Steele is urged to resign as GOP chairman

March 06, 2009|By Paul West | Paul West,paul.west@baltsun.com

WASHINGTON - A member of the Republican National Committee called yesterday for Michael S. Steele to step down as the party's national chairman, a job that Maryland's former lieutenant governor has held for less than five weeks.

The demand by Dr. Ada Fisher came in the wake of Steele's recent squabble with talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh over Republican leadership. Fisher termed the flap a "Republican horror show" and predicted that donations to the party from conservatives would dry up as a result, according to The Hill , the Washington newspaper that first reported the contents of her e-mail to fellow committee members.

Fisher of Salisbury, N.C., is one of three black members of the Republican National Committee. She could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Other members of the Republican National Committee, including several who are not close Steele allies, played down the threat to his chairmanship. The press office at party headquarters in Washington declined to comment and referred a reporter to Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, who heads Steele's transition team.

Priebus, a strong supporter of Steele's candidacy for party chairman, said there was "no news" in the demand by Fisher, a relatively new RNC member who was a supporter of South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, the runner-up to Steele for the national chairmanship.

"Ada Fisher's been sending poisonous e-mails about Michael Steele on a weekly basis," Priebus said. "I think most RNC members know exactly what her opinion is of Michael Steele and probably hit the delete button after the first two paragraphs."

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