Politics

Republican National Committee cancels Young Eagles events

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Gautham Nagesh
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      Gautham Nagesh

      Gautham Nagesh covers politics and the federal government for The Daily Caller. Prior to joining the DC he covered technology, oversight and procurement in the executive branch for Government Executive magazine and Nextgov.com. His writing has also been featured by The Atlantic, National Journal and the official web site of the Detroit Pistons. He attended Cornell University and hails from Jackson, Michigan.

      <em><a href="mailto:gn@dailycaller.com">E-mail Gautham</a> and <a href="http://twitter.com/gnagesh">follow him on Twitter</a></em>

The Republican National Committee has canceled a number of Young Eagles events aimed at attracting younger donors in the wake of reports the party paid for a group excursion to a bondage-themed Los Angeles nightclub.

The Young Eagles program drew headlines this week after the Daily Caller reported the RNC spent nearly $2,000 to entertain group members at Voyeur West Hollywood nightclub, which features topless women entertainers. Young Eagles director Allison Meyers was fired following the widespread backlash against the Committee and chairman Michael Steele.

An e-mail to donors from a committee official obtained by Politico indicates the RNC is planning to cancel all future Young Eagles events pending a review of the program. RNC spokesman Doug Heye confirmed that this is the case.

From the e-mail:

Hello all. I wanted to give you all an update on the status of the Young Eagles program.

The RNC finance staff is going to review the Young Eagles club throughout the week of April 5. In this review, we will ascertain the YE’s current financial status (costs to revenues) and membership breakdown (fully paids, partially paids and event fee participants). We will also be looking at staff structure and measures for checks and balances. We will devise a plan for moving FORWARD with the club.

In the meantime, please note the following interim directives:

We are canceling all Young Eagles events until the club review is completed.

Among the events canceled are a planned trip to Opening Day for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Young Eagles Leadership Summit and the group’s planned outing to Gold Cup, a steeplechase in Virginia horse country. Meyers and Young Eagles Mid-Atlantic director J. Roby Penn IV did not respond to a request for comment.

According to a flyer obtained by The Daily Caller the program is open to donors under the age of 45 who meet the prescribed donation levels: $2,500 for those between 21 and 25, $5,000 for donors 26 to 35 and $7,500 for donors between 36 and 45 years old. Raising $15,000 from other donors will also net you a “complimentary one year membership to Young Eagles including all benefits.”

Those benefits reportedly include opportunities to hobnob with the party’s elite at a number of high-flying events. The blog Glittarazzi claims in one month last fall members attended a Monday Night Football game in Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s box, dinner at the exclusive Los Angeles eatery Spago with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and enjoyed cocktails at the post W Hotel bar in Washington with House minority leader John Boehner.