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Priebus Cuts Steele’s RNC Convention Planning Staff

In one of his first acts as chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus made cuts Sunday in the RNC’s 2012 convention planning team.

“There are some changes that need to be made to ensure a successful convention. Those changes start today,” Priebus said in a statement. “I have discontinued the employment of the convention liaison and the employees of the Committee on Arrangements, effective immediately.”

The move marks a significant departure from his predecessor, Michael Steele. Steele appointed convention liaison Belinda Cook and angered RNC members with his spending on the 2012 convention scheduled for the week of Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla. The Washington Times reported in November that Cook’s contract included $15,000 a month in salary and a $25,000 bonus.

Steele announced that 42 members had been named to the Committee on Arrangements by early January, with the intention of appointing at least one member from each state and the territories.

“I look forward to bringing on top-notch staff and planning a convention that all Republicans, especially our 2012 Presidential nominee, can be proud of,” Priebus said.

John Stanton contributed to this report.