Politics

High flyer: RNC Chairman Steele suggested buying private jet with GOP funds

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Jonathan Strong
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      Jonathan Strong

      Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.

A March 20 FEC filing shows the RNC has $9.5 million cash on hand. Steele began his tenure with $22.8 million, and has since raised $96.2 million. During the same period, however, the RNC has spent $109.6 million, for a deficit of $13.4 million. That spending included aid to the campaigns that elected [intlink id="211379" type="post"]Gov. Bob McDonnell[/intlink] in Virginia and [intlink id="271549" type="post"]Gov. Chris Christie[/intlink] in New Jersey.

“The story is less what’s left, and more what’s been spent,” said one longtime Republican operative. “It’s difficult to draw distinctions between various elections because the circumstances are so different. But what is worthy of scrutiny is the March cash on hand versus where it was January or February last year, which is essentially the same picture. And that comes despite having raised more than $90 million dollars.”

According to spokesman Heye, the RNC is right on track with fundraising. “We’re very comfortable with where we are financially and we know that we’ll have the resources on the ground to be competitive in November as we move forward to try and take back the House and Senate.” He noted the RNC had outraised the DNC in seven out of 12 months in 2009 and was raising gobs of money in the wake of President Obama signing health care reform legislation into law.

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