved in fundraising for President George W. Bush. In 2006, then President Bush named Broidy to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
“These are people who played a big role in getting Trump elected,” said Luis Arellano, a Republican Party member in California. “Broidy is an insider in Republican circles in California and across the nation.”
Arellano noted that Broidy is also on the board of governors for Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Some have expressed some concerns about the significance of these picks. “Broidy’s ties to Israel are somewhat disconcerting, and a further indication that this administration is not at all concerned about the Middle East peace process,” said one Democratic Party insider who spoke off-the-record, given the sensitivity of the matter.
“Broidy is a venture capitalist who can drive change and help bring out opportunity at the RNC, in finance and with technology, to be more efficient with [electoral] opportunities like Republicans were in the last cycle,” said Jeremy Gregg, a businessmen and member of the Lincoln Club, a prominent group of Californian Republicans.
Gregg thinks the appointment of Wynn is extremely beneficial to Republican efforts in 2018.
Wynn and Trump were once business rivals, both running hotel empires. Wynn, like Trump, was a Democrat until recently who might not be an asset when working with the RNC.
“Steve Wynn supported Obama, and bringing him to the RNC sets a different tone than if you brought in other businessmen. Wynn isn’t your typical businessmen. If you hear Wynn talk about his hotels in small groups –and I have — you know he a is a straight-forward guy who dreams big. That’s what Trump likes about him.”