Washington Babylon — January 29, 2008, 10:09 am

Chavez Family Folds Up Fundraising Operations

On January 8, I reported on the formation of “Republicans for Traditional Conservative Values,” a fundraising operation headquartered in the home of Linda Chavez, the conservative commentator and once George W. Bush’s choice for labor secretary until it was revealed that she had made payments to an illegal immigrant. This was noteworthy because the Washington Post had previously exposed how Chavez had set up a number of fundraising operations that provided a “steady source of income for Chavez and four family members, who served as treasurers and consultants to the committees.” Only about 1 percent of the money raised by Chavez family operations went to political candidates, reported the Post.

Now Chavez’s husband, former White House official Christopher Gersten, says the family is shutting down all its fundraising operations. A Roll Call story from January 16 (which I missed at the time but which a reader kindly forwarded yesterday) said Gersten and Chavez had declared their intentions to shut down all five of their outfits, citing privacy concerns. The statement came after Roll Call made its own inquiries about Republicans for Traditional Conservative Values. “I’m closing it down because of my family,” Gersten told Roll Call. “I don’t foresee any future political action committee fundraising will be initiated by me.”

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