RNC chief fires 2012 convention staff

The newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee began his two-year reign by dismissing the staff involved in planning for the 2012 GOP convention.

"I have discontinued the employment of the convention liaison and the employees of the Committee on Arrangements, effective immediately," Reince Priebus said in a statement Sunday. "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.”

Tampa has been selected to host the GOP's 2012 convention, but there was grumbling from committee members about the cost of the selection and planning process. It reportedly cost 18 times what had been spent in previous years.

Priebus's move comes as many of the RNC's staff have begun leaving for other posts. Its two top press aides, Doug Heye and Katie Wright, worked their last days during the winter meeting. The challenge for the new chairman will be to assemble a top fundraising and communications staff during a presidential cycle, when campaigns will also be competing for talent.