GOP officials say they were blindsided by Steele panel

Hundreds of thousands spent in convention city

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Mr. Pope, the COA treasurer, told The Times that Mr. Steele will name a permanent chairman and 55 other members of the COA “in the coming weeks,” even though he acknowledged that the party in the past has allowed the new RNC chairman elected in January to name the COA leader and members.

“There are arrangements that need to be made now in Tampa and that won’t wait until January,” Mr. Pope said, adding that preparations are running ahead of past conventions.

“No members have been appointed to the COA, and Michael Steele is the acting chairman,” Mr. Pope said.

He said news reports about the COA’s supposed “premature and lavish” spending were inaccurate. “Not a dime of RNC money has been spent by the COA.”

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About the Author
Ralph Z. Hallow

Ralph Z. Hallow

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.


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