RNC Raises A Lot Of Cash And Criticisms The Republican National Committee has been raising record amounts of money, but it also is spending record amounts. One item in particular is causing problems: A bar tab from a topless nightclub in West Hollywood, Calif. Besides that, there have been criticisms against chairman Michael Steele, who has had his own issues with expenses.
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RNC Raises A Lot Of Cash And Criticisms

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RNC Raises A Lot Of Cash And Criticisms

RNC Raises A Lot Of Cash And Criticisms

RNC Raises A Lot Of Cash And Criticisms

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The Republican National Committee has been raising record amounts of money, but it also is spending record amounts. One item in particular is causing problems: A bar tab from a topless nightclub in West Hollywood, Calif. Besides that, there have been criticisms against chairman Michael Steele, who has had his own issues with expenses.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

Hey, Juan.

JUAN WILLIAMS: Good morning, Mary Louise.

LOUISE KELLY: Good morning. So, first off, remind us what happened with this nightclub and what the RNC's doing to put this story behind them.

WILLIAMS: Well, it's something you would see in, like, a bizarre movie. Apparently, there was an effort made by a fundraiser in California with what they call young eagles, which are big donors to the Republican Party, people between 30 and 40 years old. And they had them at a hotel in Beverly Hills. But afterwards, this fundraiser, Eric Brown arranged for them to take a little...

LOUISE KELLY: A little detour.

WILLIAMS: ...a little detour over to Voyeur West Hollywood. I haven't been there, but from what I hear, it's an erotic nightclub that features bondage. So, a pretty bizarre place. And according to the FEC report that came out in February, he ran up a bill of over $1,900, and then was reimbursed by the Republican National Committee for this expenditure, which is pretty embarrassing.

LOUISE KELLY: So big bar tab, big problem. But there's a wider problem here going on with RNC finances.

WILLIAMS: This is part, now, of a larger set of grievances that are being voiced about the RNC, and in particular about chairman Michael Steele.

LOUISE KELLY: OK. Michael Steele, the chairman of the party, he's had his own issues with expenses - some private planes and limos and that type thing. But he has a lot of defenders in the party. What is your sense? Is he in trouble, or will all this blow over?

WILLIAMS: If that continues, then I think what you're going to see is Michael Steele under so much pressure that he may have to step away. His only saving grace at this point is that he has had success as a fundraiser.

LOUISE KELLY: All right. It'll be interesting to watch. NPR's Juan Williams. Thanks very much.

WILLIAMS: You're welcome, Mary Louise.

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