- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
GOP officials say they were blindsided by Steele panel
Hundreds of thousands spent in convention city
Question of the Day
Top Republican Party officials said Thursday that they have been kept in the dark about hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in Tampa, Fla., by a committee temporarily headed by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, a committee at the heart of new questions about Mr. Steele’s tenure.
Indiana RNC member Jim Bopp told The Washington Times that he and other RNC members were not told “who signed the checks or the purpose of the spending” at the so-called Committee on Arrangements (COA), created to coordinate RNC efforts for the 2012 party convention in Tampa.
Many Republicans have said they are concerned that the bad publicity received by the COA - which negotiates with the host city committee for hotel rooms, services and sites for convention events - will dry up private donations to finance the Tampa gathering.
Mr. Steele, facing a vote next month on a second two-year term as party chairman, has faced questions about his media savvy, his dealings with major donors and the state of the party’s finances, despite GOP gains in the recent midterm elections.
At a private forum Thursday for candidates for the RNC chairman’s post, Reince Priebus, Wisconsin GOP Chairman and the RNC’s top legal adviser, brusquely declined to answer questions about the COA and its financial operations.
Mr. Josefiak, a former RNC general counsel, was appointed by Mr. Steele as general counsel to the COA. On June 29, 2009, Mr. Steele also appointed Maryland RNC member and Steele loyalist Louis Pope as COA treasurer. Mr. Josefiak did not respond to questions from The Times on Thursday.
Mr. Priebus declined to address a question on who authorized the COA spending that began in August - an unprecedented 26 months before the Tampa convention.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who dropped in unannounced at Thursday’s RNC candidates forum, had been a staunch defender of Mr. Steele since his January 2009 election as party chairman, but that also could be changing.
Mr. Ryder said that in the sense Mr. Bopp meant, “there is no COA.” Mr. Ryder added that he “could not find any reference to the COA” in his personal copies of minutes of RNC meetings and no formal record that the COA members had been officially appointed in accordance with RNC rules.
“I checked with both RNC staff and with RNC officers to see if that was correct - both sources confirmed that the COA has not been appointed,” Mr. Ryder said. “That raises the question of how contracts can be entered into in the name of the COA.”
Said a visibly angry Mr. Bopp, “We are going to have an investigation to get to the bottom of all this and we are going to take control of our convention.”
Mr. Bopp said he signed a petition calling for a special executive committee meeting to create an ad hoc panel of RNC members to investigate COA spending. He said the RNC Executive Committee, of which he is a member, has oversight of the COA.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
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.
- GOP 2014: Oklahoma's Mary Fallin follows in her parents' footsteps
- GOP 2014: In New Mexico, Susana Martinez is the hope for Hispanics
- GOP 2014: Thriving economy, school choice fuel Bobby Jindal agenda in Louisiana
- GOP 2014: Scott Walker survives, Wisconsin thrives
- GOP 2014: From House to Statehouse for Indiana's Mike Pence
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors