Just FYI, bidding has closed at $2,100,100.00. Now we’ll wait and see if it was a real bidder, or of someone was trying to scam the system (a point a commenter made in my last eBay auction post). If real, it’s wonderful.
UPDATE: It’s real! “The winner of the auction was philanthropist Betty Casey.” And Harry Reid is already trying to make political capital of this.
UPDATE II: I’m noticing a surge of traffic as people try to figure out who Betty Casey is. Since you’re at my blog, here’s what I know: Casey is in her late 70s (just shy of 80 years old). She is the widow of Eugene B. Casey, who was a major real estate developer in his native Washington. She isn’t known for matters political, instead being connected with the arts and other more generic philanthropic enterprises. She has donated fairly generously to Barack Obama, but she mostly seems to donate to Republican causes and candidates. Here’s a mini-bio about the reclusive heiress, from a larger story about a lawsuit against her in connection with donations to a medical institution:
Casey grew up poor, but married well. By the time her husband of 31 years, famously tight-fisted Maryland speculator and developer Eugene B. Casey, died in 1986, he had accumulated a fortune estimated at more than $200 million. While he was so cheap that he would turn off the Coke machine when he left his office at night to save electricity, she has become one of Washington’s most generous philanthropists. Among her projects: spending millions on the Washington Opera and $50 million to plant trees.
In a website with information about both Betty and Eugene Casey, you can get more of a sense about the source of her wealth.
She is a 1947 grad of Washington College, and continues to treat the college with great generosity.
She really, really, really loves opera. Also, as an homage to her husband, a D.C. native who loved the City dearly, Casey has contributed large sums of money to City beautification. She’s also been a generous sponsor to the Salvation Army.
She’s also been involved in endless litigation with the town of Rockville, Maryland about a piece property that has an 80 year old house on it. I haven’t delved into the case (that would take too long), but it’s clear that Rockville doesn’t want her to get her hands on the property.
And to those of you coming here on the Betty Casey trail, feel free to look around this blog. You might like what you see.
UPDATE III: Mark Steyn nicely skewers Reid’s attempt to ride Rush’s coattails, while issuing a challenge (one I’m sure will be unanswered) to the Millionaires Club that makes up most of the letter’s signatories:
Harry Reid’s Rush-and-I-don’t-agree-on-much-but letter makes a small man look even more shriveled. Rush is matching the highest bid for the Reid/Kennedy/Dodd/etc letter, so right now he’ll be writing a personal check for somewhere north of two million bucks. He has invited the Senate smearers also to match the highest bid. Like so many commissars from the people’s party, Harry Reid is a wealthy man. So are Ted Kennedy and most of the other 41 Democratic Senators who signed the letter. If they won’t match it individually, why can’t they pony up 50 grand per?
Well, yes, I know, Senator Reid is the guy who tips his doorman at the Ritz-Carlton with campaign contributions…
Hat tip: Wizbang