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December 23, 2011

Charge: Evangelical Leader Vander Plaats Sought Cash Money For His Endorsement

Why do people suck? And why do they suck in such stupid ways?

Less than 48-hours after receiving the backing of Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the prominent evangelical group The Family Leader, Santorum disclosed that the prominent Iowan told him he needed money to make the most out of the endorsement.

And sources familiar with talks between the conservative heavyweight and representatives from several of the Republican presidential campaigns went a step further, describing Vander Plaats’ tactics as corrupt.

“Clearly the endorsement was for sale — without a doubt,” one source said.
It’s a charge that The Family Leader flatly denied.

...

“What he talked about was he needed money to promote the endorsement and that that would be important to do that,” Santorum told CNN. “There was never a direct ask for me to go out and raise money for it.”

The former Pennsylvania senator’s statement differs from what he told ABC News on Monday night — just hours before Vander Plaats endorsed him. At a campaign event in Indianola, Iowa, Santorum said the issue of money never came up in his conversations with the Christian leader.

...

ABC News has learned that Vander Plaats tried to solicit money for his endorsement during the last presidential cycle too. A former staffer for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid who is currently unaffiliated with a campaign said Vander Plaats came to them seeking money for his backing if he supported the former Massachusetts governor.

“He wanted to be paid,” the former staffer said. “He was clearly looking for a paycheck. There was a conversation about him getting a title, but being a paid consultant was much more important.”

He eventually supported Huckabee that year, which doesn't necessarily mean anything.

But still. Eesh.

Last week I pretty much called Michele Bachmann nuts for claiming, without evidence, that Newt Gingrich was paying off Tea Party leaders for support in South Carolina.

Although I'll stick by the charge that she throws around a lot of charges which are not so much well-evidenced as politically helpful, I was misinformed and ignorant to call it "nuts."

Apparently this does happen. "Leaders," political, religious, and otherwise, are actually so venal to ask for money for their endorsement, and so stupid as to think they can get away with it.

Actually maybe they're not so stupid. Maybe this goes on quite a bit and this is a rare instance of it being uncovered.

I expect this crap from politicians and consultants and all the various cynical political operatives, but neighborhood leaders and pastors?

Geeze Louise.


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posted by Ace at 05:12 PM

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