Steele's Other Expenses Come Under Fire

RNC staffer fired over bondage club visit on party's tab
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2010 6:23 AM CDT
RNC Chairman Michael Steele speaks at the John F. Kennedy School of Government on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. last month,   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – The RNC staffer who ensured donor Erik Brown was reimbursed for footing the tab for a visit to a bondage-theme club has been fired, but the controversy is just beginning for Michael Steele. Non-bondage related expenses recently disclosed by the RNC include lavish spending on private jets ($17,000 in February) and luxury hotels ($35,000). Disgruntled Republicans are openly criticizing the chairman for the spending and his handling of RNC finances.

Records show that the RNC has $10 million on hand now, as compared to $22 million when Steele took charge, despite having raised $96 million during that period. The spending revealed is "mind-boggling," a major donor to the RNC tells the Washington Post. "Virtually the entire country—from big businesses to small business—had to make cutbacks," he said. "To think the Republican Party wouldn't do the same thing, I think, suggests either a tone-deafness or just that they don't care."

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