Letter auction raises over 2M


Did the folks in the Clear Channel mailroom in San Antonio realize they were handling merchandise worth over two million bucks when a letter to CEO Mark Mays came in from Capitol Hill? The charity auction on eBay of the letter from 41 Senate Democrats demanding that Mays denounce Rush Limbaugh (10/16/07 RBR #202) concluded Friday with a winning bid of 2,100,000 from Maryland philanthropist Betty Casey. That was the record charity auction on eBay, topping the previous 800K-plus paid for a Jay Leno motorcycle to benefit tsunami victims.

Proceeds from the letter auction will go to a charity that provides scholarships for the children of US Marines and police officers killed in the line of duty. Despite his differences with Limbaugh, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the Senate floor Friday to praise the charity auction effort. Limbaugh has pledged to match the auction take, so The Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation stand to get over four million bucks.

RBR observation: The really funny part is that Reid said he’d talked with Mays about the letter auction and that they never thought it would raise much money. So, he was amazed to see the tally go over the two million mark. Somehow, we doubt that it was Sen. Reid’s signature that drove the price up. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were among the senators who signed the letter. By the way, RBR looked up the political contribution records of Betty Casey and found that she mostly gives money to GOP campaigns – but recently donated to the Obama campaign as well.