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. California Republican returning RNC money after racy club visit

    Typical Repubilcans LOL so conservative and for family values LOL but hey no problem going to Strip club LOL Just as always with their do as I say not as I do attitude.


    What a Joke

    March 29, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Chipster

    Family Values? It's sort of like "Compassionate Conservatism." Their good at makin' up those catchy phrases but no so good with the details of what those phrases mean. You betcha!

    March 29, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Mario from Pittsburgh, PA

    The party of YES, YES.... YES... OH YES!

    March 29, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The Party of Family Values – remember that, and headed up by a man who only got the RNC Chair position because McCain lost and chose a woman for VP that wasn't qualified because Obama didn't choose Hillary – remember that, too.

    The GOP – Party of forward thinking and high moral values! ! !

    March 29, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Mario from Pittsburgh, PA

    Talk about RISING to the occasion.

    March 29, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. amie

    this is who they are!! repugnicans blow money like fratboys the whole time screaming at the dems for being wasteful, total BS!!

    March 29, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. jfs Memhis, Tn

    The real story here is just HOW MUCH the Republican leaders respect women . Awfully inulting...especially when they almost got by with using it as a deduction for business. You conservative ladies STILL think that the average GOP male apprciates Palin for her mind ??? You gals need to get a clue. The boy talk(at the gym) about Palin during the election was about her looks and her body.They were tauting the ability to get the female vote to set the guys up in power positions with the VP spot as an insignificant gift.

    March 29, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Hawk in texas

    What! a republican christan consertive at a strip club. just goes to show how sleazy that the repub's are.

    March 29, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. anti-GOP

    party of family values strikes again!! LOL

    March 29, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Kathleen

    R.I.P. That is like stealing-you get caught_ and then try to return it!!!!
    Politicians are not much for "setting an example" are they?

    March 29, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. LacrosseMom

    This story made me laugh out loud! Recently when the Edwards story of adultery, etc., broke, the Conservatives were just dragging Edwards through the coals...... and as it turns out no one is perfect not even the holier-than-thou-Conservatives!

    March 29, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. gl, From Pittsburgh

    I thought the RNC were so so Fiscal Responsible! ONLY IN NAME!

    March 29, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Mr. Man

    Tsk, Tsk, Tsk. The republicans and Mr. Steele have some explaining to do. How does this jive with the family values platform?

    March 29, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. wally

    Those Republicans are just a bunch of "sick puppies!"

    March 29, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Otto

    Call it what you will...I call it "stimulating" the economy, plain and simple. What's wrong with the picture? The party are made up of Saints who are closer to the maker than the other parties. I need my stimulation too but I guess I don't qualify.

    March 29, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Laurie

    The Christian party of family values, so interesting

    March 29, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Annie, Atlanta

    Got to love those "family values" Republicans, huh? I think we can effectively stop calling them that from here on out.

    March 29, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    IDIOTS . . . both Parties have them and use their indiscretions for political gain.

    March 29, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. rob

    Hey DNCNN, what are the other "controversies" you speak of when you refer to "the latest controversy surrounding RNC chairman Michael Steele" What other controversies are DNCNN?????


    March 29, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Sherry

    WOW! Republicans are Conservatives? I'd love to see what they consider Liberal!

    March 29, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Bornwild

    Once again the RNC shows how strong they support 'family values'. Maybe they should finally become honest and stop the hypocrisy – family values do not reside in one political party – but resides in individuals. Hopefully the voting public realizes this.

    March 29, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Real American

    That's your family values party. Now it's time for Republicans to fake it for us one more time and bow their heads in prayer.

    March 29, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Maurice

    The Republican Party is no longer relevant in our society.. It was finally put to rest once the Tea Party got a hold of them. They are now going to be a regional player, particularly in the south.

    March 29, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. mike kinley

    hmmmmm. that is the hallmark of the repugs. fraud and scandals. please let us repeal and replace the rethuglicans. they are bad for this country.

    March 29, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. nation1st

    Dems. Pivot and focus. JOBS JOBS JOBS. This battle is done!!!

    March 29, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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