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. CF

    Every article on this story should be accompanied by a picture of Nelson from The Simpsons, pointing at the GOP and saying "Ha-Ha!"

    March 29, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Habib

    GOP cant make a vote for the poor americans to get Obamacare but can affort spending money for sex.

    March 29, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Patriot

    Kinda gives "Big Government" a whole new meaning doesn't it?


    March 29, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Doug

    Nothing wrong with this. I expense all my strip club visits when traveling for work. What's the big deal?

    March 29, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Dieter Zerressen

    Whether it's the leader of the Republican party at an S & M Voyeur Club, a Republican Senator in diapers with the DC Madam, or RCC Priests with kids, THESE CONSERVATIVES ARE FREAKS! It's all that sexual repression over their whole lives that eventually comes out in these creepy ways.

    March 29, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Tom

    I'm sure this Republican consultant claims to be a right wing Christian also. Publicly he would condemn anyone that would patronize such an establishment. Another example of the hyprocrites that are part of that party. Keep up the good work. Stories like these only help the people on the other side of the aisle. We thank you.

    March 29, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. A Waitress

    Did uncle Mike tip the madam?NO,we know republicans dont leave tips,the cheapskates hate the working men and women of America.Ive worked at their conventions and their the worst tippers going.

    March 29, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. bridgette

    Maybe this will teach the Republicans a lesson just because their skin color is the same doesn't mean that they are the same. They just knew he was their answer to Mr. President Barak Obama. I said it once and I will say it again this guy is an idiot. An educated I'll give him that but never the less an idiot.

    March 29, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. OsoMartinez, Albuquerque NM

    Michael Steele is just another black man who has a job because of Obama. I'm sure the GOP will spin this to blame healthcare and Obama.

    March 29, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. Cali

    "Freedom for all that have sense" couldn't have said it better. At least it wasn't some airport bathroom "tap dance". Two steps forward and one giant one back.

    Obama/ Biden 2012!!!

    March 29, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Runner15

    And this is the party of values and morality. Oh, I miswrote...they are the party of no, except in certain situations and venues. A "no" can really take a lot out of you. A racy club visit inserts it back pun intended.

    March 29, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. GuyInVA

    To quote George Costanza, "Was that wrong?"

    March 29, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Michael from Ventura

    Oh republicans, republicans.....flashing that green around for all your causes! It's funny you don't want people to have healcare-yet you spend all this money on skin. Glad you put Country First. Such LEADERSHIP!!

    March 29, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. StopNonsense

    Judicial Watch came up with a list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" On that list were:Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) Senator John Ensign (R-NV) Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT). Those who are familiar with current news, will know the reasons why, like Pelosi and her $101,000 alcohol bill billed to the American taxpayers.

    Only 1 Republican and the rest were from the DEMOCRATIC Party. If fear corruption is little Republican but more Democrat. Term limits may be the best response.

    March 29, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Robert

    Well Well Well another family values leason from the Right.

    March 29, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. Robert S.

    "David Frum, George W. Bush’s former speech writer said on GMA this morning that instead of repealing the health care bill GOP leaders should “work on fixing its worst effects.”

    Good Idea – Republicans need to be constructive instead of destructive; get rid of the inflammatory conjecture and begin working with Mr. Obama on these difficult changes for the benefit of the American People.

    March 29, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. memman

    If this had been a Dem all we would have heard about was the nice time they had screwing the American Tax payer. Just remember all this when your home is visited by the government police to see where you have been. Mr. Steel should resign his position we do not need this kind of behavior from our leaders. Take note left wingers you too have the same behavior and no new media bring attention to. Your time is coming. Let see Bill who did what with who.

    March 29, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Robert

    I guess this is the Republican version of "stimulus money."

    March 29, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. Molly Weasley

    You've got to wonder what the 25 cents was for.

    March 29, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. California Gary

    I'm sure they stopped in for a Tea Party gathering.......strictly business you know.

    March 29, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Texas Granny

    Ooopppsss – caught again. How's that "conservative family values" thing working out for ya???

    March 29, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Rick in AZ

    This is a 10 on the "Laugh O'Meter". Only reason he's giving it back is because he was caught.

    March 29, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. al in memphis

    I guess they did not say NO to something. Maybe this is the health care they really care about. No pre-existing conditions at this treatement center. And you can buy this kind of coverage across states lines.

    March 29, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Jim

    Hey, this is a step up for the Republicans: it didn't involve any one underage or involve an airport bathroom.

    March 29, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. MJ

    Oh Pleasee – Guess it's okay to use the Oval Office, Hotels, Boats, and River. Don't cast the stone unless you have a Halo above your head.

    March 29, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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