RNC chair Michael Steele moonlights as a paid speaker, a fact that the Washington Times reports is riling up some past Republican leaders. According to the paper, Steele demands between $8,000-$20,000 for a speech and is represented by the same agency that represents former Bush White House officials Dana Perino and Stephen Hadley.
An RNC spokesperson told the Times the extracurricular speaking work is normal, but former RNC chairs contacted by the paper criticized Steele’s move.From the report:
“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.”
Steele is paid $223,000/year in salary by the RNC.