Republican donors are shunning the RNC.
The reason? Chairman Michael Steele:
Some wealthy contributors are shunning the Republican National Committee and donating instead to the other GOP campaign committees or directly to candidates – in many cases because of discontent with the leadership of Michael S. Steele, the party’s national chairman.
“I don’t plan to give to the Republican National Committee this cycle, and no other major donor I know is planning to either,” Christine Toretti, a Pennsylvania RNC member and a longtime major donor to the RNC and other GOP campaign committees and causes, told The Washington Times.
Mr. Steele, a former Maryland lieutenant governor, has had a contentious tenure as RNC chairman after his election a year ago, with open infighting among party officials over his leadership.
The Times first reported displeasure by RNC members, including several former party chairmen, over Mr. Steele’s acceptance of pay for speeches while holding down his full-time job as national chairman, for which he receives $223,500 a year plus unlimited expenses. To the further consternation of party elders and many rank-and-file members, he has embarked on a promotional tour for his new book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda.”
Republicans are desperately trying to keep this simmering scandal from boiling over.
Considering how much they have at stake this year, this is probably the worst time for major intraparty infighting.
The GOP spin is that their party is motivated and united, ready for major victories in November. The reality, though, is that the GOP is an underfunded, infighting, disorganized group now being set upon by they very conservative activist they spawned.
And at the center of it all, weighing the whole shebang down even further, is Chairman Michael Steele.
UPDATED: The Michael Steele fracas threatens to boil over:
House and Senate leadership aides are furious with RNC chair Michael Steele and have angrily confronted the RNC’s press shop over their inability to keep the chair on message.
In the course of a regular daily conference call between senior Congressional communicators, House and Senate aides berated RNC staffers over Steele’s comments that the GOP would not be able to take back the House, and that even if they did, the party would not be prepared to lead.
A senior Senate aide brought up Steele’s comments, arguing that he was ruining what should be several days of glowing press for the GOP in the wake of retirement announcements from Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Chris Dodd (D-CT).
“Steele is setting us far back with his comments and it needs to stop,” the aide said, according to 2 sources who were on the call.
Donors are angry, Congressional aides are angry…is Steele even going to be around for the GOP’s inevitable disappointing performance in November?