Newly elected Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, in one of his first official actions, has fired everyone on the RNC’s convention planning committee.
The Committee on Arrangements became yet another source of ire for RNC members fed up with the RNC’s overspending under erstwhile chair Michael Steele. The committee was lead by Belinda Cook, Steele’s longtime aide, and staffed with her family and friends. Cook alone pulled in $15,000 a month for the job; altogether, her “cabal,” as the Daily Caller once put it, were paid $139,923 in a single three-month period last year.
The RNC was also paying rent for Cook to live in a 3,200-square-foot waterfront home in Tampa, Fla., where the 2012 convention is to be held. All in all, the RNC had spent $636,861 on the 2012 convention by the end of September.
The spending, which made news in November, prompted public calls for an investigation by at least one member of the RNC’s executive committee.
“We are committed to holding a world-class 2012 Republican National Convention that will be worthy of the next President of the United States. There are some changes that need to be made to ensure a successful convention. Those changes start today,” Priebus said in a statement released Sunday. “I have discontinued the employment of the convention liaison and the employees of the Committee on Arrangements, effective immediately. I look forward to bringing on top-notch staff and planning a convention that all Republicans, especially our 2012 Presidential nominee, can be proud of.”
A spokesman for the RNC did not return requests for comment — including what will happen to that waterfront mansion.