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RUSH: Well, we have a winner. The auction is over. The final bid remained at $2,100,100. The winning bidder, the high bidder: Betty Casey. More about Betty Casey in due course. (Open Line Friday intro jingle) Betty Casey: $2,100,100. She now is the proud owner of the Smear Letter written by Dingy Harry Reid, read by him on the Senate floor, mailed to the CEO of Clear Channel Communications, my syndication partner. This, ladies and gentlemen — for those of you watching on the Dittocam, this is — the Zero Halliburton metal attaché case, and inside (I’m going to be very, very careful with this) is the letter. I am holding it up now so that you can see it, watching on the Dittocam. Here is the first signature page that contains Hillary Rodham Clinton. It also contains Senator Reid, the Senate leadership and so forth. The attaché case, the letter, and a very, very well-written and nice thank-you note from me will be included, as well as a picture of me displaying it publicly for the first time last week in Philadelphia. Now, folks, while I’m waiting on the information here to fill you in on Betty Casey, who is a noted philanthropist, I want to share with you just a couple thoughts here about this. Everything about this, the letter — and, by the way, I have to tell you…

Harry Reid in a speech on the Senate floor at 12 noon today, a little over an hour ago, attempted to horn in on all this and take some credit for it, claiming that he and I had buried the hatchet, or implying that that had been the case, and then kept using the pronoun ‘WE’ in discussing how good this was, the money going to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. So the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, it’s now official, is going to get in excess of $4.2 million because I am matching Betty Casey’s bid on eBay — $4.2 million. I asked Senator Reid to match and all the other senators who can afford to do so. I haven’t heard from them on that. I asked Senator Reid to go on the program and discuss his discussion of me as ‘unpatriotic.’ He did not accept my offer to do that, and now has the audacity to climb aboard this, praising the effort, saying that ‘he’ never knew that it would get this kind of money. It got this kind of money because it represents one of the most outrageous abuses of federal power in modern American history, and that is what makes it a collector’s item. This letter that Senator Reid wrote will forever memorialize him as a demagogue, and the same for the other 40 who signed it. Senator Reid will be remembered forever, here, as a disgrace. But let’s put this in perspective. I think it’s fascinating to see what happened here.

Look at what happened. The Senate leader, the Senate majority leader, smeared a private citizen — a private citizen, I, me, who has donated time and money to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. The government tried to take away my living, by sending this letter to Mark Mays at Clear Channel and asking him to confer with me about my remarks. So that was an attempt from him to take away from me my living, and, in the process, my ability to support charities like this: the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. This is the government, by the way, that our Founding Fathers warned us about and tried to protect us from, with a Bill of Rights. As a result (and I have tingles going up my spine here, and I have had all week long), fellow private citizens took up the cause. They bid their own hard-earned, after-tax dollars — and many of you are sending your money in small amounts and large amounts to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, the charity that Senator Reid indirectly attempted to damage when he smeared the charity’s board member and very active donor and fundraiser. The government was used as a blunt instrument here on me, and you could almost say as a blunt instrument on people in need.

Private citizens, of their own accord — without a government mandate, without an Algore pledge — responded with creativity, and charity, and a sense of fun. See, in the private sector, ideas matter, individuals care, and things get done. I guess conservatives are compassionate after all. The winning bidder is — and this is subject to the receipt of funds, of course — a wonderful woman named Betty Casey. She is a trustee of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation. She gives significant sums of money to hospitals, hospices, colleges, and private schools. These include the Eugene B. Casey Diabetes Education Center at Suburban Hospital, the Eugene B. Casey Swim Center, and the Eugene B. Casey Academic Center, and the Casey Home Hospice in Rockville. She has also donated tens of millions from the foundation and her personal funds to the Washington Opera. Betty Casey has been a listener to this program since its inception. She’s a huge fan. We would expect nothing else — and we cannot thank her enough for her support in this, and I am honored, and proud, and happy to be matching her $2,100,100. We also want to give thanks to eBay Giving Works, for allowing us to break their website in the closing moments of the auction. We were trying to get the latest bid amount in the last ten seconds, and on three different computers, we got a ‘system down’ message. We broke eBay! I don’t know that anybody has ever broken eBay. As such, we have heard from south Florida lawyers, ladies and gentlemen, who suspect that there might be a hanging-chad scenario here. We, of course, are going to just flick that away as we would a Lake Erie midge during a New York Yankees game in the American League Divisional Series Playoffs. Auction Cause also is an outfit we want to thank, because they managed all of this on eBay. They were our consultant, prequalifying bidders and developing the auction. So thanks again to Betty Casey, who is a trustee of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation, a fan and listener of this program from the beginning. It’s $2,100,100 for the Harry Reid letter and this attaché case from Zero Halliburton.

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