Politics

Jindal hires ‘Bondage-gate’ veteran at RGA

Jindal hires 'Bondage-gate' veteran at RGA
Waitress at Voyeur, the West Hollywood, Calif., go-go bar

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who just took over leadership of the Republican Governors Association, announced Jan. 9 that the new RGA political director will be the Rhode Islander, who in 2010 resigned as chief of staff for then Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, after news reports of RNC bankrolling a grand old party with strippers, limousines and a Beverly Hills hotel.

Kenneth McKay IV resigned April 5, 2010 after it was learned that the RNC reported in federal filings expenses for high-living that included nearly $2,000 at Voyeur, a West Hollywood, Calif., go-go bar. The 2010 scandal, called “Bondage-gate,” because of Voyeur’s use of bondage-themes in its entertainment, was a major distraction to Republican efforts to regain momentum after the election of President Barack Obama, and with him a Democratic-controlled House and Senate.

Kenneth McKay IV

Kenneth McKay IV

The spending spree included $982 listed for offices supplies that turned out to be five cases of Vermont ice wine.

Jindal said McKay, an Army veteran, would be responsible for 38 gubernatorial races between now until Election Day Nov. 4, 2014.

“Ken knows how to win governors’ races in the most challenging states for Republicans, and he will be an invaluable asset for the RGA in the upcoming election cycle,” he said. The new RGA political director was a campaign aide and later chief of staff for former Rhode Island Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri. In 2012, McKay’s People’s Majority Super PAC, which had an Alexandria, Va. mailing address, raised $337,000 and spent $183,165 to defeat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who won another term.

“His experience both winning open seats and defending incumbents makes him the ideal person to guide the RGA’s political efforts and defend our majority of 30 Republican governors,” Jindal said.

In previous campaigns, McKay has history of working alongside the Alexandria, Va., political consulting firm OnMessage, and after his resignation from the RNC, the leader of OnMessage Curt Anderson, who co-authored Jindal’s 2010 book “Leadership in Crisis” ended his relationship with the RNC, where he had been a senior adviser to Steele.

The fomer RNC chief of staff, whose family owns a successful furniture store in North Kingstown, R.I., said, “I’ve seen firsthand the game-changing impact the RGA makes in governors’ races.”

The RGA is ready, he said.

“I am excited to join the best team in politics ahead of a critical election cycle for both the nation and the GOP,” said the man, who from March 2011 until the end of that year was the chairman of the Rhode Island Republican State Committee, before he joined the staff of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who like Jindal is an OnMessage client.

An attorney, who graduated in 2006 from Roger Williams University Law School, McKay said, “Republican governors are providing the bold, transformational leadership our country needs in these challenging times and I look forward to working hard every day to ensure the ranks of Republican governors remain strong.”

[This article has been updated.]

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