UPDATE: Not that it changes anything, but the event was canceled at the last minute since we invaded Iraq right before it was to take place. The fact still remains that Matthews, Snow and Hume agreed to host an apparently all-Republican fundraiser for Abramoff's shady charity.
Okay, this is interesting. Major kudos to reader Denise for sending me this.
Abramoff forms a group called the "Capital Athletic Foundation." The group appears to play a key role in the Abramoff scandal:
...allegations that Abramoff used NCPPR and CAF to pay for overseas trips for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and other Republican lawmakers and that he attempted to influence lawmakers with large donations from various American Indian tribes.More on the non-profit's role from the Washington Post:
The Capital Athletic Foundation's Web site portrays youths at play: shaking hands over a tennis net, learning how to hold a bat, straining for a jump ball. Its text solicits donations for what it describes as "needy and deserving" sportsmanship programs.Then we go back to March 5, 2003 and find out that Chris Matthews helped put on an event benefiting the very same "Capital Athletic Foundation":
In its first four years of operation, the charity has collected nearly $6 million. A gala fundraiser last year at the International Spy Museum at one point attracted the Washington Redskins' owner as its chairman and was to honor the co-founder of America Online.
Records for GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff's Capital Athletic Foundation show that less than 1 percent of its revenue has been spent on sports-related programs for youths, and federal investigators are looking into how large amounts of money were funneled through the nonprofit group to support Abramoff's interests. (Thomas Butler -- The Hill)
But tax and spending records of the Capital Athletic Foundation obtained by The Washington Post show that less than 1 percent of its revenue has been spent on sports-related programs for youths.
Instead, the documents show that Jack Abramoff, one of Washington's high-powered Republican lobbyists, has repeatedly channeled money from corporate clients into the foundation and spent the overwhelming portion of its money on pet projects having little to do with the advertised sportsmanship programs, including political causes, a short-lived religious school and an overseas golf trip.
It's called the Interactive Spy Game Gala. Scheduled for March 26 at the International Spy Museum in Washington, the event's purpose is to raise about $300,000 for the Capital Athletic Foundation....And it was only just a few hours ago that we reported how Chris Matthews was trying to downplay the impact of the Abramoff scandal in terms of what it said more generally about Republicans. Very interesting indeed.
Fox News Channel's Tony Snow is master of ceremonies, and Fox's Brit Hume and MSNBC's Chris Matthews are aboard. Opera great Placido Domingo is an event committee member. But, this being Washington, the event will be mostly populated by powerful lawmakers, including Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas; Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
An aside: I can't wait for Rick Santorum to explain what he was doing there.
More from Markos on this.