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Tim Robbins’ Mysterious Campaign Contributions, An Additional Fact that the Washington Times Missed

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.

  1. Trace

    I’m guessing rough moment  in their common-law marriage that inspired some petty, perhaps even alcohol-inspired spiteful check-writing. Or maybe they attended a fund-raiser for Sarandon’s candidates and Robbins was offended or annoyed in some way — enough to contribute to their respective opponents. I suppose there is some very small chance that he was so dismayed by the Democratic candidates’ statements or competence that he felt compelled as a matter of principle to reflexively support their opponents, But I would dismiss any notion that Robbins is a closet moderate.

  2. Majestyk

    “Domestic Partner AT THE TIME…”

    Perhaps this schism came about as a result of disagreements over the direction they should take their collective public images?

    Robbins is just a nut – I think it’s possible he just got snookered because he’s not, well, that bright.

  3. Donald Todd

    I believe that Robbins and Sarandon are no longer pretending to be domestic partners.  Perhaps it was a response to the provocation of departure that brought about such unexpected giving?

  4. SMatthewStolte

    He and other members of the radical left planned this, as a way to get us on the right to dream up a conspiracy theory. It’s a very clever trap. 

  5. Leigh

    Yes, sounds like there’s an embarrassing reason that he doesn’t want to admit, and that has virtually nothing to do with political ideology.

  6. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    Don’t forget that Susan Sarandon’s mother is a conservative Republican. The plot thickens!

  7. Devereaux
    Richard Cook: Wait: why are we demanding an answer to a question like this?  I don’t understand how a game of “Tell us why you donated to Party X” is a) appropriate or b) relevant.  Donations (of this size) are public knowledge, but there’s no need to hunt down an “explanation” for political behavior, is there?  [I know this is all just in good fun, but it struck me as troubling, somehow.] · 9 hours ago

    THIS! ?Why in the world is anyone even interested. I’m simply glad conservatives got money, no matter the reason. Especially from a liberal.

  8. flownover

    Can I say exactly how I feel about Tim Robbins ?

    ..didn’t think so …. CoC and all

  9. Cutlass

    I’ve read that as an addiction recovery incentive an addict will sometimes commit that if they fall off the wagon they have to make a donation to a cause they find repulsive. Does Robbins have a substance abuse history?

    The only problem is that I don’t see why he’d want to hide a drug addiction in Hollywood, especially at the expense of being suspected of conservatism.

  10. Western Chauvinist

    He did it for the make-up sex. It’s always about sex with the libs.

  11. Ed G.
    Richard Cook: Wait: why are we demanding an answer to a question like this?  I don’t understand how a game of “Tell us why you donated to Party X” is a) appropriate or b) relevant.  Donations (of this size) are public knowledge, but there’s no need to hunt down an “explanation” for political behavior, is there?  [I know this is all just in good fun, but it struck me as troubling, somehow.] · 11 hours ago

    You beat me to it. I had the exact same reaction: it may be interesting and we may be curious, but Tim Robbins doesn’t owe an explanation to anyone and it’s inappropriate for strangers to hound him for one.

  12. Richard Cook

    Wait: why are we demanding an answer to a question like this?  I don’t understand how a game of “Tell us why you donated to Party X” is a) appropriate or b) relevant.  Donations (of this size) are public knowledge, but there’s no need to hunt down an “explanation” for political behavior, is there?  [I know this is all just in good fun, but it struck me as troubling, somehow.]

  13. Paul Erickson
    Ed G.

    Richard Cook: Wait: why are we demanding an answer to a question like this?  I don’t understand how a game of “Tell us why you donated to Party X” is a) appropriate or b) relevant.  Donations (of this size) are public knowledge, but there’s no need to hunt down an “explanation” for political behavior, is there?  [I know this is all just in good fun, but it struck me as troubling, somehow.] · 11 hours ago

    You beat me to it. I had the exact same reaction: it may be interesting and we may be curious, but Tim Robbins doesn’t owe an explanation to anyone and it’s inappropriate for strangers to hound him for one. · 14 minutes ago

    Amen.  If he spent that much at the tables in Vegas, would anyone care?  It is his money and he is free to do with it as he pleases.  He owes no-one any explanation whatsoever.

  14. Leslie Watkins

    My thoughts exactly. But I also go with Trace’s suspicion that these donations were probably related to a personal issue between Robbins and Sarandon, who split up a few years later. Not a story to me, though it could be part of a larger story about potential closet conservatives in Hollywood. Actually, that would be a TERRIFIC story.

    Ed G.

    Richard Cook: Wait: why are we demanding an answer to a question like this?  I don’t understand how a game of “Tell us why you donated to Party X” is a) appropriate or b) relevant.  Donations (of this size) are public knowledge, but there’s no need to hunt down an “explanation” for political behavior, is there?  [I know this is all just in good fun, but it struck me as troubling, somehow.] · 11 hours ago

    You beat me to it. I had the exact same reaction: it may be interesting and we may be curious, but Tim Robbins doesn’t owe an explanation to anyone and it’s inappropriate for strangers to hound him for one. · 1 hour ago

  15. Scott R

    The most logical explanation: He’s been posing as a militant lib — since it serves both his professional and sex life — but in secret his politics are more nuanced.

  16. Peabody Here

    Surely Rob Long has some insight into this mystery (being a Hollywood guy and all).  Rob, what’s the scuttlebut about Robbins in La-La-Land?

  17. Karen

    I know this is supposed to be about who Robbins has supported, but the real issue is what isn’t being supported in that photo. Foundation pieces are your friends, ladies!

  18. Recovering Liberal

    Leave the man alone… he was just following Crash Davis’s first lesson:  don’t think.  It can only hurt the ballclub.

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