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RNC Donates $2 Million to Boost 2010 Campaigns

The Republican National Committee is giving $1 million each to the Republican House and Senate campaign committees in what amounts to seed money for the 2010 cycle, when the GOP will attempt to make up ground lost in the previous two elections. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele — who has had a bumpy start to his tenure and has come under fire in recent days for his criticism of and then apology to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh — authorized the transfers to the Congressional committees. “The Republican National Committee stands by our outstanding leaders in both houses of Congress,— Steele said in a statement. “This is an investment in strong, principled Republican leadership.—National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) both released statements praising Steele’s move. Both committees are carrying debt leftover from the 2008 cycle, although not as much as their Democratic counterparts are.The NRSC ended January more than $4 million in debt and had more than $1 million in cash on hand as of Jan. 31. The NRCC had $1.1 million in the bank and reported $6.5 million in debt.“For Republican candidates to compete across the country in 2010, it is critical that they have the necessary financial resources,— Cornyn said. “Strengthening and modernizing our fundraising operations is a top priority for the NRSC this cycle and this support from Chairman Steele today helps us build on a strong foundation moving forward.—Sessions also praised Steele for his involvement in and attention to the special election in New York’s 20th district, which is viewed as a top opportunity for the GOP to win back a seat it previously held.“Even more than this generous donation, we appreciate his total commitment to winning the special election in New York’s 20th Congressional District. He is deeply committed to rebuilding the Party in blue states, and he’s putting action behind his words. Steele has been on the ground in the New York race twice, and Sessions said Steele’s staff has been fully engaged in helping to put together the grass-roots turnout operation there. After assuming the RNC chairmanship, Steele basically cleaned house at the committee and is in the process of hiring new senior staff. But he has been criticized lately over the slow pace of the process and over his media profile, as well as his handling of the Limbaugh controversy.

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