John McCaslin

Bernard Madoff, ordered jailed Thursday after admitting that he masterminded the largest Ponzi scheme in history, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to mostly Democratic Party candidates.

Lindsay Renick Mayer of the Center for Responsive Politics reveals that Madoff and his wife, Ruth, forked over $238,200 to federal candidates, parties and committees since 1991, and Democrats banked 88 percent of the share.

Big recipients of Madoff cash: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ($102,000); New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer ($12,000); New Jersey Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg ($8,600); former New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ($2,000); New York Rep. Charles B. Rangel ($2,000); Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd ($1,500); Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey ($10,000); and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden ($13,000).

OBAMA'S RUSH

"Americans didn't vote for a Rush to failure" is the winning slogan the Democratic National Committee will glue to a giant billboard in Rush Limbaugh's hometown.

The slogan was submitted by William C. of Camden, N.J., and "will let Rush and the Republicans who've decided to follow his lead know that Americans aren't hoping for failure," says the DNC, which sponsored the billboard contest. Tens of thousands of Americans participated.

An earlier Inside the Beltway item on the DNC's contest similarly generated considerable response among our readers who support Mr. Limbaugh and the Republican Party.

Pat Root of suburban Maryland writes: "I had some ideas of my own for the billboard: 'Americans didn't vote for a Rush to failure, but that's what we got.' "

NO SMALL CHANGE

Bill Marriott, chairman and CEO of Bethesda-based Marriott International, Inc., was one of a dozen travel industry leaders to meet with President Obama this week about the need to welcome more international visitors to America.

In addition, the group expressed concerns about a dramatic nationwide downturn in convention-style meetings and events, stretching from the nation's capital to Las Vegas.

Employing 7.7 million Americans, and in a good year generating more than $740 billion in spending, the travel industry is urging passage of the Travel Promotion Act, which seeks to attract millions of additional foreign visitors to the United States (who, by the way, spend $4,000 per person per visit).

GOING ABROAD

For Americans wishing to travel abroad, a U.S. passport is required - now "one of the most secure travel documents produced anywhere in the world."


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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