Tom Fetzer, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, called for RNC chair Michael Steele to resign in a letter dated today:
I have prayed for you and hurt with you these last few weeks. I thank you for the passion you have brought to the job of leading our party, which is one of the reasons I have been a strong supporter of you during my tenure as Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. Some of the criticism directed at you has been deserved, some of it hasn’t, but no one could criticize you for lack of effort or enthusiasm. This is not about finding fault or assigning blame. That’s beside the point. The point is to deal with the reality of a situation that is becoming increasingly untenable. Without going into a lot of detail about the situation we find ourselves in, I offer my personal opinion that the best way for you to deal with the reality of the situation is to tender your resignation as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. I neither arrived at this conclusion lightly nor derive any pleasure from articulating it to you.
I think it’s important for you to understand this is not about you personally. Or me. It’s bigger than both of us. It’s about providing the kind of leadership that our party and country needs right now. More than ever, America needs the Republican Party to be a force for reform, transparency, and ethics in government. If we are going to be an effective agent for reform in America, we must first reform our party. Leadership requires nothing less, especially the kind of leadership that our country needs right now. Recent events, regardless of who is to blame, have made it difficult if not impossible for you to lead the party in the direction that it needs to go. Sometimes service requires personal sacrifice and leadership always requires putting the interest of the cause we serve ahead of our own.
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. It will best move forward under new leadership. I believe that we will have some measure of success this fall no matter what the RNC does or does not do. But in order to maximize our opportunities this year, we need a strong, effective RNC that has the full faith and confidence of the conservative activists, volunteers and our donors. I can attest that many grassroots leaders I’ve talked to in the last few weeks are very aware of the recurring drama that is playing out at the RNC – allegations of fiscal irresponsibility, management and questionable activities – and they are disgruntled and concerned that the RNC, under your direction, is setting a poor example of the kind of leadership voters can expect if Republicans are elected.
Again, this is not a personal indictment of you; rather it is a candid observation of where we are and where we need to go. As Republicans, we must pull together and restore our reputation as the party that stands for important things — and isn’t willing to compromise on those important things. I respectfully disagree with statements attributed to you and others that this is only about winning elections. It is not. It is about demonstrating that we have the ability to govern well when we win. We have a higher responsibility to our party and our fellow Americans than just winning elections. Among other things, that means we must set an example, a noble example, about what government should be about and about how it should go about the business of representing the best interests of all Americans. If, and only if, we do that well, the winning of elections will take care of itself and we will be confident and at peace in the outcome. I know that many share this view, but are fearful of repercussions if they speak out, and are worried about making matters worse with public in-fighting. It is my view that failing to make this change is the more dangerous course.
Please consider giving the Party you serve the ability to bind its wounds, restore our activists’ confidence and enhance the future of our nation.