Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.
Umm, what ?
Unless I’m missing something, this is a story.
Update: Melissa Clouthier posts this:
Someone with knowledge of the RNC meeting with Jonathan Strong responded:
“We are investigating the expenditure in question. The story willfully and erroneously suggests that the expenditure in question was one belonging to the Chairman. This was a reimbursement made to a non-committee staffer. The Chairman was never at the location in question, he had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable. Good reporting would make that distinction crystal clear. The committee has requested that the monies be returned to the committee and that the story be corrected so that it is accurate.”
In addition, the source vehemently denies many of the elements included in the story
Of course, even if that’s true, it still leads to the question of why the GOP would consider anyone’s visit to a “gentleman’s” club to be an expense it should be paying, or why Steele ran up $ 15,000 in hotel bills.
Update # 2: Apparently this is a bipartisan thing. Dan Riehl reports that the DNC reported dropping $ 10,000 at a risque D.C. nightclub,
Look, I’m a libertarian, I really don’t care if people want to go to places like this, but is it really an appropriate use of RNC, or DNC, donor dollars ? That’s your call, I guess, but chalk this up as one of the many reasons I do not stroke checks to political parties.
Update # 3: The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson responds to the RNC response:
The complaints from the RNC about this morning’s Daily Caller article, “High Flyer: RNC Chairman Steele suggested buying private jet with RNC funds,” while loud, lack substance. Despite claims to the contrary, no one from the committee has ever explained the specific circumstances of any of the expenses listed in its most recent disclosure filings.
Our questions remain: Why did the committee spend more than $17,000 on private jets in the month of February? How and why was RNC business conducted in a bondage-themed nightclub, and how and why were the nearly $2,000 in charges that resulted approved by RNC staff?
To be clear: We did not claim that Michael Steele personally visited Voyeur West Hollywood. In fact, and unfortunately, we still know almost nothing about that trip, including its purpose. If the RNC provides details, we’ll put them on the site immediately.
More to come, I’m sure.