Colorado’s Wadhams signs onto statement supporting RNC Chairman Steele

Colorado Republican Party head Dick Wadhams was one of 31 state GOP leaders to sign a statement in support of scandal-plagued party Chairman Michael Steele. That the statement was necessary is fairly damning but the wording of the statement must also be minimally cheering to Steele fans. The text is that Steele is a good fundraiser; the subtext is that the signatories are willing to bear with him for now. There’s nothing about Steele’s winning personality, say, or his role-model strength and status as a man of honor. As of Friday, 19 GOP state leaders didn’t even sign on to this minimal endorsement.

The statement:

NEW ORLEANS — State Republican leaders from around the country today quickly lined up to show their strong support the Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele for his strong record in winning elections, raising funds to support the Republican campaign, and creating a strong partnership with state parties.

As additional state leaders continue to sign on, 31 chairmen have signed the following statement as of this moment:

As Republican Party state chairmen, we believe Chairman Michael Steele can lead the RNC to be a full partner with us this fall in our efforts to fire Nancy Pelosi and win Republican majorities in Congress and among governors. His record at winning elections has been stellar, his fundraising ability has been solid, and he has honed our Victory programs’ ability to identify and deliver voters for Republican candidates.

The charge of any national Chairman is to raise money and win elections. With over $100 million raised, victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and victories in 29 of 37 special elections, Michael Steele has demonstrated that under his Chairmanship the RNC has the ability, focus, and drive to lead Republicans to a sweeping victory in November.

The RNC under Chairman Michael Steele is a full partner with state committees, responsive to our needs, and intensely interested in providing the support necessary for victory. That process is not an easy process. Technology has had a great impact on the art of politics. That impact has required the RNC to adapt and change to work effectively in this modern environment. Change can sometimes be difficult. But the changes Michael Steele has brought to the RNC were essential for our party to adapt, and win, when we do not, for the moment, hold the White House or Congress.

We stand behind Chairman Steele as he continues to lead us on the path victory in November.

Randy Ruedrich, Alaska
Ron Nehring, California
Dick Wadhams, Colorado
Chris Healy, Connecticut
Tom Ross, Delaware
Robert Kabel, District of Columbia
Sue Everhart, Georgia
Jesus Torres, Guam
Jonah Ka’auwai, Hawaii
Norman Semanko, Idaho
Pat Brady, Illinois
Steve Robertson, Kentucky
Charlie Webster, Maine
Audrey Scott, Maryland
Jennifer Nassour, Massachusetts
Ron Weiser, Michigan
Tony Sutton, Minnesota
Will Deschamps, Montana
Mark Fahleson, Nebraska
John Sununu, New Hampshire
Jay Webber, New Jersey
Harvey Yates, New Mexico
Robert Tiernan, Oregon
Rob Gleason, Pennsylvania
Gio Cicione, Rhode Island
Chris Devaney, Tennessee
Dave Hansen, Utah
Steven Larrabee, Vermont
Pat Mullins, Virginia
Luke Esser, Washington
Reince Priebus, Wisconsin

On public radio in Colorado last week, Wadhams said he supported Steele for reasons that line up fairly well with the statement issued Friday. He said he was disappointed, though, that Steele had “played the race card” in defending himself against detractors.

On Good Morning America, Steele was asked whether, as an African American, he had a “slimmer margin of error than another chairman would.”

“The honest answer is ‘yes,’” said Steele. “It just is. Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. A lot of folks do. It’s a different role for me to play and others to play, and that’s just the reality of it.”

Steele has come under fire for, in part, spending lavishly on himself, including commissioning private jet and limo transportation. Most recently, Steele has been the subject of a media frenzy for allowing a staffer to blow $2000 of RNC money on an outing with contributors to a bondage-themed night club in L.A. The Steele scandals seem to increasingly underline and exacerbate the divisions in the Republican party, which courts both high-rolling executive Americans who vote for low taxes and low government regulation and the so-called conservative base voters who depend on Republican lawmakers to promote Christian values.

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