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RNC Ends 2010 With $23 Million In Debt

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

toggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Republican National Committee finished 2010 with $23 million in debt. Reince Priebus, the new chairman, says he's "focused like a laser" on rebuilding the GOP's national organization.

Priebus, who took the reins of the RNC less than a month ago is trying to get out ahead of the bad news.

Even before the committee released its year-end finance report Monday, Priebus announced the $23 million in red ink.

The debt is 50 percent higher than the committee's last report from mid-November.

The man Priebus ousted as chairman, Michael Steele, had spent much of his two-year term denying that the RNC was financial trouble.

Priebus now says the committee relied too much on high-cost, low-return direct mail.

He says the staff has been cut by one third. And big donor giving has started to come back from 10-year lows.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported:

The Democratic National Committee was about $15 million in debt in early December. The DNC's latest financial report was not available late Monday.

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