It seems the folks at the Republican National Committee aren’t as fiscally conservative with their money as they say they’d be with taxpayers’ money, according to a report from The Washington Post’s 44 blog. According to newly filed financial disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, the RNC has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on expensive meals, limousines, and hotel accommodations, including nearly $2,000 that was spent for meal expenses at Voyeur West Hollywood, a lesbian-themed California nightclub that features topless dancers wearing horse-bits and other bondage gear. The club includes “impromptu bondage and S&M ‘scenes’ being played out on an elevated platform by scantily clad performers,” and its opening night included one woman “with a horse’s bit in her mouth…strapped to the wall by another,” according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. After the $2,000 spent at Voyeur West Hollywood was made public, the RNC announced it was investigating the disbursement, which was made to Erik Brown, a high-dollar Republican Party contributor. A spokesman for the RNC was quick to note Brown was not on the RNC’s staff and that the expenses at Voyeur were not related to an official RNC event, and that an investigation into the disbursement has been initiated.
Here’s some of the more noteworthy expenses from the RNC’s financial disclosure reports:
- $2,000 at Voyeur West Hollywood
- More than $17,000 on private jet travel in February
- Nearly $13,000 for limousines and car services
- $9,000 at the posh Beverly Hills Hotel
- $6,600 at the equally posh Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons
- $15,000 at the W Hotel in Washington
- $43,000 for the GOP’s midwinter meeting in sunny Hawaii, a number that does not include airfare
Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC, has previously come under fire for his alleged mismanagement of the RNC’s finances, and it’s worth noting that while the RNC had more than $22 million on hand when Steele was chosen as RNC chair last year, the RNC’s cash on hand is down to under $10 million now, despite the RNC raising $96 million during that same time period.