7 comments January 31st, 2008at 06:48pm Posted by Eli
Senator McCain appears to have it backwards:
One week after Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling “officially” endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, the Beantown hero received a softball of his own: a hefty donation from the McCain campaign to his and his wife’s charity.
On December 6, 2007, Schilling, relatively fresh off of his second World Series title with Boston, hit the campaign trail on McCain’s behalf, making an appearance at the Derryfield School in New Hampshire.
“I understand at the end of the day that he’ll do what’s right for us,” Schilling said, appearing next to the Arizona senator. “I think this election is going to come down to something that’s been absent for far too long and that’s character and integrity.”
Seven days later, according to campaign finance filings, the McCain campaign returned the favor by writing a check for $4,600 to the Curt & Shonda Schilling Foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating melanoma. Both McCain and Shonda Schilling are skin cancer survivors.
The McCain campaign would not return request for comment. But campaign finance watchdogs see this as a bizarre if not questionable use of campaign dollars.
“In general it is inappropriate for members to be giving away campaign dollars for charities. It’s not why people made their contributions,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “If John McCain personally believed in Curt Schilling’s charity it is one thing. It is another to ask people to give money to his candidacy and have it go to Curt Schilling’s charity. The only way that makes sense is that he is paying for the endorsement, although they are apparently long time friends.”
That really is the strange part. Individuals make donations to charities; campaigns generally don’t. By making the donation out of his campaign funds instead of his personal bank account, McCain might as well be announcing that there was a quid pro quo here. But hey, if rich people can use donations to persuade politicians to do what they want, why can’t politicians use donations to persuade rich people to do what they want?