RNC blew $340,000 on posh three-day Hawaii bash — $56,000 a day

By John Byrne
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:58 EDT
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The Republican National Committee spent more than $340,000 at a lavish party meeting in Hawaii, according to recently filed campaign finance reports.

The news comes on the heels of a report last month which revealed that the Party had reimbursed a staffer $2,000 for an event at a risque bondage-themed Beverly Hills nightclub.

Federal Election Commission reports, noted in the DC-insider website Hotline, show that the party spent a whopping $167,000 for “facilities” during their three day stay. That comes to $56,000 per day, more than the average American makes in a year.

RNC officials spent another $90,000 for rooms and office space for party employees.

Hotline reports that at least 33 RNC staffers made their way to the Waikiki Beach party. Another 168 members of the party’s national committee also attended — meaning the cost per attendee comes to more than $2,000 each.

And the $340,000 total doesn’t include airfare.

“The $340K documented in FEC filings does not include airfare for each staffer, which could amount to tens of thousands more,” Hotline’s Reid Wilson reports. “FEC rules require the party committees to disclose how they spent their money, including listing merchants who received payments, but it does not require the RNC to list destinations of air travel. Given that the RNC spends thousands of dollars for air travel every month, that means there is no way to account for the staffers who flew to Honolulu.”

Wilson adds, “Only the top 3 RNC officials — chairman Michael Steele, co-chair Jan Larimer and Treasurer Randy Pullen — had their flights paid for by the RNC. Every other committee member had to pay his or her own way.”

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has come under fire from donors and outsiders alike who contend that he isn’t running a tight enough ship. Steele has deflected the concerns, suggesting they have to do with his race.

An RNC spokesman did not return a call seeking comment on Wilson’s piece.

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