Strength of Steele

Although Chairman Michael Steele had come under some recent fire from a few members of the Republican National Committee, there was considerable evidence that he was in excellent political shape as the RNC began its winter meeting in Hawaii last week. RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen told us earlier that the party has more than $10 million in the bank and no debts “and we got the most donations after the wins in Virginia and New Jersey [races for governor] in November.”

Indiana National Committeeman James Bopp, Jr. was adamant in pushing a resolution that would bar donations from the committee to candidates who did not meet conservative standards on eight out of ten issues, including abortion, healthcare reform, climate change, and illegal immigration. But where the 168-member committee was primarily on the right-of-center on these and most issues, many members were reluctant to impose standards on their candidates. Noting that a meeting of 25 state chairmen unanimously opposed the Bopp resolution, Colorado State Chairman Dick Wadhams told HUMAN EVENTS. “There is strong sentiment against having the national party dictating who the states can nominate.” Wadhams added that he “has not encountered much discussion critical of Michael Steele. It is hard to argue with the results of Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.”

Connecticut State Chairman Chris Healy agreed. As for the Bopp resolution, Healy told us: “There was a time when [New York’s liberal Govs.] Nelson Rockefeller and Tom Dewey ran the party. How would a litmus test have been fair then? We must grow the party and not micromanage it into a marginalized sect.”