The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

RNC still hasn’t been reimbursed for bondage-themed nightclub expense

In March, when The Daily Caller reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC) had spent $1,946 at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub, RNC spokesman Doug Heye vowed on national television that the RNC would get its money back.

“The RNC has not only requested that that money that was sent out as a reimbursement be repaid by the member, but we’ve got the commitment that will be done,” Heye said on Fox News.

But, months later, there’s no evidence in Federal Election Commission filings that that has happened.

According to FEC reports, the California political operative who initially incurred the nightclub expense on behalf of the RNC, Erik Brown, did not send money to the RNC. Neither did an RNC employee, Allison Meyers, who took young donors to the club, which features topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex acts.

Heye, who initially made the vow that the RNC would be reimbursed to Fox News, CNN and several other news organizations, declined to talk about it. Neither would Brown.

But the conspicuous missing check is ruffling the feathers of some RNC members, including those who support RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

“If somebody said we are going to get reimbursed, then we ought to get reimbursed,” said Pete Ricketts, the National Committeeman for the Nebraska Republican Party, who called himself a Steele supporter.

A second, top-ranking RNC member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, expressed shock that the RNC had yet to be reimbursed for the expense. “You can’t do that! They told the media that was going to happen,” the member said.

According to a June 20 FEC filing, the RNC in May paid money to every person who resigned or was fired after the Voyeur expense was revealed.

For instance, the RNC in May paid $40,967 to Ken McKay, Steele’s former chief of staff who resigned April 5 in the wake of the scandal. The money, which is listed as “housing reimbursements,” comes in addition to $62,949 in “payroll” McKay received in April.

Robert Bickhart, the RNC’s finance director who was fired May 7, received two paychecks that month totaling $16,875 and was reimbursed for $3,165 in expenses. Bickhart received a paycheck May 28 and was reimbursed for expenses as late as May 20.

A consultant group, On Message, Inc., that said it would no longer be working with the RNC on April 5 was paid $76,200 for a “survey” in May. Additionally, the company was reimbursed for $2,133 in expenses.

Allison Meyers, who decided to take young Republican donors to Voyeur in the first place, was paid $395 in May.