April 5th, 2010
06:11 PM ET
5 years ago

RNC's top aide resigns

Top RNC aide Ken McKay resigned on Monday.
Top RNC aide Ken McKay resigned on Monday.

Washington (CNN) – The Republican National Committee's chief of staff has resigned, an RNC spokesman said Monday.

Ken McKay's departure follows a spate of high-profile complaints about the party's fund-raising operations and spending. In an e-mail sent to RNC members and obtained by CNN, party Chairman Michael Steele said he accepted McKay's resignation to reassure "hard-working patriots" who donate to the party.

"Leadership requires that any distractions from our most serious mission be addressed immediately and decisively," he wrote. "Leadership requires that I can safely assure you, our donors, and the American people that our mission is what drives every dollar we spend, every phone call we make, every email we send and every event we organize. Recent events have called that assurance into question, and the buck stops with me. That is why I have made this change in my management team and why I am confident about going forward to November with
renewed focus and energy."

McKay will be replaced by Mike Leavitt, who is the RNC's deputy chief of staff for external communications, RNC spokesman Doug Heye told CNN.

But soon after the announcement, one of Steele's allies announced that he was cutting ties with the RNC. Curt Anderson, who helped engineer Steele's victory as chairman, said in an e-mail that his political strategy firm was stepping aside.

"Ken McKay's departure is a huge loss for the Republican Party. Ken steered the party through very successful elections last fall that have given us tremendous momentum," Anderson wrote. "He's a great talent. Given our firm's commitments to campaigns all over the country, we have concluded it is best for us to step away from our advisory role at the RNC."

Anderson added, "We have high personal regard for the chairman and always have. We wish him well."


Filed under: Michael Steele • RNC
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Lucretia

    The RNC is floundering like an Al Gore presidential campaign. I wouldn't send them a dime. To fall by disorganization is the biggest sin in politics.

    April 5, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Larry

    If I were Steele I'd resign and leave the country.

    April 5, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Clint, Wa.

    And another one bites the dust.

    April 5, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. vet in tx

    "it's so hard, to say good bye to yesterday!

    Steele is next, he'll go across the country with a tell all book, then he'll become an independant. Michael, were they laughing with you or at you when you were tap dancing, and hip-hoppin' with the lingo? Are they laughing at you or with you now?

    Never sell your soul for anyone America, use your mind at all times because the "lost cause III" is next!

    April 5, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Sam

    I feel sorry for you Ken. Too bad you, when all else fails, do not have the luxury to play the race card like Steele did this morning when he said that he has 'slimmer margin' for error since he is black. Glad our president has enough dignity to not make that excuse.

    April 5, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. educated and proud of it

    The whole Reblican Party should be dubbed The Titanic. Everyone is jumping ship, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. Michael Steele is a joke. He says he gets slammed because of his skin color. Are you kidding me? He gets slammed because he opens his mouth.

    April 5, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. jackson

    This doesn't appear to me to be the signs of a party that thinks it is going to take back control of congress.

    April 5, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. jules sand-perkins

    Michael Steele himself needs to resign for the good of the RNC.
    As a Republican, I urge him to do so.

    April 5, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Betty

    Maybe rats fleeing a sinking ship?

    April 5, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Abandon Ship

    He sees the writing on the wall and translates it properly. And it reads "Heads Will Roll. Save Your Own"

    April 5, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Donnatella

    I am loving this, first the token tries to play the race card, hey Michael I thought you were above that, then have the nerve to put the president in it, please you were find when the tea baggers and Rush were slamming him but now you are trying to put him on your level, I don't think so. He would never sell his soul like you did, and he would never play the race card.

    April 5, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Sounds to me like mckay is a scape goat to save the big shots who are screwing the gop

    April 5, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. sanitycheck

    What do you mean it's unclear why he's resigning? The RNC is going out of business soon. McKay doesn't want to drown on a sinking ship full of old, wrinkly elephants.

    April 5, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. anonymous

    Michael Steel is gunna kill the rnc.

    April 5, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. I am Newt Limebaugh

    Ken's budget was cut off from going to strip clubs and tea parties.............and his membership to Newt's loonies was cancelled.

    The RNC is so irrelevant the guy is bound to be looking for a steady job....not this cartoon show

    April 5, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Michael Steele is next to either resign or be fired. Steele served one purpose to the RNC and everybody recognized it but Steele. Steele now is attempting to play a race card which he so often criticized others in so doing. Don't try going there Steele because you won't find any support coming your way.

    April 5, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. REALLY!

    Steele should resign!

    April 5, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. baltuz

    This Ken McKay resignation is probably just a reaction in the face of inaction by the RNC over all of this Michael Steele hubbub... Funny, how the Conservative Party and ALL of their Radio Pundits can use words like Junta, Regime, and illegitimate to describe an overwhelmingly popularly democratically elected President to describe the current President and his Administration, but continue to give an ineffectual Money Raiser for the Party, A PASS.

    April 5, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Who in their right mind would want to be associated with the Republican party? Their leaders lie with a straight face, their whole platform only rewards greed and power. All they can do is try and trick people into voting for them. They have crazy people running around with tea bags on their heads and they want you to think that they speak for middle class America. It's all a show! WAKE UP AMERICA!

    April 5, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. RCasson

    And the walls keep crumbling...

    April 5, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. hongli

    Michael Steele will be "THE NEXT ONE" to be FiRED or will leave after being told to leave by people like Rush Limbaugh and FOX NEWS.

    April 5, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  22. Eli

    Oh well, who really cares? I just want the RNC to stop hijacking the tea parties and Sarah Palin to go away! Sarah Palin and the RNC wanted nothing to do with us when Ron Paul started the movement! Go away neocons.

    April 5, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Robert Warner

    And these clowns expect americans to trust them to run our country? They can't even run their own party. Ya' gotta love it when elephants trample each other while running blindly in cicles.

    April 5, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    Rats leaving a sinking ship ...

    April 5, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. jbakaregit

    And the GOP thinks they'll gain seats in November just b/c conventional wisdom says so?

    It just goes to show that they talk a good game about fiscal responsibility, but only say that when they don't control the national purse. Now it is clear they can't handle a couple of grand of their own organization.

    Vote Democrat or Independent come November.

    April 5, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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