BALTIMORE — Several Republican lawmakers expressed concerns over the party’s online fundraising platform, including the access to data and the effectiveness of the tool, following a presentation at the House GOP retreat in Baltimore.
Republicans launched WinRed earlier this year, seeking to emulate the fundraising success from small donors experienced by Democrats with their platform ActBlue.
The party is counting on WinRed to help Republicans raise money ahead of 2020 races after they have faced a series of recent hurdles, including a wave of retirements.
But one source familiar with the discussion that took place at the presentation on Thursday evening described the meeting as “contentious,” with others saying they were left unsatisfied with the answers they received over concerns including who could access their data.
“WinRed was more like 'see red' as the presentation ended with more questions than answers,” one GOP lawmaker told The Hill. “Questions were asked about the scope of the WinRed program, who would control the data and how information could be protected.”
Who has control of the data and information in the fundraising tool has become a key issue for Republicans.
“Most members were underwhelmed with the depth of the presentation,” one lawmaker told The Hill.
“It was viewed by many, that everyone but the member would have control,” the lawmaker added.
The discord was first reported by Politico.
But others members dismissed the criticisms.
At the presentation, WinRed president Gerrit Lansing credited the platform for playing a key role in raising $800,000 for North Carolina state Sen. Dan Bishop, who defeated Democrat Dan McCready at a special House election earlier this week.
"That is good,” a GOP lawmaker told The Hill.
In an interview with The Washington Free Beacon, Lansing touted the success so far of WinRed and promised the platform would do its best to catch up to ActBlue.
"They've had 15 years to scale and we're gonna try to catch up in 15 months, but they are going to outraise us every month," Lansing said. "That's the reality we have to deal with and try to catch up as fast as possible,” he told the publication.