March 29th, 2010
07:58 PM ET
13 years ago

California Republican returning RNC money after racy club visit

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="RNC chairman Michael Steele said Monday it was unacceptable for the party to pay for a night out at racy Los Angeles nightclub."]Washington (CNN) - A California-based political consultant who charged the Republican National Committee nearly $2,000 for a night out at Voyeur - a risque West Hollywood nightclub now at center of the latest controversy surrounding RNC chairman Michael Steele - will return the money to the party, a committee spokesman told CNN Monday.

Erik Brown, president of the Orange County-based Dynamic Marketing, Inc., was re-imbursed in February for $1,946.25 worth of charges at the nightclub, according to the RNC's latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.

It's not clear why the RNC re-imbursed Brown for the charges or who else was with him at the club. A spokesman for the RNC said Steele was not at the club when the charges were made.

The RNC said Brown is returning the money in question to the RNC. "The committee has received a commitment that the money will be returned," the spokesman told CNN.

Earlier Monday, after questions arose about why the party would spend precious donor funds at a trendy Hollywood nightclub that features topless dancers simulating sex acts, a committee spokesman said the charges were being "investigated" and that the reimbursement was "made to a non-committee staffer."

Brown's firm, which also has an office in Washington, D.C., has done direct mail and consulting work for GOP candidates in California including Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, now a candidate for Senate, and Steve Poizner, the state Insurance Commissioner now running for governor.

Brown did not respond to phone calls or e-mails seeking comment, but he has spent time with Steele in the past. In October, Brown tweeted: "Enjoying the football game with RNC Chairman Michael Steele. (Eagles vs Redskins at FedEx Field)."

Brown closed his Twitter account on Monday after the nightclub story broke.

- CNN's David DeSola contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • California • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Mark

    Was Bill Clinton with him??

    March 29, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Griff

    And these people accuse DEMOCRATS of wasteful spending?

    March 29, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Jimbo

    Another "coup" for the party of ethics and morals...

    March 29, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Moderate

    It's about time the self righious tone of the RNC and Mike Steele takes a few months off. Face it, you talk about values and exhibit the worst of it all.

    It would be nice to have a little truth and good judgement in Washington for a change.

    March 29, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    LOL.... what a pack of hypocrites Republicans are....


    March 29, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. CarlinNJ

    I would like to patron this club.

    March 29, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Obama 2012

    Oh...will the taxpayers have to pay for that?!!!

    March 29, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Andrew

    FILTHY, CLASSLESS, HYPOTHETICAL, LIARS!! That sums up Republicans in a nutshell! I will NEVER-EVER vote Republican again! This is disgusting.

    March 29, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Helen

    Hey Repubs was it fun? You guys are pathetic at a night club of that status.

    March 29, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Mavis

    I would really like to see the Republican Party explain this one. Does this coincide with your "family values??????"

    March 29, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Leslie

    I am DONE with Republicans. I have never seen a group so hypocritical and full of lies and deceit in my life!

    To the Democratic Party: Please count me in!

    March 29, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Samuel

    Simply Disgusting! Republithugs are amazing!

    March 29, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Oscar

    How much you want to bet that Michael Steele was with him???!

    March 29, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Jon

    The GOP should just change its name to the GOH – Grand Old Hypocrites.

    March 29, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Martina

    I am not voting Republican ever again. I am appaulled by their lack of ethics. They are nothing but a bunch of LOSERS.

    March 29, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Michael

    Fiscal Conservatism.
    These are your tax dollars at work for Republicans.
    Enough said.

    March 29, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Greg

    I will be registering as an independent. I cannot take anymore of this garbage coming out of the Republican Party. This is shameful.

    March 29, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. hongli

    When last has any American seen a pleasant Republican on television? The answer--– It's hard to smile when your'e lying. In other words you are always telling a lie to cover another lie. It's a darn big deal for for the repugs.

    March 29, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Lisa in FL

    Returning the $$$, well, that is nice. But the Genie is out of the bottle on this one folks. And with the speed that they did their "investigation", sure would love to know who this Brown guy was "entertaining" that night in February...Chairman Steele or someone the dopes of nope do not want revealed for sure.

    Pay it back, kill the story, pronto! Nice work RNC.

    March 29, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Doug,lib jersey

    Well strippers on poles are still less evil than Obama SEIU thugs intimidating people with violence at the Poles. I know, hate-filled obama bot lib will not agree, they haven't been programmed for common sense reasoning and honesty.

    March 29, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. IYouWho

    Ahh....the Republicans do it again. Strip bars, teenage swimming functions and bathroom stalls in the MPLS airport.

    And they're worried about whats going on in peoples bedrooms? Why, do they feel like they're missing out on something?

    March 29, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Deb

    Something is not right with this story.

    March 29, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Lori

    Michael Steele = Fail. Even if you weren't at the bondage club, you've done more harm than good by consistently providing fuel for the democrat and the leftist media fire through your questionable leadership skills and embarrassing public performances. Please resign for the good of the RNC.

    March 29, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Steven in Charleston

    You know, I actually don't have a huge problem with the money being spent this way. I understand that this is how some entertaining is done, I don't believe we need "morality police," presumably they were all adults, and if the purpose of the evening (networking, etc.) was accomplished, then so be it.

    What I ~do~ have a problem with is the GOPs never-ending attempt to be the arbiter of morality, and their insistance on their right to poke their heads into everybody's womb and bedroom, all while conducting shenanigans such as this. Sleezy I can forgive. Hypocrisy - not a chance.

    March 29, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Brad - Ohio

    Mr. Brown must be one of the GOP "values voters." Class act .

    March 29, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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