After taking over as chairman of the RNC in late January, it appears Michael Steele hasn’t quite lived up to the Republican Party’s expectations — from saying no one should trust the GOP and threatening to pull campaign funds from GOP members of Congress to making absurd and contradictory claims while bowing down to Rush Limbaugh.
Last week, in a memo to her fellow RNC members yesterday, Dr. Ada Fisher said Steele is “‘eroding confidence’ in the GOP and that members of his transition team should encourage him to step aside.” Now, it appears Steele will face a no-confidence vote and South Carolina GOP leader Katon Dawson — Steele’s former rival for RNC chair — may be leading the charge:
Republican insiders tell Political Wire that a no confidence vote on RNC Chairman Michael Steele is likely to be called after the NY-20 special election on March 31 — regardless of whether Republicans win the seat or not.
Katon Dawson, who came in second in the January RNC vote, is said to be quietly organizing a vote and is getting the support of several state party chairmen who want to dump Steele.
The RNC won praise following Steele’s victory for electing its first African-American chairman. Former Bush aide and RNC chair Ed Gillespie said his election “injected a shot of adrenaline into the party” and that Steele can open the GOP “to minorities and white moderates.” But now, in going with Dawson, the GOP appears to be heading back to what it knows and ditching its first African-American chairman for someone who, until recently, was a member of a whites-only country club, as TPM noted:
Back in September, when Dawson was first quietly laying the groundwork for his RNC run, The State newspaper reported that he resigned his membership in the nearly 80-year-old Forest Lake Club. Members told the newspaper at the time that the club’s deed has a whites-only restriction and has no black members.
Dawson claimed to the paper that he’d actually been working since August to change the club’s admission practices after reading about them in the press.
While Dawson did send a letter to the club calling for it to open its doors to minorities, he did so only after reports of the club’s racist membership rules appeared in the The State newspaper.
Dawson denies he’s trying to unseat Steele:
I support Michael Steele. Our Committee elected him knowing that he can lead us during this critical time for our Party. The people behind this anonymous rumor are clearly intent on dividing the Republican National Committee and our Party at a time when we need to be united.