WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee is seeking repayment of $1,946 spent by a party donor and vendor at a sex-themed Hollywood club that features topless dancers and bondage outfits.
The disclosure was included in a monthly financial report showing that the RNC spent tens of thousands of dollars in February on private planes, car services and high-end hotels.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele, whose spending decisions have angered some donors in this midterm election year, had nothing to do with the unsanctioned event at the Voyeur West Hollywood, said committee spokesman Doug Heye.
Heye said the RNC will be reimbursed by Erik Brown of Orange, Calif., the donor-vendor who billed the committee for $1,946 for meals at the Hollywood club on Feb. 4.
“It was not an RNC event,” Heye said. It was neither sanctioned nor authorized by the party and was inappropriate, he said.
The expenditure was first reported by the Daily Caller.
Since November, the RNC has paid Brown’s company, Dynamic Marketing Inc., about $19,000 for printing and direct-mail services, campaign spending reports show. He has contributed several thousand dollars to the party.
The most recent financial disclosure report said the RNC spent more than $17,000 for private planes in February and nearly $13,000 for car services. Heye said such services are used only when needed.
Some Republican officials and donors have complained about Steele’s spending decisions. He held this year’s four-day winter meeting at a beachfront hotel in Hawaii, although it often takes place in Washington.
Steele also has received substantial fees for making speeches, even though the RNC pays him a full-time salary. Some donors grumbled when he spent more than $18,000 to redecorate his office.
Steele’s supporters say he has brought a refreshing frankness and energy to the party’s leadership.