The Republican National Committee's porn problem

The RNC attacked Harold Ford Jr. for taking money from porn producers. What about the money the RNC took?

Published October 30, 2006 1:00PM (EST)

There's a moment in the Republican National Committee's Harold Ford Jr. attack ad -- it comes smack-dab in the middle of the two bimbo eruptions -- when a sleazy-looking fellow eyes the camera from behind his sunglasses and says, "So he took money from porn movie producers. I mean, who hasn't?"

Who hasn't? Well, it turns out that the RNC has. As Josh Marshall reports, the RNC has accepted a number of campaign contributions from Nicholas T. Boyias, whom Marshall describes as the owner and CEO of one of the largest producers and distributors of gay porn in the United States.

Now, surely there must be a difference between the porn money Ford took and the porn money the RNC is taking, right? There is: Ford gave his back.

The line in the RNC's anti-Ford ad is apparently based on the fact that Ford's campaign took $3,600 in contributions from executives at five "adult entertainment broadcast companies." The Ford campaign returned the contributions as soon as Gannett News Service brought the nature of them to the campaign's attention, saying that taking the money "doesn't meet our standards and is not in tune with Tennessee values."

So far as we can tell, the RNC hasn't returned the contributions that it received from Boyias, which leads us to this question: Will Bob Corker now say about the RNC what he once said about Ford --- that porn contributions are "further proof" of the dangers of taking money from people "outside of Tennessee who don't share our values"?

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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2006 Elections Bob Corker R-tenn.