News and events revolving around the ousting of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Gerlach's fund-raiser with Rove draws protest

By Kimberly Hefling

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Protesters carrying American flags and toilet plungers yelled "Fire Karl Rove" and "Stop the leaks" outside a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.) where Rove, President Bush's senior adviser, was the guest of honor.

"There seems to be no accountability. This is an example where the President shows his poor ethics," said Rachael Kennedy, an obesity-prevention specialist from Richmond, Va. About 60 people took part in the protest, including members of the liberal group

Rove, the architect behind President Bush's election victories, is at the center of a federal investigation into a 2003 news leak that exposed the identity of a CIA officer. Some Democrats have called for his resignation.

Gerlach, who represents parts of Berks, Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery Counties, barely defeated Democrat Lois Murphy, a Lower Merion lawyer, in 2004 to win his second term in the district. He won by 2 percentage points, despite raising $2.3 million and spending $2.1 million on the race.

John Brabender, a campaign adviser to Gerlach, said Democrats were just frustrated about Murphy's loss to Gerlach.

Murphy, who has filed to run again against Gerlach in 2006, released a statement calling on Gerlach to cancel the fund-raiser.

Brabender said Gerlach did not consider canceling Rove's visit.

"In this country we respect people's rights and until a time that some court or somebody proves that somebody has done something wrong, that we treat people with respect," Brabender said.


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