"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
According to a report in the Huffington Post, the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FratPAC) has spent most of the time when it’s not lobbying for Greek house tax breaks or against anti-hazing legislation sending thousands of dollars to Republican candidates.
HuffPo reports that, according to OpenSecrets, FratPAC has already donated $63,000 to political campaigns this cycle, with roughly three out of every four dollars going to GOPers rather than Dems. Last cycle, from 2011 to 2012, FratPAC raised no less than $506,852.
The biggest recipient of FratPAC largess thus far has been Georgia congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston, who has previously advocated forcing children who receive free lunches, because their families cannot afford to feed them otherwise, to do custodial work around the school as payment. So far, Kingston has received $10,000 from FratPAC for his ongoing Senate campaign.
FratPAC’s executive director, Kevin O’Neill, says his organization isn’t intended to be yet another Republican super PAC. ”The PAC takes its bipartisan mission very seriously and uses a number of criteria in making decisions about which candidates to fund,” O’Neill told OpenSecrets.
“Our spending each cycle has been fairly balanced given the needs of candidates up for election at that time,” he continued.
Given that Georgia’s race is the only competitive Senate primary in which the PAC has significantly invested this cycle, it may be worth noting that Kingston isn’t the only former fraternity brother among the GOP candidates vying for the Senate seat. Rep. Phil Gingrey was a Sigma Nu brother at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and businessman David Perdue was a Sigma Chi, also at Georgia Tech.
But perhaps Kingston had the sentimental edge: FratPAC’s executive director, Kevin O’Neill, shares his Lambda Chi Alpha affiliation.
O’Neill did not respond to a request for comment as to why the PAC is putting muscle behind Kingston’s campaign.
Of the House candidates the PAC has supported this cycle, the second-largest contribution went to Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), another Lamba Chi Alpha, who isn’t considered in danger of losing his seat.
During the 2011-2012 cycle, Lambda Chi Alpha alums garnered the third largest share of the PAC’s donations, while Kappa Alpha Order alums received the most in campaign contributions.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)