Bondage-gate (now there’s a nickname I’ve been longing to apply) just took a hilarious turn. It turns out that Erik Brown, the OC-area operative who filed for the reimbursement of expenses for Voyeur West Hollywood, did so because the RNC staffer’s credit card was denied.

Think about that for a second: you now know Brown’s name, and his business has been literally decimated (more on that in a minute), because he happened to be nearby when the bill came due.

“Please help me out and I’ll be sure you are reimbursed right away by the RNC,” was the request—one most others in Brown’s spot would have answered— and there exists a follow-up email chain to prove it.

And it’s a good thing for him that there is such an email exchange because if not, the RNC might still be demanding that it be reimbursed for those charges, as it thundered in its first reply yesterday morning.

Now think about that one for even more than a second, because it represents the type of thing people hate about politicians in general: CYA and throw underlings to the wolves to protect the boss at all costs.

Basically, the RNC bridge-and-tunnel crowd demanded to go to a hot nightclub, this Erik Brown took them to one, then he had to foot the bill for it up front, then when the charge was discovered he was demonized as a scoundrel.

Are you as amazed as I am that the Republican National Committee has a bunch of jerks in powerful positions?

Now, the RNC, having been caught, dismissed the staffer (presumably the one with the bad credit card who asked Brown to pick up the check), and made a backhanded attempt at an apology to Brown:

“It is unfortunate that a loyal GOP donor who has recruited other donors became involved in this incident while merely trying to help what turned out to be the improper request of a staffer who is no longer with the committee.”

But the Voyeur incident has ended up obscuring the real problem with the RNC, and actually, I have no problem if that continues. Their burn rate is absurd; they spent more than they took in for FEBRUARY, nine months before the midterm elections. Basically they’re going to be broke by the time voters go to the polls, and free spending like this is the culprit. In a way, I wish nobody ever made it to the club that night, because it made too clear the pathetic leadership of Michael Steele. Someone might step in now and actually run that place competently.

UPDATE: It appears the woman fired by the RNC was the director of the “Young Eagles” program for young donors. Allison Meyers was fired for approving the expense. Um, what about whoever it was that tried to pay for the club bill on presumably the RNC’s credit card?

David Dayen

David Dayen

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