Friday, October 19, 2007

Auction of Limbaugh letter to help Marine kids

By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Oct 19, 2007 8:24:02 EDT

Finally, a reason for both conservative and liberal Marines to appreciate Rush Limbaugh: Children of Marines stand to receive more than $850,000 for a letter — put up for auction on eBay — that was sent to conservative talk show host Limbaugh’s boss. Signed by 41 U.S. senators, the letter asks that Limbaugh receive a public reprimand for his comments on air last month about “phony soldiers.”

The letter was sent Oct. 2 to Mark Mays, the chief executive officer of Clear Channel Communications Inc. — the parent company of Limbaugh’s show — by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In it, Reid said Limbaugh disparaged soldiers who opposed the war by calling them “phony.”

Presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama were among the senators who signed the letter.

Limbaugh said the senators misinterpreted his comments, which were instead directed at soldiers who falsify their military records — such as Jesse McBeth, who was sentenced to five months in jail for filing for $10,000 worth of benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs even though he didn’t finish basic training.

Limbaugh chose the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity that awards scholarships to children of Marines and federal law-enforcement personnel who die on duty, to receive the entire winning bid, which stood at $851,100 at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Limbaugh is an active board member with the foundation and has mentioned it many times on his show, helping to generate donations across the country, said Agostino Von Hassell, a member of the charity for more than 15 years.

“It’s a very nice chunk of change that will help a lot of children,” Von Hassell said.

The auction was announced Oct. 11 at a speech in Philadelphia by Limbaugh, during which he displayed the letter after taking it out of a titanium briefcase handcuffed to a security agent. The opening bid on the letter was $100 Monday morning.

The auction ends Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The winner will receive the letter, the titanium briefcase, a picture of Limbaugh with the letter and a thank you letter from the talk show host.

Limbaugh challenged each senator who signed the letter to match the winning bid. A call to Reid’s office for comment was not returned by press time.

*Last time I looked the bidding was at $2,100,100.00 with a little over an hour and a half left in the bidding. Wow!

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