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Hastert Puts Pro-Israel PAC in the Hot Seat

As House Speaker Dennis Hastert finds himself in the hot seat over what he knew about Mark Foley and when he knew it, the collateral damage is extending to the pro-Israel donors who consider him a close ally.

NORPAC, the pro-Israel political action committee based in the New York area, is scheduled to hold a fundraiser in Englewood, N.J. for Hastert on the evening of October 16, and for now, the show will go on.

“When we first agreed to do this … we said, ‘Oh, this is just going to be a lot of fun,’” said Dr. Ben Chouake, the president of NORPAC and the host for the event. He punctuated that statement with a long, rolling laugh.

“It’s harder to raise money under these circumstances, there’s no question,” Chouake said, adding that he expected attendance to be impacted considerably.

Chouake did not rule out the possibility of cancelling the event, which Hastert is scheduled to attend, depending on the facts that emerge.

“Obviously … if he did something obviously terrible, than we’d have to rethink it,” Chouake said. “At this point, these are incidents that happened three years aog, so let’s see how it plays out.”

Beyond the Foley scandal, Chouake added that the pre-event buzz for the Hasert event has been dampened considerably by the Republicans’ overall bleak prospects for November.

“The future prospects [of a politician] are as important as the current status,” Chouake said, adding that there is a big difference between being the House speaker or majority leader, and being a member of the minority party.


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