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Bush Fund-Raisers Among Overnight Guests
AP ^ | 3/10/04

Posted on 03/10/2004 6:06:03 AM PST by mgist

Bush Fund-Raisers Among Overnight Guests

 

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush opened the White House and Camp David to dozens of overnight guests last year, including foreign dignitaries, family friends and at least nine of his biggest campaign fund-raisers, documents show.

In all, Bush and first lady Laura Bush have invited at least 270 people to stay at the White House and at least the same number to overnight at the Camp David retreat since moving to Washington in January 2001, according to lists the White House provided The Associated Press.


 
 

Some guests spent a night in the Lincoln Bedroom, historic quarters that gained new fame in the Clinton administration amid allegations that Democrats rewarded major donors like Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand with accommodations there.

That scandal and Bush's criticism of it is one of the reasons the White House identifies guests. In a debate with Vice President Al Gore in October 2000, Bush said: ``I believe they've moved that sign, `The buck stops here,' from the Oval Office desk to `The buck stops here' on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that's not good for the country.''

 

Los Angeles attorney Donald Etra stayed at the Bush White House several times and at Camp David once. Etra, a Yale classmate of President Bush, said he and his wife were invited as friends, not because they each gave Bush $1,000 in 2000.

 
``Friendship comes first, donations come second,'' Etra said.

 
Describing a stay in the Lincoln Bedroom, he said it was almost impossible to sleep.

 
``It is so unbelievably exciting and unbelievable that you are staying in the White House,'' he said. ``One hesitates to put a coffee cup down on the coffee table because there's an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation under glass.''

 
Bush's overnight guest roster is virtually free of celebrities - pro golfer Ben Crenshaw is the biggest name - but not of campaign supporters.

 
At least nine of Bush's biggest fund-raisers appear on the latest list of White House overnight guests, covering June 2002 through December 2003, and-or on the Camp David list, which covers last year. They include:

 
Mercer Reynolds, an Ohio financier, former Bush partner in the Texas Rangers baseball team and former ambassador to Switzerland. Reynolds is leading Bush's campaign fund-raising effort. He was a guest at the White House and the Camp David retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains.

 
Brad Freeman, a venture capitalist who is leading Bush's California fund-raising effort, has raised at least $200,000 for his re-election campaign and is also a major Republican Party fund-raiser. Freeman stayed at the White House.

 
Roland Betts, who raised at least $100,000 for Bush in 2000, was a Bush fraternity brother at Yale and a Texas Rangers partner. Betts stayed at the White House and Camp David.

 
William DeWitt, a Bush partner in the oil business and Texas Rangers who has raised at least $200,000 for Bush's re-election effort, stayed at the White House.

 
James Francis, who headed the Bush campaign's 2000 team of $100,000-and-up volunteer fund-raisers and was a Bush appointee in Texas when Bush was governor. Francis was a White House guest.

 
Joseph O'Neill, an oilman and childhood friend who introduced Bush to Laura Bush and raised at least $100,000 for each of Bush's presidential campaigns, stayed at the White House.

 
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and New York Gov. George Pataki, who each raised at least $200,000 for Bush's re-election campaign, were White House guests.

 
James Langdon, who raised at least $100,000 for Bush, is a Washington attorney specializing in international oil and gas transactions. Langdon, whose clients include the Russian oil company Lukoil, is a member of Bush's foreign intelligence advisory board and served on Bush's 2000 presidential transition team on energy policy.

 
``Some of these guests are old classmates, some of them have been friends of theirs for many, many years,'' White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said. ``They enjoy the opportunity to spend time with them.''

 
Langdon, who stayed at Camp David a few weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin did last September, said Bush's invitations to him and the other fund-raisers differ from the allegations of the Clinton years.

 
``Of course I'm a fund-raiser - I support him in every way I can. But my relationship with him and his wife and his family spans more than three decades,'' said Langdon, who grew up in Texas and was a Bush friend since Bush's early years there. ``I certainly don't need to be rewarded with a trip to Camp David for doing what I'm doing.''

 
Several Bush relatives visited the White House and Camp David, including former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush. Visiting world leaders stayed at Camp David, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

 
Guests do not have to reimburse the government for their stays.
 


