Monday, April 5, 2010
Yet Another Controversy For The Republican Chairman
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who is already under attack for his handling of party finances and lackluster fundraising, is now facing a new threat to his leadership: an independent GOP group spearheaded by some party luminaries that will compete for campaign dollars.
Steele shrugged off calls for his resignation Monday but then, handed his critics perhaps even more ammunition by suggesting that he was being held to a higher standard because he is the first African American to lead the party. Steele defended his tenure Monday in a TV interview and said he would not resign his post. He said that African Americans, such as President Obama and himself, are being held to a higher standard for success.
Yes, Michael Steele decided to play the race card. The Obama White House spokesman Robert Gibbs addressed Steele's remarks saying, "I think Michael Steele's problem is not the race card, it's the credit card."
Adding to the committee's woes, Steele announced Monday that he was replacing RNC chief of staff Ken McKay following a controversy over $2,000 the party spent entertaining donors at a West Hollywood sex-themed nightclub named Voyeur and that he was replacing him with his deputy.
It was also revealed Monday that a prominent donor, Sam Fox, the former ambassador to Belgium and a strong supporter of George W. Bush, had resigned from the committee's fundraising board.
As if to do an end run around Michael Steele and challenge his leadership, GOP power brokers such as former White House counselors Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie were ramping up a new political effort, American Crossroads, dedicated to electing Republican candidates this fall and beyond. The group hopes to raise more than $50 million this year. Former RNC chairman Mike Duncan has also signed on. Steele, who took over the RNC from Duncan, has found himself increasingly under fire and on a short list to be removed.