Thursday, November 11, 2010

Supreme Court Justice Alito Fundraises for the Right

Think Progress recently confronted Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. regarding his appearance and involvement with a conservative fundraiser. When Alito was asked whether it was appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice to attend a highly political fundraiser with the chairman of the Republican Party, Alito repeatedly stated,
“it’s not important that I’m here.”

The gala that Alito attended was the annual fundraiser for the American Spectator, a right-wing magazine.
Last night, the American Spectator — a right-wing magazine known for its role in the “Arkansas Project,” a well-funded effort to invent stories with the goal of eventually impeaching President Clinton — held its annual gala fundraising event. The Spectator is more than merely an ideological outlet. Spectator publisher Al Regnery helps lead a secretive group of conservatives called the “Conservative Action Project,” formed after President Obama’s election, to help lobby for conservative legislative priorities, elect Republicans (the Conservative Action Project helped campaign against Democrat Bill Owens in NY-23), and block President Obama’s judicial appointments. The Spectator’s gala last night, with ticket prices/sponsorship levels ranging from $250 to $25,000, featured prominent Republicans like RNC chairman Michael Steele, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer (a major donor to Republican campaign committees and attack ad groups), and U.S. Chamber of Commerce board member and former Allied Capital CEO William Walton. Among the attendees toasting Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the keynote speaker for the event, was Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito.
This is not the first time Alito has attended a political fundraiser.
In 2009, Alito also headlined a fundraising dinner for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which funded the conservative journalist James O’Keefe and Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. Alito is reported to have helped the institute raise $70,000.
Recently, the media was atwitter with the story of
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's unabashedly liberal-leaning cable television host. Olbermann had openly contributed to three Democratic candidates' campaigns. He was suspended for a short time for violating network policies. When he returned he openly apologized for the brewhaha that ensued.
He apologized to viewers for "not having known by observation, since it is not in my contract, that NBC had rules about getting permission for making political donations, even though any rule like that in any company is probably not legal.
According to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, a justice should not "solicit funds for, pay an assessment to, or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, or attend or purchase a ticket for a dinner or other event sponsored by a political organization or candidate."

What was Alito's response when asked about "the ethical issues raised by his right-wing political fundraising?"
Alito repeatedly stated, “it’s not important that I’m here.”

Where is the outrage that a Supreme Court Justice is an openly "activist judge?" Hey, Fox News, are you outraged? Glenn Beck, where is the conspiracy theory? Rush Limbaugh, are you jumping up and down that an activist judge is so open in his pandering?

Nope! All those right wing commentators and pundits are too busy bashing anyone who doesn't think like they do.

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