Hol­ly­wood cash finds its way to D.C. cam­paigns

Giv­ing aligns with contractor’s

The Washington Times Daily - - Front Page - BY JIM MCELHATTON

On the same day last year that em­ploy­ees of D.C. contractor Jef­frey E. Thompson gave big credit card do­na­tions to D.C. Coun­cil mem­ber Vin­cent B. Orange, so too did a Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer and his com­pany 3,000 miles away.

The do­na­tions from pro­ducer Pro­teus Spann and his busi­ness re­veal more than Mr. Spann’s in­ter­est in Washington’s lo­cal pol­i­tics, but an ex­am­ple of the sort of big-money do­na­tions flow­ing from Hol­ly­woodarea ZIP codes to D.C. can­di­dates in ways that align with Mr. Thompson’s in­ter­ests.

The of­fices of city’s big­gest contractor and po­lit­i­cal con­trib­u­tor were raided by fed­eral

dur­ing the al­most 20-minute ad­dress to stu­dents and fac­ulty. “If we don’t change course now, this as­sault on free­dom could dam­age our econ­omy and the well-be­ing of Amer­i­can fam­i­lies for decades to come.”

The fo­cus on Mr. Obama sig­nals the Rom­ney cam­paign’s con­fi­dence in the state’s Tues­day pri­mary. When­ever Mr. Rom­ney feels his mo­men­tum slip­ping, he turns his at­ten­tion to at­tack­ing his in­tra­party ri­vals.

Af­ter win­ning all of Puerto Rico’s 20 del­e­gates, Mr. Rom­ney has 521 del­e­gates to Mr. San­to­rum’s 253. For­mer House Speaker Newt Gin­grich has 136 del­e­gates, while Rep. Ron Paul of Texas has col­lected the sup­port of 50 del­e­gates, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Polls show Mr. Rom­ney is well-po­si­tioned to cap­ture a good num­ber of the 54 del­e­gates up for grabs in Illi­nois. Mr. San­to­rum also hopes for a strong show­ing, though he is el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive at most 44 del­e­gates af­ter he failed to com­plete full del­e­gate slates in some of the state’s 18 con­gres­sional dis­tricts.

Mr. San­to­rum, a for­mer se­na­tor from Penn­syl­va­nia, showed no signs of slow­ing down on the cam­paign trail Mon­day, ar­gu­ing in a se­ries of ra­dio in­ter­views and at ral­lies that Mr. Rom­ney’s track record on health care makes him a weaker can­di­date in a head- to- head matchup with Mr. Obama.

Speak­ing in front of a statue of Ron­ald Rea­gan aboard a horse in Dixon, Ill., where the for­mer pres­i­dent grew up, Mr. San­to­rum said Rea­gan would be “ap­palled” by the fed­eral health care over­haul Mr. Obama signed into law in 2010. He warned that Repub­li­cans would be giv­ing away the is­sue if they give the nom­i­na­tion to Mr. Rom­ney, who signed a univer­sal health care sys­tem into law in Mas­sachusetts.

“Why would you take that off the ta­ble?” he asked the crowd. “That’s why you have to help me here in Illi­nois and help me get elected in the state of Illi­nois.”

Dur­ing an ap­pear­ance on CBS’ “This Morn­ing,” Mr. San­to­rum ques­tioned whether Mr. Rom­ney shares the core con­vic­tions of con­ser­va­tive vot­ers — re­peat­ing a line of at­tack that has dogged Mr. Rom­ney through­out the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

“This is some­one who doesn’t have a core. He has been on both sides of al­most ev­ery sin­gle is­sue in the past 10 years,” said Mr. San­to­rum, claim­ing the health care law en­acted in Mas­sachusetts was the blue­print for the fed­eral health care over­haul that Congress passed and Mr. Obama signed.

He also said he is con­fi­dent that con­ser­va­tives would tap some­one other than Mr. Rom­ney as their nom­i­nee at the Re­pub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion if the race is un­de­cided.

“They will not nom­i­nate the es­tab­lish­ment, mod­er­ate can­di­date from Mas­sachusetts,” he said.

As for the rest of the field, Mr. Gin­grich has turned his at­ten­tion to Louisiana, which holds a pri­mary this week­end. Mr. Paul cam­paigned in Illi­nois last week, and planned to be on the “Tonight Show” on Tues­day be­fore cam­paign­ing the rest of the week in Louisiana.

But at­ten­tion still cen­ters on Mr. Rom­ney, who has strug­gled dur­ing the cam­paign to unite Re­pub­li­can vot­ers, but has still amassed some im­pres­sive wins.

His come-from-be­hind vic­to­ries in Ohio and Michi­gan pri­maries showed he main­tains sig­nif­i­cant strength in the in­dus­trial Mid­west.

In blast­ing Mr. Obama on Mon­day, Mr. Rom­ney said the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s heavy-handed web of tax, spend­ing and reg­u­la­tory poli­cies is crush­ing the in­no­va­tion and fi­nan­cial risk-tak­ing needed for a strong econ­omy. To drive home the point, he sug­gested that some of the na­tion’s most leg­endary en­trepreneurs would have suf­fo­cated un­der the weight of to­day’s fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

He added that “a reg­u­la­tor would have shut down the Wright Broth­ers for their ‘dust pol­lu­tion.’ And the gov­ern­ment would have banned Thomas Edi­son’s light bulb.”

“Oh, yeah,” he quipped, re­call­ing a law de­signed to phase out the old­style in­can­des­cent bulb, “Obama’s reg­u­la­tors ac­tu­ally did just that.”

The light-bulb change ac­tu­ally was passed by Congress in 2007 and was signed into law by Mr. Obama’s Re­pub­li­can pre­de­ces­sor, Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

Thompson

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TO­GRAPHS

Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial hopeful Mitt Rom­ney, speak­ing at the Univer­sity of Chicago, said some of the na­tion’s fore­most in­ven­tors of an ear­lier era would have suf­fo­cated un­der the weight of the reg­u­la­tory bur­den of to­day’s fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Stand­ing in front of a statue of Ron­ald Rea­gan on horse­back, Rick San­to­rum cam­paigns for the Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion Mon­day in Dixon, Ill. Dixon was the boy­hood home of the for­mer pres­i­dent, whom Mr. San­to­rum cited in his re­marks.

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