Steele: 'Put up or shut up' on allegations

Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), said Sunday that outside spending by GOP-leaning groups funded by secret donors is within the law.

Appearing on NBC’s "Meet The Press," Steele defended the groups and said he has seen no evidence that anything illegal is happening as millions of dollars have poured into House and Senate races in outside campaign spending.

“Everyone is complying with the law,” Steele said. The law does allow donors to give anonymously to nonprofit groups.

Democrats, from President Obama on down, have focused on the increased election-year spending and have alleged foreign money has found its way into U.S. campaigns, attacking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in particular. Steele said Democrats need to “put up or shut up” by sharing evidence of alleged political wrongdoing by outside groups to support their charges.

Asked if he sees evidence of a problem with the extensive outside spending, Steele said he didn’t.

“I don’t know that it is, so far. I mean, I haven’t seen any evidence that it is. Why are you saying it is a problem?” Steele said.

But the RNC chairman said he has been supportive of efforts to make campaign spending more transparent.

“I’m all for transparency,” Steele said. “It instills the trust that people have in the system.”

And the RNC chairman said if voters are so upset by current campaign-finance law, then lawmakers should step in and go about changing the law.

“The law is what the law is right now. And if people are that bothered about it, then the Congress needs to change it,” Steele said.

Democrats jumped on that remark by Steele. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sent out a statement saying Steele should call Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and ask him why he blocked the Democrats’ Disclose Act this Congress, which would have required these groups to disclose their donors.

“Instead of just commenting on Sunday morning talk shows on the need for more transparency, Michael Steele should tell his Senate Minority Leader to stop carrying the water of his big business allies and stop using procedural tactics to block what a majority of Senators and Americans favor: campaign reform that requires those funding political attack ads to reveal themselves,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.