CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Republican candidate for governor Bill Maloney is taking heat for hiring a former Republican National Committee staffer who lost her job in a scandal involving reimbursements for donors who attended a lesbian bondage-themed nightclub in Los Angeles.
Campaign finance reports show Maloney's campaign has paid nearly $13,000 since May to a political consulting company owned by Allison Meyers, the former head of the RNC's Young Eagles initiative, which tried to recruit major GOP donors 45 and younger.
Meyers and several top RNC staffers were fired after the Jan. 31, 2010 visit to Voyeur Hollywood West, in which the young Republicans ran up a tab of almost $2,000 that was reimbursed by the party.
"Given Maloney's attempts to position himself as a 'family values' candidate, even running ads on the topic, his decision to associate his campaign with someone who was forced to resign from the RNC for spending thousands of dollars at a lesbian bondage-themed club should raise questions about his judgment among West Virginia voters," Democratic Governors Association spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a news release after the story first appeared Tuesday in the Huffington Post (http://huff.to/oAW1ls ).
Maloney campaign spokeswoman Michelle Yi said Tuesday night Meyers was hired months ago and "this isn't news."
"This is clearly an attempt by a desperate campaign using desperate measures to deflect attention from a failing campaign," Yi said. "Allison is a valued and respected staffer who has been critical to assisting our effort to move West Virginia forward from the failed leadership of a 36-year career politician."
Maloney faces acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in the general election Oct. 4.