The tempest swirling at the bottom of Tuesday’s political teapot is a fundraiser held at the W Hotel by a group of freshmen Republicans, including Jeff Denham of California, John Runyan of New Jersey, Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, and a dozen other new representatives from various states. Together they formed a political action committee called America’s New Majority, and threw a big party at the W to raise money. The Politico says Denham invited the media to witness the event, telling reporters, “We’re conservatives, but doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.”
Republican leaders anxious to remain focused on a message of austerity, including Speaker John Boehner, chose to avoid the event. Meanwhile, Democrats pounced with coyote howls of “hypocrisy!” Even Fox News reported on the fundraiser through narrowed eyes.
For example, the Fox piece on the shindig calls the W Hotel “posh.” I had a peek at their website, and it looks awfully nice, but they’ve got rooms from $279 a night. That doesn’t seem too bad for a hotel just down the road from the White House. It’s not like that hotel in Dubai that puts up thousand-foot Christmas trees covered with diamonds and plutonium. Lord knows the Republican National Committee has hosted donors at more…exotic locations.
It should also be remembered this event was a fundraiser. That’s why it cost $2500 a plate. You can fill donors to bursting down at the Golden Corral for $11 a plate, but you won’t raise much money that way.
Fox News reporter Stephen Clark writes that “Democrats didn’t waste a chance to point out the irony of an event in which a VIP package costs $50,000 for members of a freshman class of Republican lawmakers who coasted to a historic victory in November by pledging to tackle jaw-dropping deficits and rein in runaway federal spending.” Ah, so only the party of Big Government, populated with doddering Beltway dinosaurs, can raise money for a PAC without irony. While we’re busy handicapping the small-government guys, maybe we should also require them to give all public speeches in Esperanto.
Clark also ominously reminds us that “House Republican leaders have vowed to slash $100 billion from the domestic budget this year. They are also considering a resolution to cut the cost of Congress in a move that they say would save taxpayers $35 million.” Obviously, you can’t slash $100 billion from the federal budget while donors are freely paying $2500 a seat to have dinner with you.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fired off an e-mail castigating the freshmen Republicans for “embracing the corporate special interest agenda even before they are sworn in.” That’s pretty rich, coming from the party of Goldman-Sachs and George Soros. You could use Michelle Malkin’s indictment of the Obama Democrats, Culture of Corruption, to call a square dance for corporate special interests. Just open to a random page and start reading, throwing in the occasional “swing your partner!” or “yeeee-HAAA!”
Lefty special interest Common Cause piled on as well. They’re big proponents of public campaign financing, which means giving the mainstream media complete control over our elections. If every candidate gets the same little pile of tax dollars to run his campaign, the value of the liberal media’s in-kind contributions to the Democrat Party would soar. Meanwhile, Common Cause was a driving force behind the odious “Net Neutrality” power grab, designed to battle the terrible menace of people flocking to conservative Web sites.
“These new members of Congress should remember that they were elected to serve the public interest, not the interest of lobbyists who buy $50,000 tickets,” sneered Common Cause president Bob Edgar. (For the record, the fifty grand he’s wailing about was not the price of a ticket, but the price of a VIP package, which included eight tickets plus a VIP suite.) It’s a well-kept secret that liberal political action committees do not hold fundraisers, because they run entirely on sanctimony and moonbeams.
True, Common Cause currently has a job opening for a “Fair Districts Director” on their website, whose job duties include “maximizing possibilities for fundraising and other organization-building activities,” but the Fair Districts Director doesn’t actually touch any filthy money. He leads drum circles, which charge Common Cause with so much positive energy that dollar bills actually shrivel into piles of dust around them. In dire fiscal emergencies, Bob Edgar can spit quarters out of his nose.
Somehow I think the Republic will survive Jeff Denham’s little soiree, as it has endured so many fundraisers before it. We managed to get on with our lives after Barack Obama’s October dinner at the California home of Google vice president Marissa Meyer, after all. Tickets to that one went for $30,000 a plate.