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RNC Asks Member to Return $2,000 Reimbursed for Visit to Bondage Club

The Republican National Committee is asking one of its members to return nearly $2,000 that the member was reimbursed for a night out at a lesbian-themed bondage club.

Doug Heye, a spokesman for the RNC, issued a statement Monday after two news agencies reported that the organization reimbursed a member $1,946 for a February trip to Voyeur, a bondage-themed nightclub in West Hollywood recently featured in The Los Angeles Times as the new hotspot.

"We are investigating the expenditure in question," said Heye. "This was a reimbursement made an individual not on committee staff. ... The committee has requested that the monies be returned to the committee."

Heye said he was incensed by the suggestion in a post in the Daily Caller that RNC Chairman Michael Steele took part in the February outing to the club. The article led with Steele's expenses on charter aircraft and the suggestion by an unnamed source that he was looking for the RNC to buy an airplane to accommodate his travel.

"The story willfully and erroneously suggests that the expenditure in question was one belonging to the chairman," Heye said. "The chairman was never at the location in question, he had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable. ... Good reporting would make that distinction crystal clear."

The report noted that the RNC spent $17,514 on private aircraft and $12,691 on limousines in the month of February, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Recent travel expenses also included $9,099 spent at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles and nearly $20,000 combined for the Venetian and the M Resort in Las Vegas and the W in Washington.

Heye said the article was misleading because it did not distinguish Steele's expenses from finance and fundraising expenses associated with the purpose of the travel.

After the rebuke, Jonathan Strong, the reporter who wrote the Daily Caller article, told MSNBC that he never said Steele was at Voyeur, but "I hope to find out whether that's the case in the coming days."

An article in the Los Angeles Times, written after the club's opening in October, said the club's owners drew their inspiration from Stanley Kubrick's film "Eyes Wide Shut." The film stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as a New York power couple whose marriage is jeopardized after he gets involved in a bondage club.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/29/rnc-asks-member-r...



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What the hey? He was supporting women's liberation!

What is the world coming too, when you can't even get reimbursed for hanging out at a lesbian-themed bondage club?
Here is another article about the same story:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/rnc-spends-money...