Michael Steele: Shopaholic?

The GOP chairman is reportedly blowing the party's war chest on limousines, private jets, and catering — and big donors are furious

Michael Steele: Will his big spending erode the GOP's chances of taking back the House this fall?
(Image credit: Corbis)

With Republicans in a strong position to capture the House in November, it's no wonder party donors are infuriated by reports that GOP chairman Michael Steele is blowing the GOP war chest on private jets, limousines, flowers, and catering by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. One longtime Republican fundraiser has told Politico: "Michael Steele is an imperial chairman," living like a king "by using other people's money." While the gaffe-prone Steele has already survived a string of scandals, some commentators say his alleged spending spree may be the last straw for a party that's trying to reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility:

Throw Steele out, now: Of course GOP donors are ticked off at Steele's "absolutely outrageous" fiscal irresponsibility, says Meredith Jessup in Townhall. I am, too. His "lousy leadership" is endangering conservative candidates in an important election year, and if Steele keeps his job after this, we'll know "the Republican establishment is still clueless."

"Steele enjoys spending spree on donors' dime"

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This is just more noise from Steele haters: All the grousing about "lavish spending" sounds like "sour grapes" from Steele's opponents in the party, says Johanna Neuman in the Los Angeles Times. Sure, his "series of self-inflicted political wounds" have made enemies, but does he deserve this latest rap? After all, when your party doesn't control Congress or the White House, you have to spend more money to attract money.

"Michael Steele's spending irks Republican donors..."

Either way, his job is safe: Steele's GOP "detractors" won't have an easy time "ousting him," says David Weigel in The Washington Independent, especially as we get closer to the big midterm elections. Big-time GOP donors might not like him, but he's still "beloved by local Republican groups." And more importantly, he's "bulletproof because the party's winning."

"Michael Steele, big spender"

Tea Party disapproval may be the deciding factor: If the Chairman's "fiscal irresponsibility and imperial behavior" is alienating big GOP donors, says Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine "imagine how it will play among members of the Tea Party movement." Disgruntled fiscal conservatives are already disgusted with the GOP's free-spending ways over the last decade.

"He's the chairman; How do we deal with it?"

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