Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) – An influential group of GOP officials called on the Republican National Committee Wednesday to open an investigation into the leaking of internal documents and sensitive information to the media - a major source of distraction for the party in this critical election year.
In one of their first orders of business at the opening of the RNC's Summer Meeting taking place here in Kansas City, Republican state party chairs approved a resolution urging the RNC executive committee to launch an investigation into the leaks.
"It is a unanimous move to strike against the repeated and consistent leaking in regards to committee finances," said a committee source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the vote occurred in a private meeting.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele's tenure at the committee can be described as rocky at best. It has been marred by embarrassing personal missteps, questions about his fundraising ability and poor decisions by staffers. But Republicans have won some major races in the past 18 months including the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia as well as the Massachusetts Senate seat held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
While a scandal involving a risqué Hollywood nightclub made major headlines earlier this year, it is concern about Steele's lack of focus on committee finances that has caused the most heartburn for RNC members and GOP strategists heading into the midterm elections.
In recent weeks, RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen specifically has questioned the reporting of the RNC's debt in memos distributed to fellow committee members – information which was then reported in the media.
Another GOP source in the room of party chairs Wednesday said that Steele addressed the gathering and decried what he called the leaking of "proprietary financial information" to the media.
"It's unfortunate that this is being played out in the press," said the source, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. "The press that is not on our side."
In addition to meetings to discuss political strategy for the 2010 midterm elections and other party business, the RNC will formally announce that Tampa has been chosen as the host city for 2012 Republican National Convention.