Friday, October 07, 2005

Airline That Booted Liberal Woman Big GOP Donator

The blogosphere was abuzz last night with word of a woman who was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight because she was wearing a T-shirt with the pictures of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and the F-word.

The shirt, a play on words from the movie "Meet the Fockers," had the title of the movie, with the last word changed to a curse word.

Southwest, whose slogan should be "our toddler-sized seats keep you in a constant stress position," will likely be sued by the passenger, Lorrie Heasley, for the actions they took at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Southwest offered to let Heasley continue her flight if she were to change her shirt, which she refused to do.

But when you look at Southwest's political donations and the money given by the airline's CEO and his wife, none of this is a surprise.

Courtesy of, we find that Southwest's main political action committee, the Freedom Fund, has given $5,000 to George W. Bush in the last two presidential elections, while giving nothing to Al Gore or John Kerry. Their favorite guy to buy in Congress? None other than Mr. Tom DeLay, to whom the corporate group has given a total of $9,000 in the last five years. They even kicked in a grand for Rick Santorum.

Not much different going on with Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher. He and his wife Joan have given almost $200,000 to the Republican National Committee (RNC) since the 2000 election cycle. They've also helped out Bush with $8,000 – also while donating nothing to his Democratic opponents -- and have thrown a whopping $126,500 at the RNC's National State Elections Committee.

But all that aside, I know two things for sure: One, is that I never fly that low-rent airline anyway. In addition, I would bet anything that, if the good old boy I saw at a recent New York Mets' game wearing the "Club Gitmo" shirt had also been on that flight-- the shirt contained language making fun of detainees at Guantanamo Bay – Southwest would not have said a word.

Just a hunch.