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism
KEYWORDS: bush43; bushfundraisers; donors
Interesting.
1 posted on 03/10/2004 6:06:03 AM PST by mgist
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To: mgist
Oddly, they found nothing wroing with this when Clinton did it.
2 posted on 03/10/2004 6:07:11 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: AppyPappy
True but there goes the moral high ground on this issue.
3 posted on 03/10/2004 6:09:41 AM PST by johniegrad
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To: mgist; AppyPappy
But there's SCANDAL when a Republican does it.

I wonder if this isn't what the Socialist from the National Enquirer meant, when he said that he "has all sorts of dirt on Bush"?

There's more of these shotgun blasts to come...
4 posted on 03/10/2004 6:09:46 AM PST by Old Sarge
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To: mgist
Yeah, but I bet Bush's guests don't trash the place.


5 posted on 03/10/2004 6:09:58 AM PST by martin_fierro (A v v n c v l v s M a x i m v s)
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To: mgist
This was probably fed to the AP by a democrat run PR firm -- you know, the kind that does dirty tricks for the dems...
6 posted on 03/10/2004 6:13:39 AM PST by GOPJ (NFL Owners: Grown men don't watch hollywood peep shows with wives and children.)
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To: johniegrad
No, these are friends of long-standing, who raised money without inducements. And by the way, did you note how they included Pataki and Owen, who are GOVERNORS?

The difference is that Clinton actually had a list of how much money you had to raise before you got to stay at the White House, and many times he wasn't even there.

7 posted on 03/10/2004 6:13:49 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: mgist
Why did you post this?
8 posted on 03/10/2004 6:14:57 AM PST by GOPJ (NFL Owners: Grown men don't watch hollywood peep shows with wives and children.)
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To: mgist
Of course his friends are contributors - do they seriously believe that his enemies would be major contributors?
If I remember correctly, the Klintons were renting out the room for a night, not inviting friends over.
There is a BIG difference.
9 posted on 03/10/2004 6:17:49 AM PST by Semper Vigilantis (1 democrat + 1 democrat = 5 opinions, 6 tax increases, 2 more welfare programs & 0 solutions.)
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To: johniegrad
True but there goes the moral high ground on this issue.

I respectfully disagree. Everyone one of the people mentioned have other connections to GWB and family than just fundraising. In contrast, clinton didn't have any "long time family friends", he didn't personally know most of the folks, neither he or she were "home" during the majority of the stays, and the only tie was the $$$ donation. Big difference - of course the media won't mention any of this!

10 posted on 03/10/2004 6:18:36 AM PST by noexcuses
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To: martin_fierro
I don't think they attempt to potray it as scandalous. They just can't bring themselves to admit that President Bush invites true friends, and Clinton invited anyone famous, with money, in tight pants.
11 posted on 03/10/2004 6:18:37 AM PST by mgist
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To: mgist

"Vote Dubya!"

"Because the Rat's argument against impeaching Bubba i.e. "everybody does it" works in this case for us!"


12 posted on 03/10/2004 6:19:25 AM PST by KantianBurke (Arguments that got Arnold elected in 02, will get a "moderate" RINO elected to the White House in 08)
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To: GOPJ
Why did you post this?

Because I think it is interesting, don't you?

13 posted on 03/10/2004 6:19:48 AM PST by mgist
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To: Miss Marple; noexcuses
I agree that the differences pointed out are legitimate differences between the two administrations. However, this sort of thing has the ability to give the "appearance" of impropriety and appearances will influence some people's thinking. The press will now use this type of issue to try to attack the president's character after giving the last administration a pass on it. Why provide any ammunition for the enemy?
14 posted on 03/10/2004 6:23:50 AM PST by johniegrad
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To: mgist; GOPJ
I didn't think FR was getting this tightly bound into its own echo chamber - I actually had to leave for a while because it was getting boring - no one to fight with.

You have to see what the opposition (mainstream news) is saying about your side, or you fall into a complacency or false sense that everyone thinks like you do.
15 posted on 03/10/2004 6:24:54 AM PST by MrB
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To: MrB; Timesink
You can go to the DU site to see the liberal side, or pick up any newspaper, turn on CNN, ABC, NBC, or CBS. Really we don't need that garbage here.

I'm amazed you can't fine the liberal viewpoint. I can't get away from it.

