Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Is Roy Blunt Hoping to Replace Hastert as Speaker?

Blunt won't return $10,000 phone sex donation

Rep. Roy Blunt, back home campaigning in Springfield, Missouri, spoke out on Foley-Gate this morning:

"I think I could have given some good advice here, which is you have to be curious, you have to ask all the questions you can think of," Blunt said. "You absolutely can't decide not to look into activities because one individual's parents don't want you to."

Sure sounds like he's after Hastert's position as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Blunt was remarkably incurious about receiving large campaign donations to his own PAC from a phone sex tycoon, as reported in Roll Call last January:

Seeing as he’s an outspoken social conservative, some folks were surprised to find out that one of the largest contributors to Rep. Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) political action committee last year was a businessman who made his fortune in the 1990s off the phone-sex business.

Jeffrey Prosser, dubbed by the Columbia Journalism Review in a 1998 story “a world-class phone-sex operator,” gave $5,000 to Blunt’s Rely On Your Beliefs fund in 2005 and his wife, Dawn Prosser, gave another $5,000, making them the largest donor couple to Blunt’s PAC . . .

Blunt’s ROYB Fund executive director, Keri Ann Hayes, said the Congressman had no clue that Prosser was a 1-900 kind of a guy. “Mr. Blunt was not aware of the colorful history of this individual contributor when his PAC accepted the donation,” she said.

Hayes said Blunt will not return the money because “the funds were given in a 100 percent legal and ethical fashion.”

Blunt has redistributed the phone sex money to 100 congressional candidates, including Mark Foley, Don Sherwood and Marilyn Musgrave, and 5 senate candidates. Prosser, the phone sex tycoon, and his wife have also contributed large sums of money to individual candidates, including $8,400 to George Allen and $4,200 to Jim Talent.

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