Michael S. Steele, Republican National Committee chairman, is using his title to market himself for paid appearances nationwide, personally profiting from speeches with fees of up to $20,000, an unusual practice criticized by a string of past party chairmen. Mr. Steele, who vigorously campaigned for the $223,500-a-year RNC post, is working with at least four agencies to book speaking engagements. He charges between $8,000 and $20,000 for an address, plus first-class travel and lodging expenses.
"Holy mackerel, I never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., RNC chairman under President Reagan. "[B]eing national chairman was and is a full-time job," Mr. Fahrenkopf said. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson, who served in that position from 1997 to 2000 and was President George W. Bush's Veterans Affairs secretary from 2005 to 2007, said the job "demands so much of your time that you can work 24/7 and not get everything done, so taking time out to speak for the benefit of one's own bank account is not appropriate."
It's OK though, because Jeezus wants him to do it.