RNC veterans alarmed at amount spent so far on 2012 convention

At a time when Steele and the RNC have come under fire for what critics call financial mismanagement, the convention spending has raised additional questions about oversight and financial controls inside the committee.

“I can’t imagine what you’d spend $636,000 on at this point,” said David Norcross, a former national committeeman from New Jersey. Norcross chaired the RNC’s Committee on Arrangements, which oversees national conventions, in 2004. “Is it possible that it’s early spending that would have to take place anyway? It’s possible but I can’t imagine what it would be.”…

Heye said one reason for early spending was a decision by the RNC, based on recommendations from previous convention managers, to accelerate the process of picking a convention city and making arrangements. The RNC named Tampa as the host city earlier this year.

Heye said this has given Republicans the opportunity to make key decisions, like locking down hotel space, far ahead of schedule. “The convention is months ahead of where it typically was… We’ve made all arrangements for hotels,” he said. “The Democrats haven’t selected what city they will be in yet.”