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Michael Steele, the embattled chairman of the Republican National Committee, is living large at donor expense and a growing number of GOP fatcats say they are tired of contributing to his lavish lifestyle.
Steele uses party donations to pay for private limos, private jets, expensive chefs and trips to exotic resorts.
Donors have a message for the GOP: Curtail Steele’s high-life or they will close their checkbooks.
An analysis of Steele’s spending habits by Politico shows the chairman racked up $599,00 in expenses over the last year — compared with about $300,000 under previous chairmen.
“Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,” one longtime GOP fundraiser tells Politico. “He flies in private aircraft. He drives in private cars. He has private consultants that are paid ridiculous retainers. He fancies himself a presidential candidate and wants all the trappings and gets them by using other people’s money.”
Some of that money is now going to other GOP committees and away from the RNC. Major donors have cut their contributions to the RNC in half in 2009 and donors say they have no desire to support Steele’s fancy lifestyle.
“He’s a ego maniacal despot who thinks the party is all about him,” one big-bucks donor told Capitol Hill Blue. “He forgets that we give money to the RNC to help candidates, not pay for his jet set lifestyle.”