Whee ha! It looks likes Michael Steele has really stepped into it this time. (H/T to The Huffington Post.)
The Daily Caller‘s Jonathan Strong has basically won the morning with a story about RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s lavish lifestyle on the road. Strong reports that Steele “once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel,” and has run up some substantial tabs at some of our nation’s nicest hotels. But if you ask me, he sort of buried the lede… probably strategically! Because look what awaits you in paragraph six:
Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.
That sound you hear is the GOP insiders screaming.
Complaints, almost always expressed off the record, have been bitter. “This is not somebody who is out recruiting candidates,” said an aide who worked closely with Steele. “He is not meeting with donors. He’s not asking for money. The guy is writing his book or doing his speaking gigs, or whatever the hell else he fills his days with. Those are his priorities.”
Now God knows as a practicing heterosexual, I got nothing against anyone enjoying the occasional exposure to the tittie and the vayjay. But sweet Jesus, you pay for that sort of thing out of your pocket. You never put it on the company dime.
This goes beyond just simple clueless stupidity. I’m beginning to think Michael Steele is a sleeper agent for the DNC. Suspecting that somewhere down the line, America would elect an African American President and that the RNC would appoint an African-American chairman as so not to look like a bunch of old white racists, the DNC kidnapped Steele and brain washed him to behave like a clueless buffoon.
You don’t believe me? Then I suggest that you hand him a deck of cards and ask him if he’d like to pass the time by playing a little solitaire and then see what happens.
UPDATE at 7:25 P.M.: In a late breaking development, “The Caucus” blog at the New York Times is now reporting that the RNC is in damage control mode.
A Republican Party spokesman said Monday evening that a staff member has been dismissed following a February outing to a risqué Hollywood nightclub, where a party donor submitted a $2,000 tab and asked for reimbursement from the Republican National Committee
Doug Heye, the communications director for the R.N.C., issued this statement:
“At the outset, Chairman Steele was not at Voyeur West Hollywood. He had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location acceptable. While some in the press have suggested Chairman Steele was at the venue, he was not and no proof has been offered that he was. When the expense was incurred, Chairman Steele was on United flight # 0084, returning from the RNC Winter Meeting.
“Upon finding out of the expenditure this morning, Chairman Steele demanded the committee get to the bottom of this matter immediately.
For the time being, I’m going to give Steele the benefit and assume he was not there. But God help him if a picture of him getting a lap dance surfaces, you can re-brand him toast.