Playboy's Hefner Spars With GOP Over Rep. Sanchez Lunch at Mansion

Playboy's playboy defends his mansion lunch with Rep. Loretta Sanchez, announced on Twitter.

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Playboy's Hugh Hefner has a pet congresswoman, and now a tweet about a private fundraising lunch at the Playboy Mansion with California Rep. Loretta Sanchez is catching some heat from Republicans and putting the lawmaker in an unwanted spotlight.

It all started when Hefner on Tuesday announced his donor luncheon. "Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is having lunch at the Mansion. I'm a long time supporter," he said on his Twitter account that he normally uses to tell followers what he and his girlfriends are doing. For example, a half hour after he tweeted his Sanchez lunch, he updated with another tweet: "I'll be playing games tonight with Crystal, Anna and Playmates from the Bunny House."

Well it didn't take long for Joanna Burgos, a regional spokeswoman at the National Republican Congressional Committee, to notice. Her area includes California and the NRCC has been focused on the race against Sanchez, who they say has ducked debates with Republican candidate and state assemblyman Van Tran.

On Wednesday, she retweeted Hefner with her own comment: "She can't meet w/ constituents or accept a debate challenge but..RT @hughhefner Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is having lunch at the Mansion."

Not missing a chance to stir it up, NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain retweeted Burgos. Here's where it gets interesting.

Somehow Hefner found out and fired back at Spain, tweeting that Sanchez was at the Playboy Mansion "taking care of business." Wrote Hef: "@KSpainNRCC Yesterday's luncheon for Congresswoman Sanchez was a fund raiser. She's taking care of business." Since 2006, Hefner has donated $13,600 to Sanchez.

With Hefner taking the bait, Spain then offered two more tweets to reel him in. In the first he sneered, "That's what you call it?" and then later tweeted, "With all due respect 2 @hughhefner 'taking care of business' isn't dodging voters & debates. Rep-Lo just doesn't want 2 talk jobs & spending."

A Sanchez spokeswoman was unaware that her boss had been dragged into the Playboy-NRCC fight. But when it was over, Spain today said, "With all due respect to Hef, dodging debates with her opponent, and ignoring constituents' concerns does not constitute 'taking care of business.' This is the problem with Washington politicians, they think that being a member of Congress entitles them to star in their own personal version of Entourage at the expense of the voters. In the meantime, California remains on the brink of economic and fiscal disaster."

This isn't the first Playboy Mansion visit to give Sanchez headaches. In 2000, she lost her speaking role at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles because she refused to put a stop to a Playboy fundraiser she had organized at the mansion. Under pressure, she eventually moved it to a less controversial location.

Here's the Twitter chain:

Hugh Hefner, Playboy: Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is having lunch at the Mansion. I'm a long time supporter. 2:47 PM Aug 31st via Twitterrific

Joanna Burgos, NRCC regional spokeswoman: She can't meet w/ constituents or accept a debate challenge but..RT @hughhefner Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is having lunch at the Mansion 9:20 AM Sep 1st via web

Ken Spain, NRCC Communications Director: RT @joannarburgos She can't meet w/ voters or accept a debate challenge but..RT @hughhefner Rep. Lo. Sanchez is having lunch at the Mansion 9:26 AM Sep 1st via web

Hefner: @KSpainNRCC Yesterday's luncheon for Congresswoman Sanchez was a fund raiser. She's taking care of business. about 17 hours ago via Twitterrific in reply to KSpainNRCC

Spain: That's what you call it? RT @hughhefner @KSpainNRCC Yesterday's luncheon for Rep. Sanchez was a fundraiser. She's taking care of business. about 17 hours ago via web

Spain: With all due respect 2 @hughhefner "taking care of business" isn't dodging voters & debates. Rep-Lo just doesn't want 2 talk jobs & spending about 17 hours ago via web