Catholic prep school alumni hosts pro-abortion candidate fundraiser

Monday, September 29, 2003

By The Leader-Chicago Bureau (chicago@illinoisleader.com)

St Ignatius College Prep located on Roosevelt Road in Chicago, was founded in 1870.
CHICAGO -- Questions are being raised about a fundraiser to be hosted on Tuesday night by alumni of St. Ignatius College Prep. The function will be held to raise campaign funds for one of their own, State Comptroller Dan Hynes, who is now running to be the Democratic nominee for next year's U.S. Senate race.

A staff member at the alumni association insisted that the association itself was not involved at all in the fundraiser, saying, "For a non-profit to be involved in hosting a political fund raiser, it would the the death knell to that group."

The staffer referred Illinois Leader to his "boss," John Chandler. Chandler's name is listed on the St. Ignatius' website as heading the school's Operations Department, its Development Department and the Social Studies Department.

Chandler is also one of twenty-four St. Ignatius alumni who, according to the evening's invitation, plans to donate $2500 to the Hynes campaign.

"I haven't donated any money to this cause," Chandler told the Illinois Leader this afternoon. "I'm not sure where you got that impression."

The Leader responded by reading information on the invitation saying, as a co-chair, "Yes, I will serve as a co-chair of the event and contribute $2,500." Chandler restated that he has not made such a contribution to the Hynes campaign.

Other key names listed as co-chairs, committing to a gift of $2500 donation to Hynes are Carole Manning, who works in the Principal's office, John Balaban who heads the school's Math Department and Science Department, and Jim Spalding who teaches math at the school.

Catholic groups are organizing a protest to be held in front of the Chicago Art Institute at 5:00 PM to meet Hynes supporters who will be attending the event. The protestors plan to stay in front until 7:30 PM.

Chandler said that he was not aware of the planned protest.

Vote Life America (VLA), headed by Catholic activist Jim Finnegan, and Catholic Citizens of Illinois, organized by Vice-President Karl Maurer, have notified their members and urged their presence to protest the Catholic school raising funds for a candidate who supports abortion rights.

"VLA was founded to simply get the truth out regarding 'Catholic' and so called 'Christian' politicians who hide behind their professed faith in asking for support/votes while in practice acting in total opposition to the word of Our Lord when it comes to 'Thou shalt not kill,' Finnegan said in a VLA announcement today.

"These counterfeit Catholics need, at the bare minimum, to have their true feelings and ambitions revealed to the voting public," the retired Barrington salesman, who now donates his time to furthering pro-life causes, said today.

"Vote Life America is sponsoring a picket of the St. Ignatius Prep sponsored fund raiser for pro-abortion US Senate candidate Dan Hynes," a news release said over the weekend.

"The initial meeting place will be at 112 South Michigan Ave. at 5 p.m. on Tuesday Sept. 30. Roman Catholics of faith, who recognize abortion as gravely evil and 'pro-choice' Catholic politicians as a scandal, are encouraged to support this effort."

Matt Abbott, a '94 alumni of the school, wrote a protest letter to the school's president Rev. Brian G. Paulson after receiving his invitation in the mail. Paulson responded to Abbott saying that while Paulson did not like what he heard Hynes say on the radio on the Roe vs Wade anniversary in January, that "it is a sad but true fact of life in every society that not everything which is moral is legal, and not everything which is legal is moral."

Rev. Paulson also wrote, "I have heard Cardinal George speak eloquently about the importance of law shaping culture, especially on this critical issue." He went on, "As much as I recognize his point, I also believe that we have a lot more spiritual and moral conversion of minds and hearts to do in our families, churches and schools before changes in public policies affecting abortion would be accepted and supported in the United States."

In addition to the twenty-four $2500 donors listed on the fundraiser invitation are the names of 148 St. Ignatius alumni who will be contributing $1000 per person as co-hosts for the fundraiser.

Abbott, along with other alumni, are questioning how the Hynes campaign got his name if the school had nothing to do with the event.

"Not only am I concerned," Abbott said today, "another alumni who lives out of state wondered why he got a letter from the Hynes campaign. He said he didn't know anything about him in Illinois."

"We do not provide the names of families, alums or benefactors to anyone -- candidates, good causes or anything else," Chandler told the Leader. "The only way that the Hynes campaign could have obtained the list is through a third party, possibly one of the alumni who has the names and addresses of our alumni."

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