Local Politics

N.C. GOP calls for RNC leader to step down

Posted April 8, 2010

— North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer on Thursday asked Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to resign in the wake of a spending scandal.

"Recent events, regardless of who is to blame, have made it difficult if not impossible for you to lead the party in the direction that it needs to go," Fetzer wrote in a letter to Steele. "I believe that the best service you can render to your party at this critical juncture is to graciously step aside and allow the party to move on from this current quagmire. It will best move forward under new leadership."

A lightning rod for criticism since he was elected chairman in 2009, Steele came under renewed scrutiny amid evidence of lavish spending by the RNC, including a nearly $2,000 bill at a sex-themed nightclub in Los Angeles.

During a conference call that Steele hosted Wednesday for many of the RNC's 168 voting members, GOP officials didn't urge him to resign or discuss replacing him.

Steele was urged to make "internal adjustments" and watch his rhetoric, however.

The spending controversy, particularly the idea of GOP dollars going to a Hollywood club featuring simulated bondage and lesbian sex, led RNC executive director Ken McKay to step down and Alex Castellanos, a prominent GOP pollster, to suggest that Steele resign as chairman.

Sean Mahoney, a businessman and RNC member from New Hampshire, resigned from the RNC, blaming "the out-of-touch, free-spending culture of Washington" for infecting the Republican Party.

Ron Nehring, an RNC member from California, dismissed Mahoney's complaint as "grandstanding" and said party officials around the country were largely positive about Steele's stewardship of the RNC.

Nehring pointed to GOP victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governors' races last year and Scott Brown's upset victory in a special election to replace Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts in January as evidence that the RNC under Steele has been effective and has spent money well.

Still, Fetzer said he thinks the GOP would be better served by a new chairman.

"More than ever, America needs the Republican Party to be a force for reform, transparency, and ethics in government. If we are going to be an effective agent for reform in America, we must first reform our party," he wrote in his letter to Steele.

Some RNC members also have criticized Steele, who is black, for suggesting in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" that he is held to a higher standard because of his race.

The Republican National Committee raised $11.4 million in March, nearly $2 million less than the Democratic National Committee, in spite of an electoral environment that appears to favor Republicans.


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  • sillywabbitthepatriot Apr 9, 2010

    TheAdmiral, the GOP does not have media support to deflect ridicule created by the left because the majority of the media supports the left. The media does manipulate the message to viewers/readers and reports that message ad nauseum.

    When a Republican creates scandal for himself/herself, best to send them home or not use the moral platform at all.

  • bathroom_monkey Apr 9, 2010

    I hope the RNC keeps Michael "Bring Out The GIMP" Steele. His leadership is strong and helps everyone on the Dem side. Good job Steeley.

  • Pseudonym Apr 9, 2010

    I agree with chromelexus. Electing a black man as chairman AFTER the election of the first black President looked to me like a defensive move, just like McCain picking a female running mate. The GOP needs to become a LEADER in matters of race and sex or not address them at all. If the GOP wants to win, they have to concentrate on offense and quit playing so much defense.

  • melvinb Apr 9, 2010

    Well, let's put it this way....THE Republican National Committee has received the LAST contribution it will EVER receive from me UNLESS.....OR UNTIL....they replace Steele as Chairman. With whom?.....Newt would be my first choice, with Sarah a close second!

  • pantherparty Apr 9, 2010

    I really hope the GOP get thier act in gear. I've been a Republican for almost 23 years now. I believe our current situation in washington is horrible. Obama and his homies are pimping the american people out.

  • cwood3 Apr 9, 2010

    Sillywabbit-you are exactly right. We tell our Boy Scouts that leadership begins with "follow me." Mr Steele is a good man. However, the spending habits of the RNC including Mr. Steele do not portray the platform or core beliefs of the party. For that reason and that reason alone, Mr Steele should step down.

    I don't know who should replace Mt. Steele-obviously someone with conservative executive leadership experience. However, if they cannot walk the talk, I'm not interested. Where is the next Ronaldus Maximus(Ronald Reagen)?? Please, come deliver us from the evil ones currently in charge in Washington. Could it be Newt? No-probably not!

  • seankelly15 Apr 9, 2010

    Cricket at the lake - Reagan is gone and his notion that being mean and selfish is a good thing has gone with him. There were true conservatives in the presidential elections last year (primaries) but Republicans didn't vote in enough numbers to advance the conservatives to the November elections.

  • stewartd11 Apr 9, 2010

    If Sarah Palin was the chairman she would probably quit halfway through her term after going on shopping sprees at ritzy New York clothing stores.

  • TheAdmiral Apr 9, 2010

    "Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals, rule # 7 Tactics; (4)Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

    Yeah, well - Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals also has a blurb stating that when you are accused, just ignore them - since they don't need to live by their book of rules.

    Such violations from Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and company are perfect examples.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Apr 9, 2010

    Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals, rule # 7 Tactics; (4)Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

    Republicans tout moral values, so fellow Republicans YOU are harshly judged by the opposition when you falter. Steele's actions has resulted in his own demise and created a weakened link to the GOP, ammunition for Obama's left to use against us.

    If you can't walk the walk, don't embarass the rest of us. Steele and the Mark Sanford's need to go.