Monday, March 26, 2007

Rick Pitino and John Schnatter plan fundraiser for Lunsford?!?

Please tell me that I misread the headline on this article. Please! This is the last thing that I need to read right now. It's bad enough he's coaching in Louisville but Lunsford of all things?!?
University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and Papa John's founder John Schnatter will hold a fundraiser next month for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lunsford.

The event, which is expected to raise about $200,000 for Lunsford's campaign, is scheduled for April 4 at Schnatter's sprawling home in eastern Jefferson County.

Schnatter, a Republican and a longtime friend of Lunsford, said admission to the invitation-only event is $1,000 -- the maximum political contribution allowed by Kentucky law.

Adam Bozzi, a Lunsford campaign spokesman, said "a couple hundred" people are expected to attend.

Schnatter, who has a history of giving to both Republican and Democratic candidates, said he supported Gov. Ernie Fletcher four years ago mainly because "I think a lot of Steve Pence," who was Fletcher's running mate at the time.[...]

Pitino, a Democrat, normally has given to Democratic candidates -- the one exception in recent years was two $1,000 donations he gave to his former player, Richie Farmer, who was running for agriculture commissioner. He sponsored a fundraiser for Chandler in 2003.

In 1991 he supported Democratic gubernatorial nominee Brereton Jones and in 1996, while coach of the University of Kentucky basketball team, he introduced President Bill Clinton at an election-eve event at UK that may have helped Clinton carry the state.

Pitino later revealed that following the Clinton event, then-U.S. Rep. Jim Bunning sent him a letter objecting to his 1996 role and saying "you have definitely lost me as a UK fan."

Other members of the Pitino-Schnatter fundraiser host committee include former U of L star Junior Bridgeman, developer Jonathan Blue, former UK star Jimmy Dan Conner and lawyer Ed Glasscock.

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