GOP Social Club Sued For Racial DiscriminationS

The National Republican Club of Capitol Hill, a.k.a. the Capitol Hill Club, is an exclusive city club designed to meet the scotch, steak, and cigar needs of Republican congressmen. Shockingly, a black former employee claims that it's run by racists.

The Capitol Hill Club is literally the place where all those "backroom deals" get made—in the room in the back—while white Republicans get drunk and play bridge and ogle waitresses in the "Eisenhower Lounge" or "Auchincloss Grill." It's the kind of place that looks like it's seen more than its fair share of dead hookers and terrified pages.

And according to its former human resources manager, it doesn't like to pay its black employees too much money. Kim Crawford, who says she worked as the club's assistant comptroller and human resources manager for more than ten years—the last eight without a raise—has filed a complaint in federal court [pdf] alleging she was repeatedly passed over for raises while "less qualified, less deserving male and white counterparts were given" pay bumps. And she says she was fired in July after taking seriously, and investigating, a racial discrimination complaint from the club's acting executive chef.

The Club is run as a nonprofit, and according to its 2008 tax returns [pdf] (the most recent immediately available), it paid its general manager Stanley Lawson an annual salary of $219,000. And it paid Israel Canada, the white catering director who Crawford says got a "15k to 20k" raise ahead of her, $101,000. Oddly, Crawford's complaint doesn't reveal the salary she was trying to get increased.

The Club, which counts an "Hon. Joe Boehner"—which we can only assume is a reference to GOP Minority Leader John Boehner—among its directors, describes its mission as "advocat[ing] and maintain[ing] the principles of Republicanism...while promoting social interaction for its members." And what better way to do that than promote white guys ahead of black ladies?

Crawford is seeking $3 million plus back pay. Lawson did not immediately return a phone call.