Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dear Mike Steele.

Dear "Magic" Mike,

It's been nearly a year since you were appointed the GOP's H.N.I.C., and hardly a week has gone by without some sorta flub. There was the "you be da' man" thing. The "fried chicken and collard greens" thing. The "punked by Rush Limbaugh" thing. And no, we ain't forget about "the Oreo cookie" thing, yet either.

Still, I'll admit, you're an intriguing guy, and I admire your ambition, even if I spend more time picking fun at you than giving you props. I nearly (before I came to my senses) voted for you during your ill-fated MD Senate run, and any guy from Uptown has my respect. DC, Stand Up!

But how long can you allow the folks who anointed you as "their Obama" just cold carry you like this?
The Republican National Committee lashed out at a report Tuesday that its chairman, Michael Steele, uses his title to charge exorbitant speaking fees, saying Steele is 'in complete compliance with all RNC rules and regulations.'

The Republican National Committee lashed out Tuesday at a report that its chairman, Michael Steele, uses his title to charge exorbitant speaking fees, saying Steele is "in complete compliance with all RNC rules and regulations."

The Washington Times reported Tuesday that Steele has profited handsomely from delivering speeches at various colleges and trade associations around the country -- charging between $8,000 and $20,000 for a single address.

Steele, who makes $223,500 a year as chairman of the RNC, received between $10,000 and $15,000 for a Sept. 21 speech at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., according to the newspaper.

Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., RNC chairman under President Reagan, reportedly told the newspaper that he had "never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches."

"The job of a national chairman is to give speeches. That's what the national party pays him for. We didn't have a rule book back then, but being national chairman was and is a full-time job," Fahrenkopf reportedly said.

The RNC said in a statement sent to Tuesday that Democrat and Republican national chairmen have "regularly received outside income" and that Steele "does not receive compensation for any speeches conducted in his duties as chairman."
Whoa. Call me naive, but I had no idea the RNC chair gig paid nearly a 1/4 mill a year. Sheeeeeit. For that much money, I'd don some tapdancin' shoes myself. That kinda loot buys a whole lotta Steve Harvey Collection suits. I ain't mad at ya'.

"How high does ya' wan' meh tuh' jump, Suh?"

But come on, Mike. How long can you allow yourself to be clowned? You collect a measly $10K to go preach the GOP gospel at an HBCU, and all hell breaks loose. I mean, really, go read some of the comments from what's supposed to be your base (Fox News) and your former employer. These folks are talkin' greasy about you like they talk about Obama, and it ain't pretty. I doubt anyone woulda had a problem had you gone to speak at Oral Roberts.

Seriously, when folks resort to this sorta navel gazing, they clearly are looking for any and every reason to send you and your zoot suits packing. Are you gonna let them force you out like some bama, or are you gonna go out like a soldier?

Man Up, Mike. Man Up.


Question: Is this much ado about nothing, or should Steele be barred from getting side money while on the RNC payroll?

RNC Calls Report on Steele's Speaking Fees 'Silly' [Fox News]

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