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A group of conservatives on the Republican National Committee’s governing board has launched an “Anybody but Steele” campaign and are gathering pledges from other committee members not to back the beleaguered RNC chairman, POLITICO has learned.
Members of the Republican National Conservative Caucus held a conference call and sent e-mails last week in an attempt to build support for what they’re calling a “Resolution of Commitment.”
The same group is also working on a similar, but far more targeted, campaign to persuade the five Republicans challenging Steele not to strike an agreement with him that might improve his prospects — what they call a “No Deal With Steele Pledge.”
James Bopp, RNC member from Indiana and a leader of the RNCC, declined to offer specifics about how many pledges the group had received for either effort, directing inquiries to Oregon RNC member Solomon Yue, another RNCC leader. Yue wouldn’t respond to an e-mail.
But the conservatives’ Dump Steele effort has caught the attention of the incumbent’s loyalists and just before Christmas touched off an angry, racially tinged e-mail exchange between Bopp, a supporter of Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus’s bid to lead the RNC, and Idaho GOP Chairman — and Steele backer — Norm Semanko.