POLITICS
06/01/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

RNC: 'Speechwriting' Expense Not For Steele's Private Speeches

The Republican National Committee is clarifying that one of its expenditures to a communications firm was not to help Chairman Michael Steele prepare speeches for which he earned private income.

On Thursday, The Plum Line reported that since September 2009 the RNC had spent $13,000 for "speechwriting" services from Big Creek Communications -- until now, a relatively obscure communications shop in Wyoming

The disclosure prompted a round of queries as to the purpose of the expense. The co-head of Big Creek, Amy Larimer, is the daughter of RNC co-chair Jan Larimer. Moreover, Steele has been making private speeches of his own, in which he is supplementing his income and not shepherding the money back to the RNC.

Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, immediately asked the question whether Steele was using RNC donor money to prepare for his private speeches -- which undoubtedly would peeve committee donors even further in the wake of this week's revelation that the committee spent money on a lesbian-themed bondage club in West Hollywood.

"Were these donor-funded speeches Steele profited from?" Sevugan asked.

Reached by phone, a spokesperson for Steele insisted that they were not.

"No RNC expenditures have gone to the chairman's private speeches," Katie Wright told the Huffington Post.