In an effort by the RNC to distance itself both literally and figuratively from a West Hollywood bondage-themed night club, they have fired the staffer who provided almost $2,000 in reimbursement for an outing at Voyeur.  Politico obtained the internal RNC memo announcing the termination, which comes after a day of embarrassed explanations and denials regarding the nature of the outing:

A Republican National Committee staffer who accompanied a group of young donors to a bondage-themed West Hollywood club and then expensed the nearly $2,000 tab has been fired by the committee, POLITICO has learned.

RNC Chief of Staff Ken McKay announced the firing in an internal committee email obtained by POLITICO.

“This was not an RNC sanctioned event and was not associated in any way with any RNC official event,” McKay wrote of the February outing to Voyeur, a West Hollywood club modeled after the risqué Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman movie “Eyes Wide Shut.”

The late-night excursion followed an official RNC event in Los Angeles for donors in its “Young Eagles” program, McKay wrote, stressing that neither Chairman Michael Steele nor any senior staff were aware of either the outing or the committee’s reimbursement of the cost.

McKay wrote that the fired staffer, who is not named in the email, “was aware that this activity was not eligible for reimbursement and had been previously counseled on this very subject. Accordingly, that staff person has been terminated.”

Wait — there’s a nightclub modeled after Eyes Wide Shut?  Does it put people to sleep and play only three piano notes all night long?  Does Nicole Kidman show up occasionally to chew the scenery?  Eyes Wide Shut is perhaps the most overrated piece of dreck imaginable, easily Stanley Kubrick’s worst movie and (ironically, given the storyline) a great cure for insomnia.   People would have more fun in a nightclub modeled after Battlefield Earth.  At least the costuming would make more sense.

Of course the RNC fired the staffer.  First, it was obviously the right thing to do; whomever it was had to be out of his or her mind to take young donors to a bondage-themed nightclub and then have the Republican Party pick up the tab.  It’s been years since sales people could entertain clients at “gentlemen’s clubs” and claim reimbursement on an expense report.  But mainly the RNC needed to put this incident in the rear-view mirror as soon as possible while matching the emphatic disgust of Republicans around the nation, and firing the staffer is the quickest route out of the scandal.

One has to wonder about why this staffer was “previously counseled on this very subject,”  though.  Is this not the first time the RNC has paid to entertain donors at sex-themed nightclubs?  And would it really take two explanations for a staffer to comprehend the problem?  Talk about eyes being wide shut!  Like Allahpundit, my libertarian side tends to shrug at the existence of such places, but my fiscal conservatism balks at the notion that monies donated for political purposes to the RNC should go towards sex romps instead.

Tags: Republicans