The GOP consultant at the center of the Republican National Committee's reimbursement scandal has ties to several California House members, which may complicate some in the party's attempt to vilify him.
Erik Brown, the businessman who spent $1,946.25 at an L.A. bondage club, is repaying the money.
But on Tuesday, California Senate candidate Chuck DeVore (R) tried to downplay the relationship he had with his former consultant. His campaign called it "brief and straightforward."
DeVore had contracted Brown's Dynamic Marketing, Inc (DMI) to print campaign materials, it said in a release, but insisted the relationship was dead and buried. "There is no present relationship with DMI," DeVore's camp said.
But state and federal records show DeVore has spent more than $70,000 with Brown's company, dating back several years. That's hardly insignificant. Moreover, Brown served on the board of the Orange County Young Republicans -- a group that DeVore has courted.
While DeVore tries to distance himself from Brown, a Federal Election Commission search shows that Brown has donated to several California House members. This cycle, he's given to Reps. Ken Calvert (R) and John Campbell (R). In the past, he's also donated to the Orange County Republican Party and a state-level GOP PAC.