Three GOP sources confirm Barcus is Cook’s sister. The Lexis Nexis historical address database shows Barcus and Cook share the same maiden name, Kesner, and are around the same age.
All told, the extended Cook family received $106,291 in known compensation from the Committee on Arrangements in the three month period from July 1 to Sept. 30.
“All this is very troubling from out of control deficit spending, lack of accountability, potential violation of the RNC Good Governance resolution, to practicing cronyism in hiring,” Yue said.
The party’s lavish spending on convention officials is coming much earlier in the election cycle than for past conventions. The Washington Post reported that the spending is 18 times the amount spent from the comparable period in the 2008 cycle.
Doug Heye, a spokesman for Steele, defended the early spending to the Post, saying the decisions were based on the recommendation from past convention officials to accelerate the process of picking a convention city.
But the officials who made that recommendation say Heye’s explanation is bogus.
Instead, they told the RNC to accelerate the process to facilitate fundraising, not to start spending on preparations earlier.
“The recommendations we gave had nothing to do with bringing your team in earlier,” said Jeff Larson, the CEO of the Host Committee for the 2008 convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The idea was to begin fundraising in time for another year of corporate budgets, allowing donors to spread their contributions over a greater period of time.
“After the 2008 convention, between the Host Committee and the Committee on Arrangements, our recommendations was to move the selection of the host city up six months to allow them to solicit corporate contributions in a two year budget cycle rather than a one year budget cycle as they’d done before,” Larson said.
Meanwhile, Republican insiders are murmuring the RNC may face additional undisclosed debts.
During the midterm campaign, the RNC incurred $15 million in debt. But tales abound of vendors owed as much as $2 million being told to delay sending invoices to the RNC.
Steele’s opponents are increasingly confident they will be able to stop him if he runs again. One insider said the “anybody but Steele” votes have reached a numerical critical mass.