- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
EXCLUSIVE: Ex-RNC chiefs rip Steele speaking fees
Since defeating four other candidates in a bruising six-ballot battle in January, Mr. Steele has repeatedly fended off questions about his leadership and his stewardship over party money from various factions in the party.
In May, Mr. Steele agreed to revive checks and balances in connection with the implemention of RNC contracts, fees for legal work and other expenditures. They had not been renewed after the 2008 presidential nominating contest.
Mr. Steele also has taken some heat from conservatives in the party for backing a liberal-leaning candidate in a special House race in New York that saw the rise of “tea party” influence and the loss of a longtime GOP seat, but Republican candidates did capture the night’s two biggest prizes: governorships in New Jersey and Virginia.
For critics of Mr. Steeles paid-speaking arrangement, the issue is not about written rules or their interpretation; it’s about the appearance of impropriety.
“It just doesn’t look right using RNC resources and trading on the title of chairman to make outside money,” said Rich Bond, another former Republican national chairman.
“When I became chairman, I was surprised some organizations paid honoraria,” Mr. Bond said. “There were no written rules about taking money back then. Still, I decided accepting the money would get me in trouble.”
Mr. Bond’s solution was to give the speaking fees to charity. “I arranged with the Mother Hale Foundation [for babies born to women addicted to crack cocaine] to contribute all of the honoraria I received; I think, a total of $10,000.”
A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said its officials are unaware of any Democratic national chairman ever having made speeches or outside appearances for personal gain.
“So far as we know, that hasn’t been the case with any Democratic national chairman,” said DNC national press secretary Hari Sevugan.
It’s unclear how many outside speeches Mr. Steele has given, though it potentially adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But on the speaking circuit, he’s not a top-dollar draw.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev gets $125,000 per speech, plus first-class expenses for himself and eight retainers who travel with him, APB’s Mr. Sandler said.
APB lists Mr. Steele’s “fee range” as $10,001 to $20,000.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- As Main Street deepens schism in GOP, conservative war against compromise heads to Amelia
- Rand Paul experiences first speed bumps as 2016 front-runner
- Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad may replace Iowa straw poll with regional festivals
- DeLay: GOP failing to fight criminalization of politics
- Question for CPAC-goers: Is Congress relevant anymore?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- List Hillary Clinton's successes? State Dept. spokeswoman flubs answer
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014