The Corner has discussed this week’s big and controversial NYC Catholic fundraiser on various occasions (here, here, and here to cite a few). Count me among those who think it quite harmful, and quite confusing to the faithful, that, at a time when the Church is explicitly under attack by an elected official (i.e., the president, via his HHS secretary and her regulations that threaten Catholic institutions), this storied Catholic organization (the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation), with Cardinal Timothy Dolan in tow, invites this elected official to a de facto Catholic event where the POTUS’s very participation stands to enhance his reelection chances. So . . . he can have another four years to further the attack on the Church? This former altar boy finds the entire enchilada crazed.
But I also find it unsurprising: Turns out that many board members (former NBC boss Robert Wright, developer John Zuccotti, moneyman Peter Kiernan III) of the Smith Foundation are well-heeled, big-time supporters of pro-abortion Democratic lawmakers. This includes good old Al Smith IV, the foundation’s chairman. Records at the Federal Election Commission and OpenSecrets.org show that over the years he has rained campaign cash on every Schumer, Rodham, Clinton, Kerry, Dodd, and Kennedy he could find. My favorite: On June 28, 2007, Smith contributed $500 to the PAC run by ultra pro-abortion Democratic congressman Jerry Nadler, listing on the FEC donation record that his occupation was chairman of St. Vincent’s Hospital. How nice: a Catholic hospital bigwig bankrolling an abortion zealot.
So it should come as no surprise that this week’s affair will try to help Barry pull one out. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but at the 2012 dinner page on the Foundation’s website you’ll find one picture — below, from its 2008 affair, with then-senator Barack Obama front and center and cheery, a cardinal (Egan, Cardinal Dolan’s predecessor) to his left, and John McCain, the pro-life Republican, the other featured speaker that year, he’s . . . well, he’s cropped out. Convenient.
By the way, I am not sure what has gotten into the holy water in these parts, but the once-dependable folks who run New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade (a mammoth Catholic social/cultural event that makes the Al Smith Dinner look like a pancake breakfast) have chosen Smith to be Grand Marshall of next year’s shindig. Count on some forthcoming rationalization by the Archdiocese.
If you care to thumb your nose at those who need nose-thumbing, the same night (this Thursday) as the Smith dinner, a real pro-life champion, Jim Buckley, will be deservedly honored by the Human Life Foundation. Consider supporting this great institution.