Hip-Hop RNC Chairman Steele Blows Through Donors’ Cash for Luxuries
February 23, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Politico is reporting today that clownish and gaffe prone RNC chairman Michael Steele is blowing through millions in donor funds like a drunken sailor, by spending much more than previous chairmen on such necessities, as private jets, private limousines, flowers, fancy hotels and expensive meals from Wolfgang Puck. Apparently donors are outraged at Steele’s spending spree, with one GOP donor calling him an “imperial chairman,” living the good life on their dime.
Just this month for example, the RNC was flush with new donor dollars of more than $10 million, but Steele managed to blow through it all on the RNC’s annual meeting held in Hawaii, and an elegant Christmas party held at the Washington’s Newseum, catered by chef Wolfgang Puck’s local crew.
One fundraiser told Politico that Steele fancies himself presidential material:
“Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,” said one longtime Republican fundraiser. “He flies in private aircraft. He drives in private cars. He has private consultants that are paid ridiculous retainers. He fancies himself a presidential candidate and wants all of the trappings and gets them by using other people’s money.”
According to Politico, expenses have skyrocketed, particularly on lavish meals, since Steele took over the RNC:
“A POLITICO analysis of expenses found that compared with 2005, the last comparable year preceding a midterm election, the committee’s payments for charter flights doubled; the number of sedan contractors tripled, and meal expenses jumped from $306,000 to $599,000.”
“For some major GOP donors, both decisions were symbolic of the kind of wasteful spending habits they claim has become endemic to his tenure at the RNC. When Ken Mehlman served as the committee chairman during the critical 2006 midterm elections, the holiday party was held in a headquarters conference room and Chic-fil-A was the caterer.”
Politico points out that Steel’s spending spree could impact the 2010 mid-term elections, if there is not enough cash on hand to help candidates:
“The RNC’s fundraising problems could have real consequences in the fall, since the RNC typically acts as a bank in midterms, swooping in to help cash-strapped candidates. It also is responsible for running the party’s vaunted 72-hour get-out-the-vote program.”
See Politico for more.