Some of the people who post this liberal crap here are working for Democrat PR firms and it's their job to disrupt this site and demoralize the people who come here. If you don't believe me, I'll fill you in on some of their tactics. Very much like the Nazi's they took the ideas from...

You have to see what the opposition (mainstream news) is saying about your side, or you fall into a complacency or false sense that everyone thinks like you do.

16 posted on 03/10/2004 6:34:35 AM PST by GOPJ (NFL Owners: Grown men don't watch hollywood peep shows with wives and children.)
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To: johniegrad
Well, to my mind the press would like nothing better than to isolate President Bush and deny him the social interaction with his long-time friends. As we well know, the President has few friends in Washington.

I am not going to let the press dictate my attitude, not do I think it should dictate the White House guest list. The list for Clinton was MUCH larger, and most of those people he had never known socially.

17 posted on 03/10/2004 6:40:47 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: mgist
I don't want to read liberal propaganda here. It can be found on the DU site, any newspaper, CNN, ABC, NBC, or CBS. I'm amazed you have to bring the liberal viewpoint here. I can't get away from it.

Some people who post liberal crap here are working for Democrat PR firms and it's their job to disrupt this site and demoralize the people who come here. Ever hear of freedom of assembly? If you don't believe me, I'll fill you in on some of the democrat PR firm tactics. Very much like the Nazi's they took the ideas from...

18 posted on 03/10/2004 6:41:21 AM PST by GOPJ (NFL Owners: Grown men don't watch hollywood peep shows with wives and children.)
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To: Miss Marple
I suspect this will be on the news (alphabet networks) tonight and will pass as a tempest in a teapot. I really don't disagree with anything you say about it. It's just when I saw the post I had one of those sinking feelings. It is the press's attempt to draw moral equivalency between the last two administrations. I hate to see that happen because of how cynical that is. My opinion certainly isn't changed by this. I worry some about the casual news listener who may think this is more important than Kerry's absenteeism from the Senate, his multiple positions on an issue, and the like.
19 posted on 03/10/2004 6:45:39 AM PST by johniegrad
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To: Miss Marple
I am not going to let the press dictate my attitude, not do I think it should dictate the White House guest list. The list for Clinton was MUCH larger, and most of those people he had never known socially.

As I recall, Clinton averaged more than one fundraiser/Guest per day - and as you said above, he didn't know most of them, and was often out of town (at Fundraisers).

20 posted on 03/10/2004 6:48:48 AM PST by lepton
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To: johniegrad
I see your point. If it weren't this, it would be something else, though. The media has gone into full DNC mode, and it is to be expected.

Don't lose heart. I am convinced the more the public sees of Kerry, the more they will dislike him.

21 posted on 03/10/2004 6:49:15 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: johniegrad
It is the press's attempt to draw moral equivalency between the last two administrations.

Unfortunately, they do that with pretty much anything that sounds vaguely like something Clinton did. It is impossible to completely avoid this comparison - but what can be done is to be aware of it, and to have the facts at hand to refute it.

22 posted on 03/10/2004 6:51:22 AM PST by lepton
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To: mgist
Bush: Thank you for your support in the past. Please be our guests at the White House for an evening and stay the night.

clintoon: If you will donate $50,000 to the DNC, you can spend a night in the White House.

A subtle but distinct difference that will be completely lost on the left.
23 posted on 03/10/2004 6:59:49 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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One Democratic fund-raiser, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said he regularly solicited contributions from Washington lobbyists who understood the money might gain them the rarest contact of all -- unfiltered access to the president.

Donations got lobbyists invited to coffees with Clinton

Big difference!

24 posted on 03/10/2004 7:06:14 AM PST by lysie
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To: mgist
Lincoln Bedroom Sleepover for Gore Benefactor Surrounded by Questionable Coincidences

President[Clinton]Had Big Role in Setting Donor Perks

The Smoking Gun Memo in Clinton's handwriting, which reads:

"Yes, pursue all 3 and promptly -- and get other names of the 100,000 or more," Clinton wrote, apparently seeking names of people who had given $100,000 or more to the Democrats. Clinton went on: "Ready to start overnights right away -- give me the top 10 list back, along with the 100."

