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....
Steele himself declined numerous interview requests, though his defenders point out that luxurious accommodations are sometimes necessary to attract big-time donors, especially since Republicans remain in the minority in Washington.
Still, the nature and size of Steele’s expenses are likely to reignite persistent complaints from high-end donors and key party figures that the RNC is bleeding cash in the months before a pivotal midterm election.
Several sources indicate that one must reserve a table well in advance at Voyeur, which anyone with a web browser could research as being "bad for publicity with the Christian wing, if you know what I mean":
West Hollywood’s newest corset, leather, and other trap door lingerie-inspired den, Voyeur, has an inescapable link to Eyes Wide Shut – women in various states of undress line the club, some hanging from the ceiling above you in nets (equipped with whips, so watch yourself), and a photo booth to document the whole thing are just the tip of the iceberg. Around the room, you can catch men and women undulating (er, dancing) in cages, the décor distinctly feels as if you’re unveiling something naughty, and you’re met with a constant stream of various erotic multimedia like film clips and risqué photography. Sorry to have gotten you all worked up at the office.
Did they go on Gay Night? Honestly, I can't decide which is worse: that some GOP fundraiser committee thought the way to reach big donors was to spend two grand at an S&M-sex themed bar, or that GOP big donors are actually courted this way, in complete disregard for the "family values" planks in the party's platform.
And did they think the word "Voyeur" in the FEC filings would go overlooked by us bloggers? Just how stupid are they? Nevermind.
Executive Producer of The Professional Left Podcast. On staff at Crooks and Liars since 2007. Master's degree from Harvard. Happy wife of Driftglass. Mother of three geniuses. Obsessive knitter. Blogs at http://bgalrstate.blogspot.com. .