- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
RNC raises $5.1 million in Feb.
In February, Michael S. Steele's first month as Republican National Committee chairman, the party's national governing body raised $5.1 million, a figure party officials said was respectable but not great.
"It means that there's a lot of work to be done," Jim Dyke, an adviser to Mr. Steele's transition team, told The Washington Times.
The Republican National Committee will report that it had in February $24 million in cash on hand, up $1 million from January. Former Chairman Mike Duncan left the RNC with $23 million cash on hand, despite having raised and spent record sums on the November elections.
The $24 million figure does not factor in the $1 million each that Mr. Steele had the RNC give to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee in March. In February 2005, the Democratic National Committee, facing the comparable circumstances of a new chairman and a recent presidential defeat, raised $6.5 million.
"It's going to take significant resources to elect Republicans this year and next," said Mr. Dyke. "This is fine, but we have to put a system in place to do better."
Under Mr. Steele's aegis, the RNC - which many members have complained has been woefully understaffed since Mr. Steele took over Jan. 30 - has reduced expenses by 40 percent in February compared with January.
Major donors and top Republican fundraisers have expressed concern privately about whether Mr. Steele's start, which included a publicized quarrel with talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh and remarks calling abortion a "choice," hurt his credibility with both big givers to the party and the pro-life small donors in the party base.
But Mr. Steele committed himself to reforming the RNC from the bottom up and has been receiving reports from transition committee members he appointed on how to make the organization sleeker, smarter and technologically more hip.
"Steele has been focused on doing this from Day One - creating the organization and systems and resources to win elections," Mr. Dyke said.
The first test for Mr. Steele is the March 31 election for the 20th Congressional District seat in upstate New York left open by former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, a pro-gun Democrat picked to fill the U.S. Senate seat that Hillary Rodham Clinton vacated when she became secretary of state.
Mr. Steele has spent considerable time on that contest, to which his committee has contributed $75,000 in coordinated funds, Mr. Dyke said.
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
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.