The Washington Times‘ Carl Kozlowsiki, in a feat of brilliant sleuthing, has unearthed a provocative story. The actor Tim Robbins, well known for his far left views, gave ten $500 contributions to Republicans in 2006. According to records listed at opensecrets.org, he had never given money to Republicans before 2006, nor has he given any money to Republicans since. Before Kozlowsiki’s article, published on Tuesday, no reporter had ever mentioned the donations to Republicans.
On Wednesday, January 23, Robbins appeared in Santa Monica as part of the LATalks Live series of discussions between paired celebrities. Kozlowsiki attended the discussion, and in the post-talk, question-and-answer session asked Robbins about the donations.
Robbins’ answer was evasive and bizarre. ”Honestly, I don’t remember that,” he responded.
But immediately after saying that, he gave details of what he “honestly” couldn’t remember. “I think my accountant brought the checks to me and handed me the check, and I wondered how it could have happened, and what had I done,” he said.
But this makes no sense. Campaign contributions are not tax deductible. I’ve never heard of any accountant giving advice to a client about where to send campaign contributions.
As Kozlowsiki reported:
Apparently trying to laugh it off, [Robbins] continued: “I felt I was in one of those paranoid thrillers from the ‘70s where someone paralyzes you — only I was forced to write checks, and I’m writing checks to the worst Republicans ever. I gotta say, I still don’t know. I was ashamed. I wrote and asked for my money back, but no one gave it.”
As if Mr. Robbins‘ explanation wasn’t evasive enough, he chuckled every step of the way, inspiring the crowd to rising, and finally raucous, laughter.
But then, after centering himself in his chair, he proceeded to give a more serious answer that included some surprising comments hinting that Mr. Robbins may be in the process of trying to shed his reputation as a knee-jerk radical.
However, if the latter is true — that Robbins is trying to shed his reputation as a knee-jerk radical — then why didn’t he donate to Republicans after 2006?
Here’s what’s even more bizarre — and a fact that Kozlowsiki seems to have missed: Two of the Republicans to whom Robbins gave donations were in tight races that were decided by fewer than 1,000 votes. In both cases Robbins’ domestic partner at the time, Susan Sarandon, gave a donation to the opposing candidate. Specifically, while Robbins gave $500 to Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), Sarandon gave $1,750 to Wilson’s Democratic opponent, Patricia Madrid. And while Robbins gave $500 to Deborah Pryce (R-Oh.), Sarandon gave $1,000 to Pryce’s Democratic opponent, Mary Jo Kilroy.
Hats off to the Kozlowsiki and the Washington Times for reporting this story. I hope Robbins will offer an explanation — this time, an honest one — for the bizarre campaign contributions.