Discuss as:

Priebus makes his move

Over the weekend, newly installed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus fired former chairman Michael Steele’s Tampa convention liaison.

"We are committed to holding a world-class 2012 Republican National Convention that will be worthy of the next President of the United States,” Priebus said in a statement. “There are some changes that need to be made to ensure a successful convention. Those changes start today. I have discontinued the employment of the convention liaison and the employees of the Committee on Arrangements, effective immediately. I look forward to bringing on top-notch staff and planning a convention that all Republicans, especially our 2012 Presidential nominee, can be proud of."

The liaison was Belinda Cook, a former Steele assistant. She was making $15,000 a month with a $25K bonus, according to The Washington Post. Calculating that out over 12 months, equates to a yearly salary of $205,000. That’s just $20,000 less than the chairman of the RNC makes.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The move is likely aimed as a first step to restore the faith of the committee’s major donors. Priebus is going to need them to open up their wallets for the 2012 cycle. He’s facing a debt of $21 million. He has pledged to raise $400 million over the next two years.

Steele’s six-figure deal
Unlike the 2009 RNC election, Friday’s election was mostly without drama, except for one moment: Steele’s bowing out. Most didn’t see it coming just then. Observers knew that Steele was angling for a deal, and he was seen coming out of rooms Friday between votes with other candidates.

But Hotline’s Reid Wilson has a little more on what Steele may have gotten in return for his endorsement:

“That endorsement came at a cost, according to committee insiders. As candidates jockeyed for position, Steele sat down with aides to both Cino and former RNC co-chairman Ann Wagner in search of a deal. Eventually, Cino allies offered Steele a deal that would have been more lucrative than the chairman's salary, the sources said. The RNC chairman makes $224,500 a year. Whether the deal included guarantees of contracts or of future employment was not immediately clear to sources who spoke with The Hotline.”

We’ll see where he winds up.