Fired RNC staffer led program to recruit young donors

The Republican National Committee has fired a staffer who helped organize a $1,946 visit last month to a sex-themed Hollywood club, and the GOP says it will recoup the money from a donor who also participated.
By Dan Eggen
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Republican National Committee staff member who was fired for authorizing a nearly $2,000 payment for a night out at a bondage-themed club in California was in charge of a GOP program aimed at cultivating major donors younger than 45, Republicans familiar with the details of the case said Tuesday.

Allison Meyers, director of the Young Eagles program, asked the RNC to reimburse a GOP consultant for the costs of a Jan. 31 after-party event for young Republicans at Voyeur in West Hollywood. Meyers's identity was first reported by the National Journal's Hotline.

The expense, which was detailed on federal reports, has become a major embarrassment for the RNC and its high-profile chairman, Michael S. Steele, at a time when the GOP is hoping to capitalize on an energized conservative base for this year's midterm elections. The committee said late Monday that it had fired an unnamed staffer over the incident; spokesman Doug Heye declined to say Tuesday whether Meyers was that staffer.

The Voyeur visit took place after an official Young Eagles dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, attended by about 50 donors, according to the RNC and other officials. Hotline, citing unidentified sources, said Meyers organized the official RNC event and the after-party at the club. About a dozen Republicans, including Meyers, attended the Voyeur gathering, GOP officials said.

One of those at the club was Erik Brown, whose company, Dynamic Marketing, has earned about $160,000 from GOP campaigns.

Party officials said that Meyers tried to put the $1,946.25 tab on a credit card but was rejected; Meyers then asked Brown to cover the bill and promised that the RNC would reimburse him, these officials said.

Brown has not responded to e-mails and telephone messages seeking comment.

Brown has already lost business since his name became linked to the incident. Chuck DeVore, a conservative Republican Senate candidate in California, announced Monday that he was severing ties with Brown and Dynamic Marketing, which has offices in Washington and Los Angeles.

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