The RNC’s least favorite reporter

Aug 6th, 2010 | By politicsnews | Category: Politics

The Republican National Committee, embroiled in an internal squabble over the leadership of Chairman Michael Steele, is leaking like a sieve.


In an indication of just how bad it’s gotten, CNN reported — via a leak, naturally — that one of the first orders of business at the RNC summer meeting in Kansas City on Wednesday was a resolution by the Republican state party chairs urging the RNC executive committee to launch an investigation into the leaks.



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“It is a unanimous move to strike against the repeated consistent leaking in regards to committee finances,” said a committee source, speaking anonymously to CNN’s Mark Preston and Peter Hamby.


While there have been a series of leaks to several different outlets, including POLITICO, anyone following the RNC’s internal knife fight knew these words were aimed at the reporting of one man: The Washington Times’ veteran political writer, Ralph Z. Hallow, who has broken a steadier stream of stories about the RNC than anyone else.


Hallow, who has covered the RNC for The Washington Times for decades, has forged an entire beat out of the infighting of the RNC, which is divided between the supporters of Steele and critics of his spending and leadership style. That latter, which includes many major GOP donors, has been feeding Hallow internal documents damaging to Steele almost since the moment Steele was elected in the spring of last year.


Those leaks culminated in a particularly damaging story by Hallow on July 20th, based on a leaked memo by RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen accusing Steele of trying to hide $7 million in debt from the Federal Election Commission in an attempt to make the RNC books look healthier than they actually were.


As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported in a segment about The Washington Times’ reporting on Steele shortly afterward – which didn’t mention Hallow by name – “If you want to know how badly the Republican establishment wants Michael Steele to go away, take a look at The Washington Times, where you will find that reporting dirt on Michael Steele has become a beat all its own.”


Steele supporters believe that Hallow is too close to his sources to be objective, and charge that he overlooked stories about Pullen’s own debt-hiding controversies — published in the Huffington Post and the local press in Arizona, where Pullen is state party chairman.

But Hallow’s editor, Sam Dealey, said the paper had another investigative reporter look into those charges against Pullen and found them to be without merit.


Other reporters on the RNC beat say Hallow cuts a familiar, if someone mysterious, figure at RNC events, where the he is as likely to be hobnobbing with RNC members as in the press pen with his fellow scribes.

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