George Soros is omnipresent at Obama fundraisers. The New York Times reports on the latest round of big bucks fundraisers in wealthy Greenwich, CT. It was Mr. Obama's four-hour dash through town, however, that had everyone chatting, mostly about the hundreds of thousands of dollars he gleaned. The evening began at the waterfront home of the billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II, a hedge fund titan. His home, worth an estimated $25 million, features an underground garage roomy enough for more than 25 cars. It has been described in Vanity Fair as "a cross between Tara and a national monument."
Another billionaire, George Soros, a longtime supporter of liberal causes, was a co-chairman of the event, which drew 300 guests who were asked to pay $2,300 apiece. A private reception was tossed in for about a dozen people who had raised $25,000 or more for the candidate. By many accounts, waiters in white tuxedos flitted among the crowd, and the supermodel Tyra Banks added sparkle to the guest list.
For another example of the Soros presence, see this event a few weeks ago at a NYC condo where Soros was pictured with Obama. Soros also took advantage of a loophole during Obama's primary and general campaigns that allowed Soros and his family to give outsized contributions to Obama. The timing of these donations and the revelations that doomed Obama's opponents are curious, to say the least. See my earlier coverage.
While in Greenwich, Obama also visited the home of Allan Houston of the New York Knicks, a man with a serious anti-Semitism problem. Though the New York Times chose to ignore the controversy other papers covered regarding Allan Houston's anti-Semitism.
Mr. Obama then met with a mostly Greenwich crowd of 150 people in a gated section of town known as Conyers Farm, which straddles Connecticut and New York. His host was the former New York Knicks basketball player Allan Houston and his wife, Tamara, whose home has a Greenwich address but is in Armonk, N.Y. Tickets cost $1,000 to $2,300.
When Mr. Obama took note of his host's basketball court and seemed eager to take a few shots, Mr. Houston joked that he would not think of wiping the scuff marks of "the future president" off the court, Greenwich Time reported.
New York Magazine did not turn a blind eye as the Times did, and earlier wrote
Barack Obama is heading to Greenwich this weekend to raise money from well-known hedge-funders (i.e. Paul Tudor Jones), but a minimum $1,000-a-head reception at the home of retired Knick Allan Houston on Saturday is drawing heavy criticism from some Jewish anti-discrimination groups. "It's very unfortunate," says David Twersky, communications director at the American Jewish Congress. "It looks like Obama is doing pretty well. He doesn't need Allan Houston's money."
Back in 2001, Houston and fellow Knick guard and so-called "God squad" mate Charlie Ward were jeered by fans after making statements Jewish groups deemed anti-Semitic. Though Ward was the most criticized (he said Jews had Jesus's "blood on their hands" and were "stubborn" during a pre-game Bible study), Houston supported Ward's notion that Jews were responsible for Christ's death by whipping out his Palm Pilot to find the relevant scripture (Matthew 26:67) and said: "Then they spit in Jesus' face and hit him with their fists."
(At the time both Knicks apologized and said their quotes were taken out of context. "I want to embrace any group of people," Houston said. The ADL went soft on Ward and said he didn't "understand the impact of his comments.")
But groups like the American Jewish Congress, for instance, call supporting the idea that Christ was killed by Jews "very dangerous" and believe Obama should not accept financial support from Houston. "I don't think Barack Obama would make comments like that about Jews," Twersky says. "If someone made those kinds of remarks against African-Americans, he would eschew their support. It would be a different standard."
Jen Psaki, an Obama spokeswoman, says the campaign has no plans to return or reject any of Houston's contributions. In a written statement, she said: "Barack Obama has been a consistent supporter of Israel and though Mr. Houston apologized for his comments soon after they were made, Obama disagrees with the language he used and the inaccurate and inappropriate religious references."
Jewish group criticized U.S. Sen. Barack Obama for accepting support from a former basketball player who said the Jews killed Jesus. Jewish group criticized U.S. Sen. Barack Obama for accepting support from a former basketball player who said the Jews killed Jesus.
New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer reported that ex-New York Knicks guard Allan Houston is hosting a fund-raiser Saturday at his home for Obama, an Illinois senator seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Houston drew fire from Jewish groups in 2001 when he said in a pre-game Bible study session that Jews had Jesus' "blood on their hands" and were "stubborn." Houston apologized at the time, saying his remarks were taken out of context, but the American Jewish Congress said Obama's association with Houston was still inappropriate.
"I don't think Barack Obama would make comments like that about Jews," David Twersky, the group's communications director, told the Intelligencer. But "if someone made those kinds of remarks against African Americans, he would eschew their support. It would be a different standard."