12/02/2010 09:05 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

RNC Debt: Republican National Committee Facing Big Cash Problem

The RNC is reportedly facing more than $15 million in debt, a shortfall that will require it to delay payments for outside political services and almost certainly serve as a bad omen for Chairman Michael Steele, who is currently dealing with a number of prospective challengers for his position -- if he decides to seek another term.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday:

"We will not be able to pay off the vendors this week," wrote RNC Chief Administrative Officer Boyd Rutherford to Derek Flowers, a member of the RNC's political team, in an email obtained by the Fix. "We will be slow in paying as we are having a cashflow challenge. Everyone will be slow paid until after the first of the year."

Flowers shortly thereafter announced that he'd be resigning from his position, effective immediately.

The internal dispatch was released ahead of December's final FEC report, out Thursday, which looks to be sure to heap additional bad fiscal news on the RNC. While October's report showed the RNC with $4.5 million in debt, Politico reports that the latest filing will show the committee with more than $15 million in debt.

None of this stands to help Michael Steele, who was absent from an RNC debate Wednesday featuring some of his potential successors. Though Steele is already officially contending with strong opposition from former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis and former U.S. Ambassador Ann Wagner, the short list of likely candidates extends far beyond these first two names.

Among those is Gentry Collins, a top RNC aide who quit in November after blasting out a severe four-page memo highlighting the committee's fundraising failures, which he attributed to Michael Steele.

Also expected to join the race soon is Maria Cino, a former Bush official who was recently bolstered by news that Dick Cheney and other administration officials were organizing a high-profile fundraiser in order to channel money to her 527, which was created in part to bankroll a run for RNC chair.

Other names that have been floated include Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy, RGA executive director Nick Ayers and Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus.

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