25 posted on 03/10/2004 7:13:27 AM PST by ravingnutter
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To: Blood of Tyrants
A subtle but distinct difference that will be completely lost on the left.

The RNC has historically run its major donor programs as "membership clubs." You join the Eagles, Team 100, etc. and are eligible to participate in a program. This will consist of several meetings a year. The president, of course, is likely to be a guest at some of these functions, which are social in nature and generally involve rather large numbers of people. Think upscale Lincoln Day dinners. However, the RNC never says, "Send us $50,000 or $100,000 for a meeting with the president." And the RNC would never dream of renting out the Lincoln Bedroom.

26 posted on 03/10/2004 7:30:21 AM PST by sphinx
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To: johniegrad
True but there goes the moral high ground on this issue.

You mean the Democrats I assume.

27 posted on 03/10/2004 7:31:47 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: AppyPappy
My position is well outlined in subsequent posts.
28 posted on 03/10/2004 7:32:49 AM PST by johniegrad
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To: johniegrad
The press will now use this type of issue to try to attack the president's character after giving the last administration a pass on it. Why provide any ammunition for the enemy?

Because they don't need ammunition. They can spin anything. You are playing the game to avoid losing and wondering why you aren't winning. The key is to attack, not constantly defend.

29 posted on 03/10/2004 7:38:20 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: noexcuses
I respectfully disagree.

Yeah, there's a difference, but the PERCEIVED moral high ground has been lost. The media will see to that. Republicans are held to entirely different standards, and must conduct themselves accordingly or pay the price.

MM

30 posted on 03/10/2004 7:50:56 AM PST by MississippiMan
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To: mgist
The friends of President Bush are clearly of long standing, not contributors he meets one day and they get to spend the night the next, ala Clinton.

I hope the difference is clear

The Clinton fundraising scheme was planned in a memo proposing they solicit contributions by rewarding donors with an overnight in the Lincoln bedroom and Clinton's own handwritten note on the memo said "start overnights right away".

See the diff?

Hope so.
31 posted on 03/10/2004 8:36:06 AM PST by cyncooper ("an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm" GWB 1/20/01)
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To: KantianBurke
Bush hosts long time friends and officials.

The Clinton WH used an overnight stay as a reward for donations.

Completely different.
32 posted on 03/10/2004 8:38:45 AM PST by cyncooper ("an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm" GWB 1/20/01)
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To: mgist
What do you find interesting about it?
33 posted on 03/10/2004 8:39:04 AM PST by cyncooper ("an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm" GWB 1/20/01)
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To: johniegrad
You mean honorable presidents are not allowed to host overnight guests?

Beam me up!
34 posted on 03/10/2004 8:40:03 AM PST by cyncooper ("an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm" GWB 1/20/01)
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To: mgist
The AP reporter is SHARON THEIMER.

Doesn't sound at all damaging. We won't be hearing this subject brought up again LOL!

35 posted on 03/10/2004 8:41:59 AM PST by mrsmith ("Oyez, oyez! All rise for the Honorable Chief Justice... Hillary Rodham Clinton ")
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To: MrB; mgist
There is no problem with posting the article. The article was posted and the only comment the poster made was "interesting", implying there was something "to" the equivalence being drawn in the piece.

All fine and well, but there is no problem with asking the poster to clarify his motivation in posting it, even as the rest of us correctly put facts into perspective.
36 posted on 03/10/2004 8:42:48 AM PST by cyncooper ("an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm" GWB 1/20/01)
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To: johniegrad
True but there goes the moral high ground on this issue.

Not really. I know the media simpletons will spin it that way, but don't forget that Xlinton was selling access to the White House for stated prices (i.e. the teas with photo-ops, overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom, etc.). With Bush it appears more that its long-term friends, party associates, etc., that are also donors/fundraisers in addition to the relationship.

37 posted on 03/10/2004 8:46:00 AM PST by HenryLeeII (John Kerry's votes have killed more people than my guns!)
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To: GOPJ; mgist
I don't want to read liberal propaganda here.

Well, I agree with mgist. Ignoring stories that we don't agree with won't make them go away. FR is a place that people can go to get a conservative perspective on any news story, not just stories that trumpet the conservative viewpoint. Know thy enemy.
38 posted on 03/10/2004 11:50:22 AM PST by Stone Mountain
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