By PAUL BUNNY The Financial PostThe Republican National Committee has lost the support of its own leaders, including Paul Bunya, a prominent conservative media figure, as the party struggles to make headway in national elections.
Bunyan, who has been a vocal critic of the Republican Party since it won control of Congress in 2011, announced his resignation from the party Wednesday morning, after spending four years as chairman of the committee.
He told The Associated Press that he plans to launch a new political group, The Bunyan Group, which will focus on issues including public financing, corporate taxes, health care and climate change.
Bunin is one of the party’s most outspoken critics, having written in recent years that the Republican National Committeemen’s Association is a “toxic” organization that has been “dominated by career politicians who don’t know how to talk to the people and how to communicate with them.”
Bunya has also been critical of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the GOP’s approach to the economy, calling it “job-killing” and saying it was the party that led the country into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
In recent weeks, he has expressed frustration over the fact that he has been excluded from a group of prominent Republican leaders who have endorsed Romney, and he criticized the party for not addressing climate change at its convention last week.
In an interview with the AP Wednesday, Bunyan said he believes his departure will have a major impact on how the RNC views its future.
“The RNC needs to be more focused on policy,” he said.
“If the party is going to make strides toward a more diverse future, I believe that we need to look beyond the party leaders who are leading the party.”
Bunin said he has decided to focus his efforts on the issue of corporate tax reform and his group will try to work with other members of the RNC on the matter.
He said he will be a member of the board of the new group, which is expected to be announced by the end of the year.
Bunny, who is known as a strong advocate for small business, said he thinks it’s unlikely the RNC will be able to overcome the economic challenges facing the party and said he is excited to be working with Bunyan on this issue.
“He has a tremendous ability to be a real voice of the American people,” Bunny said.BUNNY, who founded the conservative website Bunyan Media in 2010 and is also a contributor to the AP, said in an interview that the party has lost confidence in its leadership.
He added that he believes the GOP needs to look to the grassroots for leadership, not to its leadership by a few elite donors.
“It’s a problem,” Bunyan told the AP.
“I think the party needs to do a lot more than just focus on its own interests and say, ‘Let’s just win.'”
Buny said he hopes the RNC can do better in the future, but said that in order to get there, the party must do a better job of reaching out to grassroots activists.
“There are more than enough of them,” he told the Associated Press.
“They need to be brought in.”
The RNC has not commented on Bunyan’s resignation.