Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fancy Ford To Speak At Indiana Democratic Fundraiser

The Indiana Democratic Party announced that U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN), also known as "Fancy Ford", will be the keynote speaker for their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner on May 13 at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Ford is a candidate for the U.S. Senate this year in Tennessee. Republicans have been having a little bit of fun with Ford's lavish spending on himself using his campaign funds, as well as his wild penchant for partying. In fact, they've devoted an entire site to Fancy Ford. He attended the Playboy Superbowl Party in Jacksonville, Florida last year (all the celebrities and playmates were there), and he has hosted fundraisers at New York's exclusive Core Club ($55,000 membership fee, plus $15,000 per year).

Ford charged his campaign $2,549 for an Armani suit to wear to one of his high-roller fundraisers, which he didn't repay. His campaign spent $19,000 on flowers and another $8,900 for expensive Davidoff cigars and other pricey gifts. His campaign picked up a hotel tab of $20,000 for his stays at the Biltmore Hotel in L.A. and another $32,000 at such destinations as the Four Seasons in L.A., Periwinkle in Nantucket and The Essex in New York. He also spent $3,100 dining at the member's official dining room at the Capitol last year.

Now Ford and the Democrats are crying foul. Ford claimed the National Republican Senate Committee unveiled a political web site to smear him. He writes:

The “facts” of the site are the most mundane imaginable. I know they are mundane, because they all come from my own campaign finance disclosures. It turns out that I—just like President Bush, Senator Frist, and Senator Alexander—travel out of state to raise money. When I do so, I–just like they—incur legitimate expenses. I frankly don’t know what their site is trying to say. Many of you have speculated here and elsewhere what the Republican point is.

Other Democrats think the Fancy Ford site borders on racist, judging by some some of the comments posted on the web since Republicans launched the site. For the record, if any Democrat thinks we're being racist by raising this issue, we have just one question: Why do the Indiana Democrats name their largest fundraising event of the year the "Jefferson-Jackson Day" dinner? Weren't both Jefferson and Jackson slave owners? Have they thought about calling it the "Franklin Roosevelt Dinner" or the "John F. Kennedy Dinner", or even the "Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner?"


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Not only is the GOP produced website——intentionally playing the racism card it’s also totally playing that other favorite GOP wedge game—gay bashing.

To wit, the racism card exposed:

“This web site is about something is yet another example of the Republicans wanting to play the race card both ways -- Mehlman's RNC courts the black vote with empty platitudes, and the down-and-dirty political machinery of the party uses the old racial saws and imagery to try and nail the win.” :


“Wow, the race card so soon?”(3/8/06 post):

“…there's a tone that Ford doesn't deserve this kind of lifestyle, that's getting above himself. And in the South, that has a racial connotation. Because no one gave a damn about Bill Frist and his hightoned living habits. Anyone sneer at him going to Harvard and being rich?”

To wit, gay bashing:

The site’s name is ‘Fancy Ford.’ Fancy is southern slang for gay. Thus, the emphasis on looking fancy, making your surroundings pretty and going to fab-u-lous parties is meant to mark Ford with other stereotypically gay-effeminae traits. Oh, yeah, let’s also not miss the fact that the site emphasizes that Ford Jr. is young, good looking, in good shape, and he’s — gasp! — single. Surely, he must be gay.

Gary, if you’re truly interested in renewing your long-since-gone party of Lincoln then perhaps the least you can do is stop promoting the latest hateful GOP propaganda.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The gay issue had never even occurred to me, nor have I ever heard anyone level that charge against Ford until you just did. Attending a Playboy party is hardly suggesting he is gay.

I have been even-handed in these criticism--see my post just the other day on Mike Pence's use of campaign funds for personal expenses. These are legitimate issues regardless of which political party the person belongs, or what the color of their skin is. The bottom line is that his economic situation in life (albeit better than mine) does not support this kind of a lifestyle, and he is improperly dipping into campaign funds to live out this extravagant lifestyle. That amounts to receiving income which he should be reporting to the IRS and paying taxes on.

Anonymous said...

Correction, Gary, I was not leveling a “charge against Ford”. I realize (full well, thank you)that being LGBT is simply not—as you’ve remarked—a ‘charge’ against anyone.

Rather, Gary, I was pointing out the duality of the GOP propaganda machine. That is: if we cannot scare them with the racism card then let’s also include the ‘this guy is probably—OMG—GAY scare.

Anonymous said...

Gary said, “I have been even-handed in these criticism--see my post just the other day on Mike Pence's use of campaign funds for personal expenses.”

More than a bit suspect seeing how your Pence post of March 20th seems to be merely cover for the “Fancy Ford” post you knew you would post just 2 days later! Fact: the “Fancy Ford” website has been on the internet since March 6th!

Gary R. Welsh said...

I didn't even consider writing about Fancy Ford until the Star reported yesterday that he was the keynote speaker for their Jefferson-Jackson dinner. I've written quite often on this site about Pence--I didn't need that excuse to post about his campaign spending abuses.

Anonymous said...

In which case, I apologize for my mistaken suspicion.