RNC drops $1,946 at risque night club but says Steele wasn’t the big spender
Politics and money can lead to some naughty things. Take RNC Chairman Michael Steele, for example. He was forced to deny a claim that he spent megabucks at a risque West Hollywood night club last month. The only trouble is that even if he didn’t, the Republican National Committee did.
Official documents show the RNC forked over $1,946 for meals at Voyeur, a high-end nightclub in West Hollywood where guests can enjoy drinks, cucumber tea sandwiches and live female performances that will “titillate the senses while still remaining classy and tasteful.”
RNC disclosure documents on file with the Federal Election Commission include the Voyeur expense in a monthly report that also shows the committee spending $9,099 at the Beverly Hills Hotel and $6,596 at the nearby Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire.
The Daily Caller, a Web site co-founded by conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, says those giant and controversial expenditures were incurred during Steele’s travel in California. It alleges that the spending is part of the RNC chairman’s lavish style and adds that the committee also spent $17,514 on private aircraft and $12,691 on limousines during February.
The Democratic National Committee was positively giddy about the report, gleefully describing its political rival as the “Risque National Committee” in media releases.
But the RNC had some accusations (and denials) of its own, saying the Daily Caller had “willfully and erroneously” tied the Voyeur expense to Steele. ”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,” said a statement attributed to RNC spokesman Doug Heye.
Meanwhile, memos that were supposed to accompany the FEC disclosure filing might have shed light on how so much money got spent at Voyeur and at those two ritzy hotels.
But spaces reserved for the explanatory notes were left blank, prompting an internal FEC search to see if any written explanations appeared elsewhere.
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Photo Credit: Reuters/Molly Riley (Michael Steele)