Exclusive: Steele Releases GOP Tech Plan

Posted: Jan 21, 2009 9:07 PM
Exclusive: Steele Releases GOP Tech Plan

If President Obama’s election taught the GOP anything it’s this: Republicans must compete with Democrats in the online arena of social networking, fundraising and communication.

Improving the GOP’s technology capabilities has been a hot topic in the race for Republican National Committee Chairman and candidate Michael Steele gave Townhall an exclusive copy of the plan he’s pitching to RNC members to do just this.

“The Democrats are light years ahead of us,” Steele wrote in the 4-page memo which will be delivered to RNC members Thursday morning. “If we don’t act now, we may never have the chance to catch up.”

In it, he outlines a number of new hires and programs he’d oversee as chairman.

First off, Steele would hire a Chief Information Officer on a six month contract “just as private entities do,” as he wrote in the plan. He’d also create an e-campaign devoted to developing a stronger online presence for state parties and bring on more staff for blogger outreach. He’d bring together a Working Group to identify best practices to give to state and local party organizations as well.

Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer, who endorsed Steele for chair in early January after ruling out a bid of his own, praised the plan. Greer told Townhall that Steele “has been progressive in his thinking about technology. One of the things I think he’s done that’s been very good is that he’s listened to state leaders around the country about what we need for our state parties and grassroots.”

“Most importantly, I think he’s taken a look at if from the standpoint of a user, not the distributor,” Greer said.

Greer, and the rest of the RNC’s 167 members, will be holding the election for RNC chair later this month at the party’s Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The other men running for the RNC Chairman are Michigan GOP Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, South Carolina GOP Party Chairman Katon Dawson, current RNC Chairman Robert “Mike” Duncan and Mike Huckabee’s presidential Campaign Manager Chip Saltsman.