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. Dave

    ...and half the country wants the republicans in the majority. Just goes to show the mentality of said group

    March 29, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Michael Steele...You're Fired!

    First there was the slideshow presentation that Mr. Steele was unaware of, and now this. Something smells fishy.

    March 29, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. lolo

    Unbelievable. How dare they accuse everyone else of being un-american or anything else. The GOP is so pathetic. Everytime you turn around their is a scandal in their ranks. They cannot follow their own rules. Just a bunch of old people trying to be holier than thou and then they teach it to the next generation to do the same thing. Hypocrites I tell you.

    March 29, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Fed Up

    If the Republicans cannot even manage their donor dollars properly, why should I elect them into office where they would have control over my tax dollars?

    March 29, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Ed in Reno, NV

    He was doing research for future "Family Values" speeches.

    March 29, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. ED FL

    California [A very religous state] holds SERVICES every place to ensure that political patrons have at their disposal all the religious needs that the GOP politicos request so that their path to heaven is paved with lifes needs. Heaven forbid that they miss the opportunity to practice their religion while away from home and family. Steele knows that he is on the way out, the only reason the gop used him was to pit an african american against an african american president. He has been exemplary in that matter. [Pardon me while i roll over in laughter] The RIGHT WING HATE MONGERS ALONG THE BIBLE BELT HAVE DISPISED HIM FROM THE GET GO. BYE BYE MR STEELE.

    March 29, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. so what?

    Party on Moral grounds? What a bunch of jokers!

    March 29, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Tom, St Paul

    How do you sanctimonious "Christians" feel about your donated funds paying for some lobbyist to spend the evening at an exotic dance club? Does it make you as mad as extending health insurance to 33,000 Americans?

    March 29, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Jude

    Oh those family values Republicans show themselves to be hypocrites once again–no surprises here!

    March 29, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Grundoon

    More counter-intuitive behavior from the family values party! LOL!!

    March 29, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Walter

    "Dynamic Marketing, Inc." Is that what they are calling it now?

    March 29, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. rositaCA

    Republicans are corrupted like all of them......politicians! YUKKKKK

    March 29, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. jhwy

    Ahh, the family values party.

    March 29, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Tea Party Host

    Yet another reason why we need a third party. True conservatives need to stop being apologists for Republicans and just admit that the body politic is dead. They're completely impotent–they couldn't even stop Obamacare. A true conservative party would easily whump both the socialist and the Republican candidate in a fair election. Let the Wall Street owned GOP die. Time for a new guard for American Values. Let's launch the American Party!

    March 29, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Dan Stewart

    Republicans. Whatever the outcome of Steeles latest buffoonery, please, please do not fire him. I know he has been an ineffective, big spending clown, but he is probably one of the best sources of entertainment in the world of politics. Keep him in place for the sake of the country, we need to laugh at him.

    March 29, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Adam

    Nothing like the lead member of the conservative/christian/morals based party spending GOP money on a night out at the strip club.

    March 29, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. SH

    See what had happened was, we were told it was a rally the base kind of meeting!!!!

    March 29, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Freedom for all that have sense

    Well at least it wasn't for Gay sex. I guess that's a step in the right direction for the GOP!

    Obama/Biden 2012!!

    March 29, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. DannyCali

    Here's we go again GOPer..............! Michael Steele and the Republican going to say nothing wrong with that right? get real Republican't.

    March 29, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Garba Maigoro

    The blogs are reporting that Steele was there. See the Huufington Post.

    March 29, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Mike K

    The GOP is the hardest working group of obstructionists is U.S. history. When they take a break they really need to blow off steam. Cut these poor government servants a break for crying out loud.

    March 29, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. kerick

    Business as usual with the GOP

    March 29, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Jay

    This isn't unique to this one occurrence or just one party. Both party's waste donated dollars on this. Then they get into Congress and the waste really begins.

    March 29, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. kerick

    Blame Obama , he forced the GOP to drink

    March 29, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. BenBear

    Right – the party of "Family Values..."

    March 29, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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