New Houston chairman trying to keep the party out of bankruptcy
Even as Texas Republicans anticipate soul-stirring victories across the state this fall, their party faces the baleful prospect of immediate bankruptcy.
Steve Munisteri, the retired Houston lawyer who was elected chairman at the party's state convention in Dallas last weekend, knew it was bad. Party finances were a major issue in his campaign to unseat Cathie Adams, the longtime conservative activist who had taken over as party chairwoman just eight months ago. What he didn't realize, he said, is that he would be working 18-hour days his first week in office — and for the immediate future - just to keep the lights on.
"Although nothing really surprised me, it's much worse than was portrayed," he said by phone on Friday.
According to the latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, the party had $264,863 cash on hand and $501,174 in debt. Munisteri said the party actually owed $605,835. The Republican National Committee recently paid a bill worth $134,000, he said; otherwise, the RPT would owe $739,000.
"I have both a big debt, and we're losing money every month," he said.