Rep. Loretta Sanchez has been denied the opportunity to speak at the convention next week because of her refusal to cancel the Playboy Mansion fund-raiser scheduled for August 15.  Now Democratic officials say they will decide on August 18 whether to remove her from her post as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  On this morning’s “Today” show, Sanchez said she was going ahead with the event, though she said she would be willing to move it if someone can find a better place.

Catholic League president William Donohue, who asked vice president Al Gore to cancel the Playboy event on July 31, commented as follows:

“If Rep. Sanchez does not move her fund-raiser from the Playboy Mansion, then she should be fired by Vice President Al Gore immediately.  To do this on August 18 would be a sham: that would be after the event and after the convention.  The time for leadership is now, not later.

“Catholics have every right to object to this event.  The Playboy Foundation has written huge checks to Catholics for a Free Choice, a front-group for anti-Catholics trying to get the Vatican kicked out of the U.N.  Hugh Hefner has charged Catholic bishops with attempting to establish a theocracy in this country simply because of their opposition to pornography.  His publication has consistently portrayed Catholic teaching on sexuality in the most disparaging terms (more recently, he bragged about the ‘nice, Catholic’ twins he was dating, saying how he believes in ‘knocking down the stereotypes of more conservatively bound members of the community’).   His daughter, Christie, tried to get a public relations firm to drop the Catholic Church as a client; she has also accused the Church of teaching that ‘women shouldn’t be sexual’ and other absurdities.

“And to top it off, the event is scheduled to take place on a holy day of obligation for Catholics, the Feast of the Assumption.  Now if Clinton-Gore can stop the bombing of a foreign country during Ramadan, Mr. Gore can stop this event from happening.  Either fire Sanchez or change the venue.”

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