Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Too odd to be true

Yesterday, KvM noted (as did I) that U2 would be doing a fundraiser for Sen. Rick Santorum, the most vulnerable Republican Senator. Perplexed, I did some more digging.

Here’s what I found:

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Sen. Hillary Clinton, star of the Democratic Party, is holding a $2,500-a-head fundraiser but giving herself second-billing to even bigger stars: U2.

The event is for Clinton's political action committee, Hill PAC, which has "cordially invited" 18 people to catch U2's soldout Vertigo show from a luxury suite in Washington's MCI Center on Oct. 19.

According to the stadium, those 18 backers can expect to rock in comfort with a wet bar, private bathroom and plush chairs in Clinton's suite, which a source said costs $7,000.

"Executive suites offer the ultimate in personalized service, privacy and convenience, combined with a panoramic view," MCI Center says on its Web site.

They're also fine spots for getting donors to pony up the maximum $5,000 annual contribution.

"Our suites are luxury `apartments' that provide a dazzling way to entertain in a captive but relaxed environment," the stadium site says.

Campaign spokeswoman Ann Lewis said a rock show was a "considerably more fun" way to fill the coffers. "We do a meet-and-greet with the senator, and then go in and listen to music," she said.

Clinton's camp isn't the first to book a Bono box.

Her nemesis in the Senate, Pennsylvania's Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, had the same idea. But he's only getting $1,000 a head for U2's show in Philadelphia on Sunday.

U2 was so irked by being linked to fundraisers - particularly media reports that mistakenly said the band was working with Santorum - that their publicist sent out a release Tuesday swearing off any connections.

"Throughout the U2 tour, politicians from both sides have been organizing fundraisers at the venues or around specific shows," the statement said. "The U2 concerts are categorically not fundraisers for any politician - they are rock concerts for U2 fans."

Hill PAC is a "leadership PAC" that also raises money for other candidates and committees.
(Source: NY Daily News, Oct. 12, 2005)

The truth is much less interesting. Both Senators will be having fundraisers in luxury boxes at U2 concerts, not with U2.


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