Michael Steele, Big Spender
Jeanne Cummings digs through the RNC’s finance reports and comes out with details that don’t reflect well on Chairman Michael Steele’s spending habits. For example:
RNC meal costs are among the categories that saw the biggest increases under Steele’s leadership. In Beverly Hills, Calif., the RNC spent $10,600 on food and lodging for a fundraiser featuring former Speaker Newt Gingrich at Spago, the flagship restaurant of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. In total, the Wolfgang Puck enterprise has collected more than $94,000 from the RNC for catering services, compared with zero dollars in 2005.
The closer we get to the midterms, the lower the likelihood of Steele’s detractors ousting him. He’s in somewhat the same position Howard Dean was in 2006, beloved by local Republican groups (I remember how they mobbed him for photos a year ago when he won this job), constantly attacked by D.C. party leaders for his inability to meet their fundraising-and-spending goals, but bulletproof because the party’s winning.