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)

    EVA SAID: "OK.....which is worse? The nightclub being paid for by the GOP or democrat John Edwards fathering an illegitimate child with his lover as his wife struggles with cancer? Weigh that one."

    Eva, how do you know that one or more of the dancing ladies performers are NOT carring an illegitimate child of one of the Republican that were at this club? YOU DON'T KNOW DO YOU?
    Stop trying to push this off on the Democarats as that is your intention and we can see through it!

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

    Please tell me this is not the only piece of negative news you can find on Republicans. WWWWWEEEEEAAAAAAKKKKKKK!

    March 29, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Bill

    Wow! That blows!!!

    March 29, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Gregg

    Apparently they are not just the party of NO, when it comes to nights out in sleezy clubs, and this is what the tea party is going to vote for in November? just like Palin leading the tea party, what they fail to forget is, SHE quit being Governor, how anyone can listen to her is beyond me, if she got in the Whitehouse, i would be worried about that 3 am call, what would she do, leave the Whitehouse?

    March 29, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. vet in tx

    prediction: Steele will be fired, then he will come out with a book exposing what the GOP says about their constituents leading up to the health care vote then side with the Tea Partiers becasue they are starting to realize they are being used by the GOP for votes then he'll travel to China and speak to them about family values, then he'll be a correspondant to MSNBC on Rachel Maddow's show..........

    March 29, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. john in binghamton NY

    Party of values or party of No? More like the party of No Values!!!!!

    March 29, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. M

    Repubs are NOT FISCHALLY CONSERVATIVE – they NEVER were and NEVER will be.

    March 29, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Mike in SA

    The thing is that we know the Democrats did the same thing too. Isn't it funny that CNN isn't reporting that though.

    March 29, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. tekbit

    There is No Accounting for the Accountants, which make it hard to make the Accounts Accountable:-)

    March 29, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Zambero

    What's the name of that GOP front group that preaches conservative values for good upstanding Republicans to abide by?

    Focus on the Family?

    Nah, boring!

    Focus on the Fantasy!

    March 29, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. Dlishh

    What joke. NO to healthcare, but lets spend money at the CLUB!!! LOL!!! HYPOCRITES!!!

    March 29, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. Psychologist

    Republicans and their double standards, ts ts ts. Reminds me of the Midwest Republican politician hitting on undercover police officers in airport toilets. Of course it is never their fault. I will be on the lookout, maybe I am lucky enough to see dumb dumb Sarah Palin "drop it like it's hot" for the Tea Party fundraiser. She is known to do anything for cash.

    March 29, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. Dil

    This is so typical of republicans. They're hypocrites. I should know because I worked with a whole bunch of them. Anyone who works for the federal gov't know that republicans are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to "wasteful spending". Whether it's bogus TDYs, fancy furniture for their office, expensive office supplies and computer equipment. They get away with bogus TDY trips so they can pocket per diem money. It's true!!!!

    March 29, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. Big Ed

    "Dave Denver" – You missed the point! I strongly disagree with what John Edwards did. When the RNC makes themselves out as the moral compass of America and uses money for the preverted entertainment of another that had been donated by the public, its a much different situation. regardless of how you feel, it is very difficult to intellegently defend a bondage strip club!

    March 29, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Jess

    They are called strip clubs. I know plenty of Democratic & Republican men who entertain clients at them at our company and they sell million dollar projects doing it. You notice how John Edwards can tell a guy to take the fall for impregnating some lady he was sleeping with and it barely hits the news & then its a huge deal when men attend a strip club. Now thats humorous.

    March 29, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. OCconservative

    And after the biggest loss of freedom in our adult lives, Obamacare, this is what CNN thinks is important. All you other twits sound like children.

    March 29, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. DallasMarine

    According to the GOP, Jesus ok's going to these places to commit sin. If they say so, it's ok. If you're not a Repub, you're apparently wrong. Losers.

    March 29, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Iconnic58

    I worked with M. Steele years ago at a major New York law firm. He was intelligent, personable and very professional. With his seminary background, I also thought it a conundrum for him to be working at firm such as that, although he was very good at what he did.

    I see the condrum still exists as it is hard for me to fathom why he remains Republican, when within his own party, they will not accept him. Why Michael?

    March 29, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. maripil

    This is how truly corrupt and disgusting the family values right wing Republicans are!!! WHAT A SHAME!!!!

    March 29, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. Moki, Tucson

    No wonder the Republicans can't come up with any solutions to our country's problems . . . they've got other things on their minds.

    March 29, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. bobcat1a

    when are we going to hear about Sarah donating that $100,000 speech fee from the Tea Partiers back to "The Cause?" Isn't that what the Confederacy called their fight against the Union in the Civil War?

    March 29, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Former Nude Models like Brown make great "conservative" role models for our nation's youth

    People should not be so hard on Steele over this. Stop asking "who's minding the store?" Steele is rising to the occasion by exercising leadership. Showing full responsibility for allowing donor money to be used for a party hack to get a Boehner. When things like this pop up, Steele takes care of it. These are good conservative family values in action which is something everyone can be excited about. A perfectly legitimate expense, so stop asking so many questions.

    March 29, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Renee

    Nice to know what Republicans do with all the campaign money they get.

    March 29, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. Chuck

    Ahhh whats a couple K? Pelosi's pole dancing on Air Force One has cost us millions. Dont you Obozo followers have a get freecrap socialist meeting to go to?

    March 29, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Jeff in Houston

    Oh i'm sure he dropped off the money on the way to Bible study.

    March 29, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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