The Republican National Committee has fired the staffer who organized a $1,946 trip to Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed strip club. The fired staffer convinced Erik Brown, a donor and vendor, to bill the RNC for the trip.
Now the question is whether RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who says he has never been to Voyeur and knew nothing about the expense report, will keep his job. On the show last night, Ana Marie Cox of GQ suggested that Steele's job is safe -- for the short term:
It's just that it's not a good time for him to step down. Also, he won't step down as you can tell from those quotes that you played. And apparently, it's really difficult to get him out of there. To fire him requires something like 70 or 80 members of the delegation, the national committee to call for a special session and then to call for a vote of no confidence on him. And that's probably not going to happen in part because people want this to go away. The GOP has enough problems right now. I believe you've covered some of them. And I think that also why get rid of him now when there's probably going to be a really convenient time to get rid of him in November?
The Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd.), reports that RNC chief of staff Ken McKay wrote that the staffer "was aware that this activity was not eligible for reimbursement and had been previously counseled on this very subject." Which means that not only did the person need telling -- and who really, seriously, needs that? -- but the person broke the rule anyway. UPDATE: The staffer, Allison Meyers, was director of the RNC's Young Eagles program, and the trip was an afterparty, and Brown footed the bill because the RNC's card wouldn't go through.