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Posted by on Mar 29, 2010 in Politics | 7 comments

Furor Over RNC Funds Spent In Bondage Club

A new political furor is whipping around the new and old media today: just why were RNC funds used at a bondage themed club? And there are two undercurrents to the story:

UNDERCURRENT ONE among GOPers: Oh, NO! Not another story somehow linked to RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

UNDERCURRENT TWO among the media: It’s another fun story involving Steele — the gift to us that keeps on giving!

Want to take bets now how long Steele will last after the mid-term elections?

The catalyst is an authentic, good, old fashioned journalist “scoop” done by an Internet website, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller about the big bucks Steele is allegedly spending. Here is part of it:

According to two knowledgeable sources, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel.

“I know that … regular ongoing use of planes was something that was looked at,” says one person with direct knowledge. “I can’t speak to how serious those inquiries were.” Both sources say Steele considered purchasing a plane outright, or buying fractional ownership in one, through a company such as NetJets.

Steele’s spokesman, Doug Heye, did not deny that such discussions took place, responding that the RNC never had a “plan” to buy a plane. “I don’t know what somebody might have discussed or might not have discussed.”

While Steele has not purchased a plane, he continues to charter them. According to federal disclosure records, the RNC spent $17,514 on private aircraft in the month of February alone (as well as $12,691 on limousines during the same period). There are no readily identifiable private plane expenses for Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine in the DNC’s last three months of filings.

The RNC explains that Steele charters jets only when commercial service is unavailable, or when his tight schedule requires it. “Anytime the chairman has taken any private travel has been a either to a route that doesn’t exist or because of connections and multiple travel to where he just wasn’t able to do so,” Heye said. Yet Steele’s office repeatedly refused to explain in specific terms the circumstances of the February charter flights.

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.

Two questions then arise: (1) Is Steele now in danger of being ousted, and, (2)is it confirmed Steele himself was involved.

The
Politico’s Jonathan Martin writes:

It has almost become routine now: There is some controversy surrounding Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, Republican professionals are embarrassed, some of them gripe about the latest episode and then they move on — until it happens again.

This is not to discount the latest revelations of a consultant’s apparent night out at party expense at a not-so-family-friendly West Hollywood nightclub. It was a nice scoop by The Daily Caller.

But like the many other reports involving Steele that make GOP operatives cringe, this one isn’t likely to change these political facts of life: He is the party chairman through January of next year and will be so until either a) he resigns or b) he’s forced out by a two-thirds vote of the national committee.

Neither is likely to happen, barring further shoes a-droppin’.

The RNC reportedly has strongly denied Steele was involved and says it’s looking into the report — causing Tucker Carlson himself to write:

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.

So what kind of business could the RNC conduct in a bondage club (if this report is proven to be accurate)?

We’ll offer our own “scoop” here with these likely possibilities of why RNC business could be conducted in a bondage themed club and what could justify spending money there:

1. Party officials wanted to hit donors hard.
2. Party officials wanted to share a few gags.
3. Barack Obama gave a friend money to pick up some duct tape for his next event with Joe Biden.
4. Senior RNC officials wanted to show other staffers the ropes.
5. They wanted the GOP stop being known as “the party of ‘no'” and be known instead as “the party of ‘no more’.”

For more emerging details on this story, tune to your TV’s “R” rated cable channel.

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Copyright 2010 The Moderate Voice
  • shannonlee

    Maybe Rep leadership is looking for a quick way to dump Steele? A little info leak here and there…and poof you are gone.

  • The_Ohioan

    Let’s see. Why “RNC business could be conducted in a bondage themed club and what could justify spending money there”?

    It seems to be cheaper than the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Four Seasons restaurant. You know how our Republicans are about spending money. I’d say it was a manly attempt at good stewardship of party funds.

  • And liberals claim the GoP doesn’t have a stimulus package.

    Bah bum bah!

  • TerryOtt

    Bondage: “a state of being greatly constrained by circumstances or obligations”.

    I’m puzzled why anyone would have to seek out a “bondage club”. Those of us who pay taxes are subject to federal regulations, and are being led down the path, kicking and screaming, by government ropes attached to the rings in our noses … we know from bondage already. No need to go clubbing.

  • rudi

    Why “RNC business could be conducted in a bondage themed club and what could justify spending money there”?

    Answer – To improve enhanced interrogation techniques from a bondage queen…

  • StockBoySF

    The GOP did make torture vogue, so perhaps this is what they think a normal relationship is like.

    And they expect the American people to trust them with taxpayers’ money? Ha!!

    Personally I don’t care what the RNC does with its own funds, just keep them all out of the pursestrings of America.

  • DLS

    That’s why I’m still non-partisan. Why wasn’t I invited? Don’t they know how to recruit, rather than keeping the good stuff to themselves? Won’t they ever learn?

    [grin]

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