Living Large

Steele Blows Through RNC Cash

Is enjoying the smell of fresh-cut wild flowers on your Gulfstream such a crime? Politico reports that RNC Chairman Michael Steele has spent twice as much as his predecessors on private planes, in addition to outspending them on flowers, limos, and catering. (Car expenses have tripled under Steele, while food expenses have nearly doubled.) Donors are reportedly upset over Steele’s lavish spending, which included a Christmas Party catered by Wolfgang Puck’s D.C. crew at the Newseum and a decision to move the RNC’s annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii. Under Ken Mehlman, the 2006 holiday party was thrown at RNC headquarters and the caterer was Chick-Fil-A. “Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,” said one longtime Republican fundraiser. “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 of the trappings and gets them by using other people’s money.”