Casey To Savage: You're Vulgar!
I sent Bob Casey—Sen. Rick Santorum's Dem opponent in PA—a big check, and Casey sent it back because he didn't want to get any bad press for taking money from the likes of me. Well, Casey earned himself a little bad press anyway. From Wednesday's Philadelphia Inquirer:
Democrat Bob Casey Jr. needs all the contributors he can get to unseat U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum—except Dan Savage, apparently.
The Seattle-based syndicated sex columnist who minted a raunchy definition of "santorum" and assembled a Web site to share it with all the world tried channeling his distaste for Pennsylvania's junior senator with a $2,100 contribution to Casey's campaign.
But six weeks after receiving a thank-you call from a Casey staffer and an invite to his Seattle fundraiser, Savage learned this week that his money wasn't necessarily welcomed.
Not directly, at least.
Casey's finance director called Savage on Tuesday to say thanks, but no thanks. The "higher ups" in the campaign decided the contribution could cause Casey more trouble than it was worth, Savage said he was told. Savage said he was then directed to some organizations supportive of Casey that might accept the check.
"That way Casey could benefit from my money without having to, you know, associate himself with the likes of me," Savage wrote on his blog. "Huh."
Casey's spokesman, Larry Smar, said the campaign returned the check "because of the controversial comments on his Santorum Web site and his column." They took a closer look at his work, decided his comments were "vulgar" and nixed the donation, Smar said.
Casey returned the money despite Santorum's fundraising advantage. The senator has raised $20.1 million as of last month — double Casey's campaign take.
Campaigns routinely vet their donors, looking to weed out people with unsavory backgrounds or anything else that could cause the candidate embarrassment down the road. Add sex columnist to the list of apparently questionable characters.
Then again, Savage isn't just any sex columnist. His anti-Santorum Web site is the No. 1 hit on a Google search of the senator's name, spawning a pop-culture reference used by the likes of liberal activist and actress Janeane Garofalo.
"Casey should man-up and take my money," Savage said today in an interview. "A little money from me isn't going to hurt him and he shouldn't be such a baby about it."
He admits to being miffed and a bit hurt. He did, after all, endure the scorn of some readers who objected to him supporting an anti-abortion candidate like Casey.
"I'm a pragmatic Democrat," Savage said.
His donation will go to Philadelphians Against Santorum, a grassroots organization.