THE RNC: RISQUE NATIONAL COMMITTEE…. Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has been questioned more than once about his judgment and priorities when it comes to spending his party’s money. We learned a month ago, for example, about the RNC chief spending excessively on private planes, limousines, catering, and flowers.

It didn’t help when the party, hoping to have every penny it can get its hands on for the midterms, also hired Wolfgang Puck’s D.C. crew to cater the RNC’s Christmas party at a trendy hotspot, and moved its winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii.

But this new report from The Daily Caller has to be the most humiliating yet.

According to two knowledgeable sources, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel. […]

While Steele has not purchased a plane, he continues to charter them. According to federal disclosure records, the RNC spent $17,514 on private aircraft in the month of February alone (as well as $12,691 on limousines during the same period). There are no readily identifiable private plane expenses for Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine in the DNC’s last three months of filings. […]

Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex. [emphasis added]

Wait, what?

Yes, it appears that Michael Steele spent RNC money at “a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.” The party of “family values,” indeed.

I wonder what the reaction would be — from the media, from the political establishment, from the RNC — if Tim Kaine had spent nearly $2,000 in donor money at “a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.”

There have already been reports in recent months about Republican donors moving away from the RNC, and towards campaign committees and preferred candidates, in part because they don’t trust the party’s strange chairman. This was made worse when we learned that Steele has been using his position to line his own pockets, most notably through his outside paid speeches and a book written in secret.

But these latest revelations will weaken Steele even further. Indeed, if Republicans fall short of their own sky-high expectations in the midterm elections, expect Michael Steele to receive the bulk of the blame.

Update: The RNC now claims that a “non-committee staffer,” not Steele, spent the money at Voyeur West Hollywood. The RNC chairman, the party insists, was “never at the location in question.”

The party has not yet disputed the other expenditures.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.