Gilmore Defends Steele Cashing In On RNC Chair Job

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For more on this story, see the Washington Times:
Michael S. Steele, Republican National Committee chairman, is using his title to market himself for paid appearances nationwide, personally profiting from speeches with fees of up to $20,000 at colleges, trade associations and other groups - an unusual practice criticized by a string of past party chairmen.


"Holy mackerel, I never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., RNC chairman under President Reagan and CEO of the American Gaming Association.

"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," Mr. Fahrenkopf said.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson, who served in that position from 1997 to 2000 and was President George W. Bush's Veterans Affairs secretary from 2005 to 2007, said the job "demands so much of your time that you can work 24/7 and not get everything done, so taking time out to speak for the benefit of one's own bank account is not appropriate."
In contrast to the other ex-RNC chairs, Jim Gilmore believes it's perfectly appropriate for Michael Steele take money for speeches while head of the RNC. I can just imagine what he'd be saying if Tim Kaine were doing that as chair of the DNC.