While RNC chairman Michael Steele faces calls of resignation for questionable expenditures — including meals at a bondage-themed nightclub — it turns out the Democratic National Committee has been spending thousands of its own donor money on luxury hotels, limos and yes, scantily clad go-go dancers, FrumForum has discovered. Further, the DNC has been hiring White House helicopters for party use, while Steele fell into more hot water for even suggesting he might need a private jet.
An investigation by FrumForum of the DNC’s travel offset filings reveals a whole host of lavish spending. Among the highlights:
* Late last year, Democrats partied it up at D.C.’s ‘Josephine’, when they dropped $5,850. The nightclub comes complete with two stripper poles and, according to one reviewer, a “skimpily clothed go-go dancer to feast your eyes on.”
* In just the first two months of this year, the DNC spent half a million dollars on catering, parties, lodging and limos. This includes a staggering $278,478.12 on Hilton hotels; $143,286 on catering from Susan Gage Caterers and Avalon Caterers; $36,956 on lodging at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C.; an $11,154 event at the Kennedy Center; and about $1,500 in limo services.
* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent $14,098 on car service last year. Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $48,270.25 on charter flights and limousines. Democrats even spent $36,874.39 to bring in Austrian celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck three times last year.
Put perhaps the most questionable expense was the DNC’s use of the trappings of the White House for partisan purposes: $232,436.81 spent on White House helicopters and White House In-flight Services since August of last year. The DNC’s White House helicopter expenditures have been unexamined until now because, unlike the RNC, the DNC files some of their travel expenses under a different Federal Elections Commission ID than their other expenses.
There’s clearly one thing that DNC donors are getting for their money, however: a better PR effort than the Republicans — the GOP has suffered much more political harm from much less egregious behavior — which has effectively kept these figures hushed until now.
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