The Washington Post continued on Wednesday its pattern of defining the news in the U.S. Senate race in Virginia as what the Democrats want the news to be. Reporter Tim Craig notes that a "nonpartisan" analysis shows Sen. George Allen has more "Hollywood" cash than his Democratic opponent:
U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) is a leading recipient of entertainment-related campaign contributions to members of Congress, a nonpartisan analysis released yesterday shows, even as the senator has been criticizing his Democratic opponent's ties to Hollywood...
The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group, said that Allen ranks 16th among members of Congress in campaign contributions received from the entertainment industry during the past two years. Allen has accepted $93,350 since 2004; Webb, $20,650, according to the center.
In campaign fundraising, Allen outpaces Webb by a ratio of 15 to 1.
"There is plenty of data to support that . . . George Allen gets far more money from the entertainment industry than either Jim Webb or nearly anyone who represents the Hollywood area in Congress," said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the center, which is in Northwest Washington.
Allen's campaign is allowed to make the point that getting donations from Time Warner or News Corp. is not the same as having contributors like Rob Reiner (the Post also mentions Webb has received money from Playboy Enterprises execs). But just how "nonpartisan" is the Center for Responsive Politics? Oddly enough, they are not merely analysts, but lobbyists for a liberal goal: what they call "campaign finance reform." (Here's an amicus brief they filed before the Supreme Court.) Ritsch is a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Their urge to investigate Allen comes through later:
Last month, Allen told a crowd in southwest Virginia that Webb was in Los Angeles raising money from a "bunch of Hollywood moguls." He then segued into his infamous "macaca" remark directed at a Webb volunteer of Indian descent. The word is considered a slur in some cultures.
Ritsch said, "I was watching the macaca video and heard Senator Allen suggest his opponent was beholden to Hollywood and got curious, so we ran the numbers."
Mysteriously, these sentences were not included in the online version of the article.