RNC spending out of hand 

Republican National Committee Treasurer Randy Pullen effectively put to rest the RNC’s proud claims of being debt-free last month, reporting a debt of over $2 million. According to Pullen, this debt had been hidden from him, as well as the public by Chairman Michael Steele to boost donor support.

Federal Election Commission reports Pullen filed also point to over $3 million of debt for the months of April and May, also unreported to Pullen.

So where has the money been going?

According to Hotline, the “RNC owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to direct mail vendors, internet strategists and telemarketing firms contracted over the last year.”

These are the less incriminating of the RNC’s financial woes. In January, the RNC spent over $300,000 at a convention in Hawaii. Another $175,000 went toward airfare in March. To top it off, nearly $2,000 funded some donors’ night at Voyeur, a bondage-themed night club in West Hollywood.

As donors seek other, more fiscally responsible venues to which to lend their support, the AP reports that “the RNC could be a cash-poor player in November's midterm elections, when Republicans could make significant gains in House, Senate and gubernatorial races.”

It seems Steele cannot reign in his own spending. According to a Washington Post article, “The RNC had more than $22 million on hand when he arrived last year, but is down to less than $10 million, despite raising a record $96 million during that time, records show.”

Defenders of Steele would cite that he has directed RNC funds toward special elections and off-year elections in states like New Jersey and Virginia.

In Steele’s defense, Colorado GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams cites the age-old principle, “You do have to spend money to raise money," but that adage only goes so far.

We’ll see what 168-member central committee has to say next month when Steele appears before them next month.

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Casey Cheney

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