Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker held a private fundraising dinner in Jackson last weekend with Karl Rove – the Republican political operative known as “the architect” of George W. Bush’s re-election campaign who resigned amid fallout over the Iraq War and the investigation into the outing of undercover CIA Operative Valerie Plame.
The dinner was $5,000 per host couple for a “Saturday in the Park”-themed private reception with Rove and a signed book. For $1,000, a couple could attend the dinner with Rove and Wicker from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Checks went to the Roger Wicker Majority Fund, a joint fundraising committee between Wicker’s re-election campaign and a pro-Wicker political action committee.
The high-priced fundraiser was not public advertised; presumably, only those with invites were supposed to know about it. The event only became public after the campaign of David Baria – the Democrat who is challenging Wicker for his Senate seat – got ahold of a copy of the invitation from a disgruntled former supporter of Wicker.
The invitation, which the Baria campaign forwarded to the Jackson Free Press on request, encouraged attendees to donate up to the maximum legal amount of $7,700 per individual or $15,400 per couple and to dress “club casual.” Host Billy Mounger is the CEO of Tristar Technologies in Jackson.
Neither Wicker’s office, his campaign, or the Wicker Majority Fund would confirm the fundraiser.
Wicker Majority Fund Finance Director Lindsey Seitchik would not confirm or deny the Rove-Wicker fundraiser and directed the Jackson Free Press to contact the Wicker campaign. At press time, neither Wicker’s campaign nor his Washington office had responded to requests for comment.
However, a photo tweeted out on the day of the fundraiser – Saturday, August 18 – by longtime political donor Richard Simon aligns with the date on the invitation:
After the Jackson Free Press report was published, Baria said Wicker would “rather spend his time rubbing elbows with wealthy donors and courting corporate PAC money than addressing the concerns of his constituents.”