Campaign Finance Issues — Michael Steele Edition

Filed in National by on February 8, 2009

…or How The So-Called “Good News” for Republicans became the same old story.

The Washington Post reports that new RNC Chair Michael Steele has a number of unresolved campaign money issues:

The recent allegations outlined four specific transactions. In addition to the payment to Steele’s sister, Fabian said that the candidate used money from his state campaign improperly; that Steele paid $75,000 from the state campaign to a law firm for work that was never performed; and that he or an aide transferred more than $500,000 in campaign cash from one bank to another without authorization.

The bank transfer was made against the explicit wishes of other Maryland Republicans, who had hoped to use it to support the campaigns of state legislators, said aides to Steele and former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

The allegations were made by Steele’s former campaign finance manager, who evidently got sent up to The Big House for fraud charges unrelated to this. This long article details the allegations and what the WaPo reporter was able to discover. And most of what he was able to discover was that Steele has issues managing his campaign’s money as well as a track record of not being on the up and up:

Over the years, money trouble has been a persistent problem for Steele. His first race for public office, a 1998 bid for the Republican nomination for state comptroller, ended nearly $35,000 in debt, much of it to his sister. He was fined twice by state officials for missing deadlines to file campaign finance reports and was in debt and had faced foreclosure in 2001, the year before he was selected as Ehrlich’s running mate. The state party threw Steele a financial lifeline, awarding him an unusual $30,000 consulting contract.

Interestingly, what this reporter was not able to discover is whether the Feds are actively investigating these charges. And, of course, this investigation would have to have been authorized by the BushCo DOJ. But think about this for a second. If someone had dug up these kind of money issues on, say, Howard Dean, there would have been wall to wall cable coverage on this, complete with nonstop speculation on the extreme damage this would be to his career, to the career of all Dems everywhere AND to the party itself.

Someone let me know when you see this covered on the TV news.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (19)

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  1. jason330 says:

    Now then, if President Obama appointed Steele to something – this would get wall to wall coverage.

    We’d also be able to collect the tens of thousands of dollars in taxes that Steele no doubt owes the IRS.

  2. anon says:

    Brings new meaning to the observation “Look, the Republicans have one too!”

  3. Unstable Isotope says:

    Boy the Republicans really didn’t have much to choose from in their leadership race. As sad as it is to say he was probably the best choice among those candidates.

  4. Susan Regis Collins says:

    Why are ‘we’ not surprised?????

  5. Just another instance of racism. They wouldn’t be trying to find this dirt on him if he was white.

    they fear him because he looks different.

  6. anon says:

    Did anyone really think Southern Republicans were going to take marching orders from a black man?

  7. pandora says:

    The fact that this appears to be Republican on Republicans crime makes the outcome of this story – which I can’t seem to find mention of at DP, Colossus, or Common Sense Political Thought – very interesting.

  8. jason330 says:

    which I can’t seem to find mention of at…

    You made me laugh.

  9. I see the RNC Chair is a threat to the Dems who always bring out personal attacks over substance. This news flash you have will amount to nothing, zero.

    Evereyone knows the Dems have Sen Dodd with a sweetheart deal on a mortgage, Charlie Rangel has many scandals brewing and everyone forgets home grown VP who sold his house to an MBNA official for $150,000 over market price and his son who collected $100,000 a year with no official duties or how about Minner’s shady deals with state money in the News Journal today?

    It is clear Michael Steele is going to bring the GOP back to life and you guys are scared.

    You know I heard the RNC Chair changed lanes without using his turn signal also. I hope the FBI checks in to this serious matter on his driving habits.

  10. jason330 says:

    Mike had his Wheaties this morning. He is fortified with extra wingnut vitamins. I love this one: You know I heard the RNC Chair changed lanes without using his turn signal also

    Translation: It is okay if you are a Republican.

  11. h. says:

    He’s more a democrat than a republican… kind of a token republican.

  12. johnny longtorso says:

    Steele is no Democrat. He may be against the death penalty, but he toes the party line on every other issue.

  13. cassandra_m says:

    Brings new meaning to the observation “Look, the Republicans have one too!”

    More like another Republican has the Abramoff/DeLay instincts for money.

  14. Von Cracker says:

    Silly negro! That right is for whites! Well, white republicans, that is……

  15. jason330 says:


    Fear not. The true Republicans are gathering together as we speak.

    There is still a home for you in the GOP.

  16. h. says:

    Sorry, not my kind of club. We don’t see eye to eye on many social issues…. religion, abortion.

  17. h. says:

    I can’t open the link at work.

  18. nemski says:

    h. you’re better of for not being able to open that link.

  19. annoni says:

    The Klan is the millitant wing of the Jim Crowe Democrat Party.

    Glad to hear they are unhappy with the GOP!