GOP's Fetzer Says Michael Steele Should Step Down

The head of the North Carolina Republican Party asked Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to step down Thursday, saying the resignation is the only way to end scrutiny of the national party over lavish spending.

To view the letter, click the link at the top of the story

A day earlier, national party leaders had a conference call with Steele but didn't bring up the prospect of his resignation - seen as a positive sign for the embattled national chairman.

North Carolina's Tom Fetzer is the first state party chairman to call for Steele's resignation, a spokesman for Fetzer said. Fetzer said the move would ensure Republicans maximize gains during the mid-term elections.

"I believe that the best service you can render to your party at this critical juncture is to graciously step aside and allow the party to move on from this current quagmire," Fetzer wrote in a letter to Steele.

Steele, who has been a lightning rod for criticism since taking the job last year, has come under renewed scrutiny recently after the committee paid a nearly $2,000 bill at a sex-themed nightclub in Los Angeles. The RNC fired a staffer it blamed for the outing.

Instances of questionable RNC purchases continued to surface on Thursday. RNC spokeswoman Katie Wright said a $1,000 purchase from jeweler Tiffany & Co. was used to buy gifts for major donors. The purchase was listed as "office supplies," but Wright said that's the catchall category that the RNC and other political organizations often use for such gifts.

The RNC had also paid $18,361 over the past several months to the Tiny Jewel Box, a Washington, D.C., jewelry store, for "office supplies," which may have included trinkets or gifts for big donors.

Also this week, Steele accepted the resignation of his chief of staff and allowed one of his senior advisers to leave in an attempt to reassure GOP donors upset about his leadership.

Fetzer, a former mayor of Raleigh, said local activists have been upset in North Carolina over the past few weeks about Steele's leadership.

He told Steele he should step down because "recent events, regardless of who is to blame, have made it difficult if not impossible for you to lead the party in the direction that it needs to go."

Steele said earlier in the week he would not resign and defended his stewardship of party affairs. He dismissed criticism - some of it centered on spending on flights, limousines and high-dollar hotels - as griping by GOP figures uncomfortable with his "streetwise" managerial style.

Responding to Fetzer's letter, RNC spokesman LeRoy Coleman said Steele "has maintained broad support from RNC committee members, who have been pleased with the proactive measures put in place for greater accountability. Most importantly, the RNC remains focused on raising money and winning elections in North Carolina and across the country this fall."

The national GOP also attempted to rebut Fetzer by releasing comments of support for Steele from Tennessee chairman Chris Devaney and RNC member Bruce Ash of Arizona.

The RNC also raised $2 million less than the Democratic National Committee in March.

The North Carolina chairman's criticism came just a month after Fetzer had only positive words for Steele at a Greensboro news conference where Steele unveiled a fundraising ad.

"This is not a personal indictment of you," Fetzer wrote to Steele.

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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Apr 13, 2010 at 06:39 AM
    Pirateman, I think what the message from Mass said about republicans, we will vote you back in, however, a little reminder of who you work for. At least we saw republicans stand firm against healthcare instead of caving into it, like the democrats. Of course, they were bribed into it. November will represent real I have posted, they pissed off the elderly, the sleeping giant.
  • by Pirateman Location: Greenville on Apr 10, 2010 at 02:23 AM
    There is and always will be double standards. I'm conservative. My only problem is Republicans always talk conservative, then sell out and do absolutely nothing about what they so eloquently harp about in the media. Too much lip; no (I mean absolutely NO) substance!
  • by a Location: nc on Apr 9, 2010 at 05:01 PM
    and Bush is so dumb he went to Yale, recieved better grades than Kerry, and Al Gore graduated from some religous collge. and while being dumb, he tricked all those smarties all the time, that tricky dumbass
  • by Obama is so dumb on Apr 9, 2010 at 03:55 PM
    Obama is so dumb that he got a law degree and was a professor at Harvard! Man, what an idiot.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2010 at 01:55 PM
    Pirate at 10:01AM,Did you not notice that Obonga is a democrat.So in your eyes that could go both ways.Or is there a double standerd?HOW TYPICAL!
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Apr 9, 2010 at 10:56 AM
    a, yeap, she was so dumb, she had oil companies in Alaska paying taxes for the citizens of the state. So dumb, people payed less income tax than most states, paid for by Alaska's oil companies. Yep, shes real dim. Of course, Obama has spent 14 trillion, which is more than all past presidents including George Washington....and he's a genious! Pirateman, I am pretty sure the democrats will be held to the plank for the raping and pilage they did to the debt and future generations. Pretty sure the yardarm will be swinging regularly from the masts this year. Pretty sure the ship will be on bottom in 2012, taking the captain with her, mate...
  • by Vance on Apr 9, 2010 at 08:49 AM
    Sarah@8:45AM tell that to Bill Clinton and John Edwards
  • by Dave Location: Wilson on Apr 9, 2010 at 08:38 AM
    Supposedly the Republican party is the one full of hate but you can see here that when a black guy does not swallow the idea of the democrat social slavery programs he is called the very vile racist term "Uncle Tom". Tom Fetzer needs to realize that he is the one who is getting "played" by the liberal media who is trying to convince everyone that $2,000 spent by a STAFFER is somehow Steele's fault.
  • by a Location: nc on Apr 9, 2010 at 07:11 AM
    How amazing, Palin can't think, Yet she is making loys of money. Boy, is she dumb.........
  • by Pirateman Location: Greenville on Apr 9, 2010 at 07:01 AM
    These Party Bureaucrat Republicans are so obsessed with the "black vote fantasy" that they trot out this guy to show they "actually like blacks". The Republicans will lose in November because the only opportunity they do not blow is the opportunity to blow an opportunity.

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