[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/02/art.steele.gi.jpg caption="Michael Steele and the RNC have been beset by recent setbacks."]Washington (CNN) - A nearly $2,000 bar tab at a bondage-themed Hollywood night club has continued to cast a shadow on the Republican National Committee and has raised questions over the ability of its chairman, Michael Steele, to lead the party to victory in November 2010.
Conservatives started criticizing Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, after he blasted radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh last year and later apologized. Some of the party faithful are also critical for his spending. And some fear he's not positioning the GOP well enough to hammer vulnerable Democrats in mid-term elections this fall.
Republican strategist Mary Matalin, noting the recent club tab controversy's effect on the chairman, offered Steele advice, saying he "needs to take a step back and ... raise some money and do some turnout and get the job done."