Steele faces rebellion inside RNC

A group of former heavyweights inside the party committee is looking to take away some of the chairman's spending power.

Published April 29, 2009 11:30PM (EDT)

Just when it seemed like Michael Steele might really be settling in to his role as chair of the Republican National Committee, even experiencing some success, things have taken a turn for the worse.

The Washington Times reported Wednesday that some current and past RNC officers -- including former General Counsel David Norcross and Randy Pullen, the organization's treasurer -- are pushing a resolution that would remove some budgetary power from the chairman's hands, establishing new controls over RNC spending. According to the Times, the proposal "would make it a written rule that contracts of $100,000 or more be open to competitive bidding; that all checks be signed by two RNC officers; that party staff be prohibited from signing on behalf of an officer; and that all contracts be reviewed and approved by the members of the RNC executive committee."

Steele's allies and supporters are angry, and fighting back over what they see as a rebellion within the ranks. The Wisconsin GOP chair, for instance, sent an e-mail to all RNC committee members, saying, "I urge you to reject this hostile attempt to embarrass and neuter the chairman of the RNC."

The resolution's supporters want it brought up for a vote at a special meeting next month; to do that, they'll have to get signatures from members in 16 states.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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