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September 4, 2004
More To Ben Barnes Than Meets The (CBS) Eye

60 Minutes plans on running an "expose'" on Sunday night regarding George Bush's assignment to the Texas Air National Guard. Ben Barnes, former Lieutenant Governor of Texas, will tell CBS audiences that he arranged for Bush's assignment, expecting that the Bush family would be grateful for the assistance even though no one asked him for his help. CBS also will tie in the fact that Bush had a drinking problem at the time, although Bush himself admitted that years ago.

But McQ at QandO (an invaluable neolibertarian blog) wondered about who Ben Barnes is and whether he has any connections to John Kerry. Certainly the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have been tarred with the contributions of Bob Perry, who gave them $200,000 in contributions. That led to all sorts of Rube Goldberg charting at the New York Times, trying to tie Republican policymakers to the Swiftvets. It began to resemble a boring game of Six Degrees of Separation.

Fortunately, we don't have to go six degrees with Ben Barnes. Capital Eye, which tracks political contributions to candidates, finds that Ben Barnes is a lot closer to Kerry than that. Take a look at the top three individual fundraisers for John Kerry between 1999-2003:

Contributor.......Total 1999-2002...........2004 Cycle
Alan Solomont..........$612,327.................$82,500
Orin Kramer............$425,835.................$83,500
Ben Barnes............$389,750.................$74,500

If the Swiftees are less credible because they took a contribution from a common contributor to Republicans, then Ben Barnes' status as the third largest contributor to John Kerry's campaigns should render any testimony from him completely invalid.

Do you think that the Tiffany Network will mention Ben Barnes' finance connections to John Kerry when discussing his testimony regarding George Bush, in that he has half a million reasons to make up bogus charges against the President? Not likely. Had they done any kind of vetting about their character assassination, it wouldn't be going on the air tomorrow night.

UPDATE: Blogspirator has more on Ben Barnes -- much more. And more here, too.

UPDATE II: Changed Rick Perry to Bob Perry. Hat tip to Ron Canter.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 4, 2004 5:58 PM

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