New Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus has wasted little time in shaking up his staff.
Following Priebus' victory on Jan. 14 — when he defeated four other candidates, including incumbent Michael Steele — the former Wisconsin RNC leader announced several personnel changes over the weekend. He fired the convention liaison and members of the Committee on Arrangements, which is the panel responsible for planning the Republican National Convention.
In a written statement, Priebus justified the recent moves by saying that his team is "committed to holding a world-class 2012 Republican National Convention that will be worthy of the next President of the United States." The convention liaison, Belinda Cook, was hired by Steele, who has been criticized for his inadequate fundraising efforts as the RNC accrued more than $20 million in debt.
Priebus was elected after seven rounds of voting last week, with Steele conceding after four rounds. According to the National Journal, Steele dropped his bid after being offered a lucrative deal by Maria Cino's camp. Cino, a former George W. Bush administration official, finished third in the race.
Committee insiders claimed that Steele agreed to support Cino after being offered a salary that would have exceeded the RNC chairman's pay, which is $224,500 per year. Sources could not confirm whether the deal included any guarantees for future employment for Steele, according to the news provider.