The Way Republicans Roll

The very rich are different from you and me.
     — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Yeah, they have more money.
     — Ernest Hemmingway

Linda Chavez and her family may not be “very rich” in the sense Fitzgerald intended, but they certainly have more money than you and me, and Ken Silverstein at the Washington Babylon blog on the Harper’s Magazine website reminds us this morning how she goes about getting it.

Longtime observers of the financial and ethical cesspool in which an inordinate number of prominent conservatives dwell will recall Ms. Chavez as the former Reagan administration functionary and FOX News talking-head who was the first Hispanic woman ever nominated to a Cabinet-level position, when President George W. Bush made her his pick for Secretary of Labor.

Maintaining the Decider‘s nearly unblemished record of naming exactly the wrong people to exactly the wrong posts, the prominent anti-union crusader was forced to withdraw her nomination in the light of her predilection for housing illegal immigrants.

This past summer The Washington Post ran a piece on her livelihood as a fundraiser for Republican causes. Through her work as a founder, treasurer, and consultant to various “political action commitees” — conducted under such “bankable” names as the Latino Alliance, Stop Union Political Abuse (“If we stop now, the terrorists win,‚Äù said a 2003 pitch), and the Pro-Life Campaign — 1 percent of the $24.5 million raised by her groups between 2003 and 2006 was actually passed on to politicians, and less still went to pay for the independent political activities hyped to would-be donors. In addition to compensation for Ms. Chavez’ own labor and expertise, several members of her family, including a son and husband, drew “modest, but steady” income from their work in the PAC industry.

As Mr. Silverstein reports, Federal Election Commission documents show the family’s perseverance in the face of times leaner than those to which they’d become accustomed .

Ms. Chavez’ husband, Christopher Gersten, is the treasurer of a new PAC, christened just last November Republicans for Traditional Conservative Values. The family home in Purcellville, VA is its address of record.

Perseverance in the face of adversity — it’s What America Needs.


In other news undoubtedly to be decried by media watchdogs as “fear mongering,” MoveOn reminds us: no matter who you vote for, your ballot may yet be insecure.

Update II Feb. 4, 2008

As reported by Mr. Silverstein on his Harper’s blog last week, the Chavez family have decided to call it a day and look for a new line of work.


  1. Tam O’Tellico - January 8, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

    As I’ve said before, the only virtue in having to suffer the slings and arrows of the administration of the Current Occupant and his toadies is that they were so brazen in their thuggery, so contemptible of fairness, so utterly gross in their indecency, that sooner or later they had to step on their own dick, cheney or otherwise. The measure of how far the fools have fallen is seen not only in the polls, but in the massive turnout in the caucuses and primaries. The other sign that the jig is up for the Republicans for the foreseeable future is the number of old Repuplican pols who are deserting ship. Let us hope it is not too late to save the ship from sinking.

  2. lonbud - January 9, 2008 @ 4:44 am

    There is plenty to be optimistic about, given the increase in turnout, infusion of youth, mobilization of the disaffected, and robustness of the debate as evidenced by developments in the Democratic primary.

    The ship has been recklessly captained for far too long and is in need of substantial repairs, but it seems the clouds have broken, a new day is dawning, and welcoming shores are on the horizon.

    On a personal note, Tam, you may be interested in a conversation going on in the comments thread of the post Of Tides, Boats, and Risings Up. Others may, as well, but I know the topic area is one dear to Tam’s heart.

  3. Tam O’Tellico - January 14, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

    Lon, has the Skipper skipped town already?

  4. lonbud - January 14, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

    Not sure about Hey Skipper’s coordinates. He may have felt put off by my “sail on, sailor” message, or maybe he’s re-loading the heavy guns, I can’t be sure. I hope he comes back to address your comment re: Warren Buffett, etc.

  5. Tam O’Tellico - January 14, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

    Too bad, I have some views on IQ I’m sure would start him Mensastrating.

  6. lonbud - January 16, 2008 @ 11:59 am

    We’re back at it…

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