Thanks, But No Thanks for $9.11 Checks
The third-quarter disclosure reports out today indicate that Rudy Giuliani’s campaign is actively returning checks in denominations that are tied to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with eight returned checks to individual donors for $9.11, and one returned contribution of $911.
Giuliani, who was New York mayor at the time of the attacks, took some heat last month when reports surfaced that a group of California supporters were hosting a “$9.11 for Rudy” fund-raiser. Critics and presidential opponents said the former mayor was capitalizing off the terrorist attacks, but his campaign stressed that there was no direct connection between the individual donors and the campaign’s fund-raising operation.
Patricia Arcaro, a retired Philadelphia-area attorney, said she sent a $9.11 check to Giuliani after hearing about the fund-raiser on the news. “I am a strong supporter of Rudy Giuliani and I immediately sat down and wrote a check to the campaign,” she said in an interview today. “I think it would have been a great grass-roots campaign effort.”
Arcaro said afterward she received a letter with a return check from the campaign that stated, “Unfortunately we must return your contribution. We do not solicit or collect financial support that is indicative of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” It was signed by Giuliani campaign treasurer John Gross. [Interesting – since it looks to us that 9/11 and his role in it are the cornerstone of his campaign.]
Arcaro was undeterred. “I turned around and sent a substantially larger check for $910,” she said. “I said, ‘Ok, fine I’ll do it that way.’”
Denny Gilbert of Ohio offered a similar take, noting that he heard about the $9.11 fund-raiser on the news. “That’s what prompted me to send it,” Gilbert said today. “I didn’t ask for it back.” Gilbert said he was aware of the criticisms about using 9/11 as a fund-raising tool. “I know there was some objecting to it, and I thought ‘Well, that’s b—s—.” Gilbert had not contributed to Giuliani’s campaign before, but he said he will likely send him another check for a sum that isn’t $9.11.
We wonder whether they would have returned a check for $911,000!?