Skip to comments.Sources: Steele Took Deal For Endorsement
Posted on 01/15/2011 5:55:56 AM PST by markomalley
Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele dropped his bid for a second term on Friday after being offered a lucrative deal in exchange for his endorsement, sources on the committee tell The Hotline.
Steele dropped out of the race for chairman after four ballots on Friday and threw his support to Maria Cino, a former Bush administration official who finished third in the race. Steele endorsed Cino from the stage after ending his bid, a rare public announcement in a contest marked more by quiet member-to-member conversations.
That endorsement came at a cost, according to committee insiders. As candidates jockeyed for position, Steele sat down with aides to both Cino and former RNC co-chairman Ann Wagner in search of a deal. Eventually, Cino allies offered Steele a deal that would have been more lucrative than the chairman's salary, the sources said. The RNC chairman makes $224,500 a year.
Cino herself was not involved in the conversation. At one point, Cino campaign manager Matt Schlapp spoke with Steele and promised no Cino allies would bad-mouth the outgoing chairman or stand in his way as he sought to make the move to the private sector, according to a source who was briefed on the meeting. The source said Schlapp offered no financial deals or jobs. Steele did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Swapping goods or favors in an election among 168 political insiders like those who make up the RNC is as common as denying those deals exist. Those favors can involve transferring money to states, or appointments to RNC committees, or fundraising visits to states by party chairmen.
In between rounds of voting on Friday, negotiations were fast and fierce as candidates spent more time talking to each other than with undecided and uncommitted voters. Candidates dashed in and out of side rooms in full view of the media.
Deals frequently become obvious over time. On Friday, candidates met with members of the island caucus, an influential group of members who routinely vote as a bloc in order to win concessions for their territories. In 2009, island voters backed Steele, and he repaid them with transfers of cash to Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, and with a semi-annual meeting held in Hawaii early in 2010.
Word of a deal is enticing precisely because Steele endorsed Cino, who had the backing of many in the Washington establishment. Cino had been endorsed by House Speaker John Boehner, who made phone calls on her behalf and made a passing reference to his support for Cino during a rreception for RNC members on Wednesday. Boehner did not offer the deal, the sources said, and Boehner's spokesman said the speaker, engaged in a members retreat in Baltimore this weekend, had not spoken with Steele on Friday.
i guess it was worth bribing steele off... he would have been a real pain in the neck
Who in the private sector would hire such an incompetent fool.
It seems deals are standard fare at this event. I guess the question becomes what and to whom did the eventual winner Reince Priebus offer.
All the dealmaking tells us a lot about every one of the candidates and former RNC chairmen (hello, Haley!)—and explains a lot about the caliber and ideology of those elected.
I heard a clip of the new guy Priebus on the radio - don’t know anything about him, or who he is - all I could think of was what a wimpy sounding man. Don’t send your money to the RNC - just put the $$$ with the candidates you like.
Steele’s going to be more harmful as the former chair then he was as the chair. How many weeks from now before he grants an interview during which he discusses how racist the GOP is and how he was never given a chance to succeed because of his skin color. And the press will eat it up!!!!
Hopefully keeping his mouth shut is part of the deal. If he bad mouths the RNC or its members then some nasty little details will come out about how he handled (mishandled) the money.
Money talks. Principles walk.
He does come across as a callow recent grad from the College Republicans. Let’s hope he becomes the un-Steele and stays off the TV.
I still think Anuzis would have been a decent choice.
He himself is very much the RINO but has been pretty good about letting the candidates take the lead in their own campaigns. Here in Michigan he endorsed both RINOs like Upton and staunch conservatives like Walberg equally.
If you look at who we elected in Wisconsin this year, you will see a ‘tea party’ senator in Ron Johnson, two new conservative Congressmen in Ribble and Sean Duffy. Throw in the most conservative Governor in my lifetime in Scott Walker and a switch in the State House and Senate, and I do not think anybody should doubt where Reince’s ideology is. Reince recruited a lot of those conservative candidates that won Wisconsin state House and Senate races this year.
He is not really a Washington DC insider, as evidenced by Boehner endorsing Cino. He will be light years better than Steele, and I think will bring integrity back to the RNC. He is not the most polished TV presence, but have no doubt he is a genuine, midwestern values, hard working outsider.
Not a likely scenario - Lee Atwater has been dead for 20 years.
Give Reince a chance. He is not telegenic, but the RNC does not need a camera whore like Steele. They need an organizing, money raising, candidate recruiting manager who pays attention to detail. Reince will do that.
Accdg to the treasurer’s report, Steele leaves the RNC with about a $20 million deficit.
Steele promised, if reelected, to reduce that to only $10 million by the end of the year.
um... didnt cino lose?