I always thought RNC Chairman Michael Steele was a fuddy-duddy. Apparently I’ve misjudged him.
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.
I’m sure there’s a simple explanation; he just stopped in to get directions to Pastor Rick Warren’s church and use the bathroom.
Steve Benen has an update: “The RNC now claims that a ‘non-committee staffer,’ not Steele, spent the money at Voyeur West Hollywood. The RNC chairman, the party insists, was ‘never at the location in question.'”
It probably goes without saying, but I’m all for everyone letting her or his freak flag fly high and proud. I’m just not sure that said flag-waving needs to happen on the RNC’s dime — but we’ll see. Maybe the Republican donors are more open-minded than I am.
Update via Steve M: The “non-committee staffer” is “Erik Brown of Orange, Calif., who has donated about $10,000 to GOP candidates and is listed in public records as the CEO of Dynamic Marketing Inc., with offices in California and Washington.”
And wouldn’t you know it, he’s a real upstanding member of his community. “Erik is married to Alison Brown, a graduate of Chapman University and an MBA student at UCI’s Merage School of business…. A former director of the Sunday school, Alison and Erik reside in Las Flores, California and are actively involved in the ministries of their local church.”
I’m glad to see the RNC reaching out to the LGBT community in such an active way.
HT to digby and Melissa.