On August 15, Rep. Loretta Sanchez is holding a Democratic fund-raiser at the Playboy Mansion; she is vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, an appointment made by vice president Al Gore. Ironically, Rep. Sanchez, a Catholic, was quite vocal in denouncing George W. Bush’s visit to Bob Jones University last winter; yet she is now orchestrating this event on a holy day of obligation for Catholics, the Feast of the Assumption.
On the February 13th edition of the NBC show, “Meet the Press,” Sanchez said, “George W. Bush’s failure to condemn the anti-Catholic views of Bob Jones University is offensive to Latinos.” A week later, Bush’s Bob Jones appearance was the subject of another attack by Sanchez: she was quoted in the Orange County Register as saying, “I am trying to let Hispanic Catholics understand that George Bush does not represent us well.”
Catholic League president William Donohue took note of her hypocrisy:
“The Catholic League did not hesitate to criticize George W. Bush for his visit to Bob Jones University. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Catholic herself, had every right to do likewise. But to see her now leading a fund-raiser at the Playboy Mansion on the Feast of the Assumption is sickening: it shows how duplicitous she is and how insincere her objections to Bush really were. In short, she is playing politics with religion.
“On February 25, Bush sent a letter to the late John Cardinal O’Connor (with a copy to me) stating the following: ‘On reflection, I should have been more clear in disassociating myself from anti-Catholic sentiments and racial prejudice. It was a missed opportunity, causing needless offense, which I deeply regret.’ This effectively ended the controversy.
“The controversy that Gore is now caught up in must also be ended, and the way to do it is to cancel the Playboy bash. If Sanchez won’t do it herself, then Gore is obligated to do it for her. No matter, the Catholic League is making this issue a priority the same way we did the Bob Jones affair.”