Nice RNC Work If You Can Get It
In early March, Republican National Committee finance chief Rob Bickhart became the poster boy for all that was wrong with the RNC led by former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, when it was revealed that he had been paid at least $370,000 by the RNC since last June in salary and consulting fees.
Many RNC members assumed that Bickhart was working at the RNC for a salary, but not one that included substantial fees for the fundraising he was doing for the party. Prior to his RNC post, Bickhart’s most high-profile job was raising funds for Sen. Rick Santorum’s failed 2006 Senate re-elect.
Bickhart’s bad week in March started when Politico reported that the lead RNC fundraiser had done an amateurish strategy PowerPoint presentation at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida, in February, and told RNC officials and donors to use “fear” of President Barack Obama to fundraise for the party. The presentation showed images of Obama as the Joker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Cruella DeVille, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as Scooby Doo.
“[The presentation] was an embarrassment and Bickhart’s salary is outrageous,” says a state party chairman, who was shown the presentation after the fact by another RNC official. “He represents everything that is wrong with the RNC right now.”
At press time, Bickhart was still on the job, though RNC officials said that Steele was under intense pressure to fire him. Bickhart, according to these officials, was not even Steele’s third choice for finance chief, but because the chairman had such difficulty finding a qualified fundraiser for the lead job, he ended up having to overpay.
Bickhart was only the latest embarrassment for Steele, who earlier took heat for hosting the party’s winter meeting in Hawaii, for using RNC resources to promote his book on how Republicans can make a comeback, and for running up exorbitant expenses over the first year of his tenure as chairman. On at least two occasions, rumors have swirled inside RNC headquarters that Steele was in danger of losing his job, but, in part thanks to being able to fundraise off the extremism coming out of the Obama White House and Congress, the party has been able to increase its fundraising.
It isn’t just fundraisers who are getting paid big bucks over at the RNC. With the importance of online fundraising and social networking, new media consultants are also said to be earning $10,000 to $15,000 a month in fees from the national party.
Owing to his personality, energy, and conservative values, Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio has become one of the darlings of the conservative movement for 2010’s election cycle, particularly when held up against his competitor for the nomination, moderate Gov. Charlie Crist.
But some conservatives in Florida think Rubio, who has seen his fundraising and endorsements increase as more conservatives from around the country have rallied to him, could be doing a better job campaigning.
“My concern is that he’s taking some things for granted,” says a longtime Republican operative in Florida. “He’s not working the churches and community centers and some of the grassroots the way a hungry young politician should.”
Further fueling the concerns were Rubio’s confident discussions with some conservatives in Washington, where he talked about which Senate committees he expected he’d be assigned upon winning the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez.
Legal Services Inc.
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee want staff to look into the operations of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, which houses the little-known Law and Policy Office. The NSD, parts of which had previously resided inside the Criminal Division, also houses an Office of Intelligence Policy and Review.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online