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I did an item awhile back about a fundraiser for Congressman Ed Towns that was hosted by the Entertainment Software Association and held at the Verizon Center during a show by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. But I didn’t realize how many other members of congress use Springsteen concerts to drum up cash.
ProPublica has the goods here:
As Bruce Springsteen belted out his working-class anthems on the floor of the Verizon Center last May, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chair of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, was raising money in the privacy of a luxury suite overlooking the stage. Ten other members of Congress were also asking for cash that night. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was there, too, holding a fundraiser featuring Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chair of the Financial Services Committee. It was the ultimate in multitasking for the politicians – three hours of The Boss for free while raising thousands of dollars for their campaigns and political action committees, or leadership PACs…
At least 19 congressional fundraisers were held at Springsteen’s two Washington concerts last year, almost half of them in boxes rented from companies or organizations with business before the committees of the lawmakers who used them.
Note: Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager, told me after my item ran: “Obviously we had no idea about the fund-raiser at the Verizon Center and are looking into it right now. Bruce does not allow his name to be used to promote anything without his permission, but sometimes the truly ingenious find ways to piggyback their events on top of what we do in ways that are hard to disentangle.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.
Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:
Kentucky is the saddest state.
An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”