Hillary a Hot Ticket
THE Senator Hillary Clinton fundraiser in Dublin on November 17 will surely attract the great and the good of Dublin society. It will be limited to 100 people or 50 couples, and the scramble for tickets is bound to be intense.
It is not necessarily limited to just paying guests. What will likely happen is that many Irish citizens will know Americans who either work with them or are friends, and they will get them to contribute to the fundraiser and go as their free guests. Given the number of Americans working in Ireland that will hardly be all that difficult.
The fundraiser will be held on the south side in the Dublin 4 area, and the house party will be hosted by an Irishman and his wife who lived in America for many years and returned back home where they both have been very successful.
Interest in the event in Ireland is already intense, with huge media coverage certain. Former President Bill Clinton is a relatively frequent visitor to Ireland, but there has never been a fundraiser for an American candidate in Ireland so it will be a first.
Speaking of Clinton supporters, there will also be an Irish event this week, on Friday in Iowa, at the Irish Settlement in Madison County outside Des Moines.
The tireless Stella O'Leary will be doing the heavy lifting for this one, which is expected to launch an Irish campaign for the candidate in the key first state.
There was almost a last minute hiccup over whether or not the legal issues which surround all such events were cleared up, but happily for Irish American Democrats it was resolved. The head of the Friends of Ireland in Congress, Congressman Richie Neal, will be present.
JFK's Pay Day
SPEAKING of fundraising, Ted Sorensen came out last week and announced that if President John F. Kennedy were alive today he would want Senator Barack Obama as president.
The Obama campaign was only too happy to take the endorsement of the last non-family survivor of JFK's inner circle.
Obama would hardly get away with the JFK fundraising tactics, however, in the modern era. If you think politics is a game seeded by money today, consider what old Joe Kennedy was up to back in 1960 when his son was running for the White House.
West Virginia was the key state that JFK had to win to prove that a Catholic could become president. The state was 95% Protestant and suspicious of Catholics.
Old Joe decided that a good way to ensure support was to give handouts to the many Protestant ministers who held sway over their congregations.
Years later writer Peter Maass discovered how it was done and gave an interview about it.
"For example, if Boston area churches had collected $950,000 on a particular Sunday from collections, Joe would write a check for $1 million to the diocese, deduct it as a charitable contribution, and receive the $950,000 in cash.
"Thus, in this example, the church got a contribution of $50,000, Joe could deduct the entire amount on his income tax, and he could use the money to pay off politicians without fear that it would be traced.