Nice Work If You Can Get It

Bush’s Rangers and Pioneers pay their way into convention parties.

Lunch at the Plaza Hotel. Dinner at Le Cirque. Cocktails at the New York Stock Exchange. That’s the least the Republican Party could do to welcome its top fund-raisers to the convention in New York this month. Right?

Yes, but there’s just one catch. They have to pay for it.

These supporters – some of whom have raised $200,000 or more for President Bush or the party – are being charged a “convention fee” this year of up to $4,500 per person for themselves and each guest, according to a Web page run by LogiCom Project Management, the company handling the events and travel arrangements.

“A lot of us looked at that thing and said, whoa!” said Bruce Bialosky of California, who raised $100,000 to become a Pioneer fund-raiser. He estimates that the convention will cost him and his family $15,000. “A lot of people just can’t afford that.”

Bruce, Bruce, Bruce. Don’t you know there are starving children in the inner cities who only raised $50,000 for Bush? Have a little empathy, wouldja?

A.