Saturday, February 07, 2009

Can the “Man of Steele” save the GOP?

Brandon Brice

n recent news the former GOPAC Chairman and Lieutenant Governor from Maryland, Michael Steele made history by becoming the first African American to lead the Republican National Committee. In Steele’s victory speech he proclaimed to set out a new mission to take the Republican Party to every corner and inner city neighborhood in America, as an effort to rebuild the Grand Old Party.
Unfortunately, all conservatives are not on board with this urban agenda, leading some republican critics to suggest that it’s the wrong direction for the party. In a recent article, former Klu Klux Klan grand wizard, David Duke ironically called Michael Steele a racist, suggesting that Steele was not the man for the job. Right wing conservative groups have stated that the role of the Republican National Committee Chairman is to simply raise money for the party and to help republican’s nationwide get elected which failed in last year’s election.

The million dollar question for the new RNC Chairman is can he successfully raise the funds to be competitive for upcoming primary elections? The true test of Steele’s candidacy will be centered on the direction he decides to take the Republican Party, which is vital to the GOP’s survival. For Steele to be successful as Chairman of the RNC, he must realize that America is changing; both demographically and on the issues. Steele who is a moderate Republican must be the new face of the GOP, by standing up to the extreme conservative right, by placing an emphasis on jobs, healthcare and education preparation for America’s future.

In my recent article, “Out with the Old, In with the New”, the bulk of the message was dedicated to the party fighting for real issues, i.e., jobs, education, healthcare and less government. As Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and former GOPAC Chairman, Steele has proven his ability to lead, but his most important task will be to lead the party into the millennium, which could be met with severe opposition.. In New York City, Mayor both Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, won elections based on their stances on responsible government, not “social values.” In Washington, Chairman Steele’s new job is to test if this stance which has worked in New York, under Rudy and Bloomberg, in Massachusetts under Romney’s healthcare plan, or in New Jersey under Tom Kean, Sr.’s moderate approach, can work in our nation’s capitol, as a means to get new Republican candidates elected.

~Brandon Brice is a graduate of Howard University and a graduate of the New Jersey Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. As a long time member of Republicans for Black Empowerment, Brandon is an active contributor to


Boston Patriot said...

Massachusetts so-called health care reform is hardly a model of less government. Quite the contrary, it is highly bureaucratic and EXPENSIVE. To be specific, its existence "depends" on federal largesse. If this is the future of the GOP, the GOP is finished. And, Bloomberg is a Democrat/"Republican" and now Independent. He's also a proponent of the "nanny state". I hardly look to him as a public policy hero!

KMR said...

Hawaii had similar health care insurance to MA. But late last year Hawaii had to abandon that type of insurance because people who could afford to pay, were scrapping their private health insurance and signing up for the government one. Hence, it became too expensive for the Hawaii officials to continue this subsidized form of health care.

Why would anyone pay for healthcare, if the government giving it out free?

I agree health insurance is too expensive and we have to look at ways to make it cheaper. But government run health care is not the way to go. There must be someway we can make it compettitive as auto insurance.

mhrb26 said...

This whole idea of moderation is really a bad idea. Republicans have to stop being ashamed to be Republicans.

This whole idea that Republicans are too caught up on social issues is really just a shame. It's actually the other way around. Republicans weren't the activist, they were just the ones that wanted things to remain the same.

I hope Steele isn't about moderation. There needs to be a CLEAR difference between Democrats and Republicans. Without that distinction, then the GOP is dead. I didn't leave the democratic party to rejoin them in the GOP.

uptownsteve said...

Update on your boy Steele:

Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.

Federal agents in recent days contacted Steele's sister, a spokesman for Steele said yesterday.

The claim about the payment, one of several allegations by Alan B. Fabian, is outlined in a confidential court document. Fabian offered the information last March as he was seeking leniency for himself during plea negotiations on unrelated fraud charges. It is unclear how extensively his claims have been pursued. Prosecutors gave him no credit for cooperation when he was sentenced in October.

The recent allegations outlined four specific transactions. In addition to the payment to Steele's sister, Fabian said that the candidate used money from his state campaign improperly; that Steele paid $75,000 from the state campaign to a law firm for work that was never performed; and that he or an aide transferred more than $500,000 in campaign cash from one bank to another without authorization.

JMB said...

I'm going to have to disagree with the prevailing opinion here, simply because the only way the GOP can remain a National Party is by being a big tent party. The purpose for Political Parties at the end of the day is to win elections. While conservative principles are very important, they must go hand in hand with pragmatism. Because, it’s important to remember that what works in Utah or Alabama, won't work in New York or California. Therefore, in order to have representation in these states we need moderates like Collins, Chafee, Specter, and Snowe.

Case in point the party won’t win in states like Rhode Island by running a Jessie Helms or a Bill Frist that is the road to failure. Because, whether they’re moderate, conservative, or even liberal, you run candidates that fit the districts or states you need to win in. This means if Giuliani is whom you have then run him, even if he doesn’t agree with us on all of the issues. Being a National Party means being a big tent party whether we like it or not "group think" doesn't work.

No one is telling the party to abandon its principles, but a little bit of ideological diversity won't hurt. The question is if the Democrats can have Ted Kennedy, Ben Nelson, and Mark Warner, all in the same party then...why not the Republicans?

sbm said...

Denying allegations of impropriety in his 2006 campaign spending, Steele says he will voluntarily hand over papers to the FBI, which had contacted his sister over payments her company received.

Steele said that the $37,000 paid to a company owned by his sister was "a legitimate reimbursement of expenses." The payment, for "catering and Web services," was made in December 2007, more than 11 months after his sister folded the company.

"At the time when the checks were written back to her to reimburse her, she just said, 'Go ahead and write the checks to the company,' because the company had, you know, done the services that were provided," said Steele, an attorney who practiced corporate law during the 1990s. "There are many companies out there that dissolve and still receive payment for services that are rendered, and so forth."

Among the questions about the incident is why an investigation into Steele's finances appears to have become more active about the same time that his political career was getting a huge boost with his election to head the RNC.

The former lieutenant governor of Maryland said federal agents recently contacted his sister "for purposes of closing out this matter. . . . The FBI is now in the position of winding this thing" up.

Steele contended that "if there were any funny business" involved with his 2006 Senate campaign, it would have been caught by other federal agencies before now. He said he has not been contacted personally by the FBI.

sbm said...

oh.... and they are also investigating allegation that Steele billed the campaign for a "DOG CATCHER" uniform in 2006 but he has never been elected “DOG CATCHER” ummmmmmmm