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RNC Fires Staffer Over “Lesbian Bondage Gate”

by @ 6:50 am on March 30, 2010. Filed under General

Late yesterday, the Republican National Committee fired the staffer responsible for making the reimbursement request for a party at a Hollywood nightclub:

A Republican National Committee staffer who accompanied a group of young donors to a bondage-themed West Hollywood club and then expensed the nearly $2,000 tab has been fired by the committee, POLITICO has learned.

RNC Chief of Staff Ken McKay announced the firing in an internal committee email obtained by POLITICO.

“This was not an RNC sanctioned event and was not associated in any way with any RNC official event,” McKay wrote of the February outing to Voyeur, a West Hollywood club modeled after the risqué Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman movie “Eyes Wide Shut.”

(…)

McKay wrote that the fired staffer, who is not named in the email, “was aware that this activity was not eligible for reimbursement and had been previously counseled on this very subject. Accordingly, that staff person has been terminated.”

McKay also wrote that the donor who was reimbursed for footing the bill at Voyeur, Erik Brown, “has verbally agreed to repay the funds to the RNC.”

The Daily Caller, meanwhile, reported last night that the charge was related to a “afterparty” for young RNC donors, and there are signs that Republican insiders aren’t happy about this at all:

Top donors and committee members for the Republican National Committee expressed outrage on Monday over the nearly $2,000 the committee spent on “meals” at a bondage-themed club in West Hollywood.

The $1,946.25 – first reported in a story by the Daily Caller – was approved by the RNC from an expense filed by Orange County GOP consultant Erik Brown during a committee fundraising trip to Southern California

The RNC said Monday that Brown, who did not answer many phone calls and e-mails, is returning the expenditure. But for committee players who spoke to POLITICO, the expense is the latest example of what they see as a careless attitude Michael Steele has taken in spending RNC funds during his chairmanship.

“This incident does not help the RNC leadership dispel the charge that they are nothing but duplicitous high rollers and big spenders at a time when we should have the president and his collectivist friends on the ropes we find our leadership on the defensive. That’s a bad deal,” said former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who Steele beat in his campaign for RNC chair.

“The RNC cannot attack Democrats for how the government spends taxpayer money when it is spending Republican donor money recklessly. Recent RNC spending stories suggest a tone-deafness at best and a misappropriation of funds at worst,” added Mike DeMoss, a longtime RNC donor who served as a liaison to Evangelical community for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.’

I don’t think it will happen anytime soon, but count this as another nail in Michael Steele’s coffin.

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