Poll: Jury Still Out On Michael Steele’s Performance
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Since his election to chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele has faced a great deal of criticism.

BlackEnterprise.com asked readers whether they agreed with some of Steele’s detractors and the vote was split evenly. One-third of respondents said he should resign, another 1/3 said he shouldn’t. The remaining respondents didn’t care either way.

Believing that he was profiting personally, from his chairmanship, many conservatives were displeased to learn that although he received a salary from the GOP, he had been accepting money for speaking engagements and wrote a book titled Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda (Regnery Press; $27.95). Then he openly criticized the Republican Party, saying that the party has no chance of recapturing the House during November’s midterm elections.

His latest faux pas happened last month when news broke that an RNC staffer spent close to $2,000 for an official gathering at a bondage-themed strip club in California in February, as well as tens of thousands of dollars on luxury hotels and private jets. In addition, although the RNC raised $11.4 million–a record high for a mid-cycle March–the Democratic National Committee topped that with $15 million raised in the same month.

“I believe that the best service you can render to your party at this critical juncture is to graciously step aside and allow the party to move on from this current quagmire,” said Tom Fetzer, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, in a letter to Steele.

Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) hesitated to ask for Steele’s resignation but said he wants Steele to make some staff changes and bring more transparency to the party.

But not everyone is gunning for the former lieutenant governor of Maryland. Under Steele’s leadership the RNC has “outraised the Democratic National Committee in more than one quarter as far as fundraising and been able to bring into the fray a slew of new candidates for congressional, Senate and gubernatorial races,” said Princella Smith, a black Republican candidate for Congress in Arkansas, who worked previously as the national spokesperson for Newt Gingrich’s organization American Solutions and with Michael Steele’s campaign for lieutenant governor. “I think we need to stick it out with him. There are some things that need to be tightened up in the RNC…but overall he is doing a good job.”

The results are in:
Should Michael Steele resign as the chairman of the Republican National Committee?
–Yes 33.3%
–No 33.3%
–Who cares? 33.3%

BlackEnterprise.com conducted the poll between April 13 and April 20.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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