House GOP Leader Eric Cantor To Hold ‘Festivus’-Themed Fundraiser, Liberal Group Airs Grievances

Dec 8, 2010 4:28pm

ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:

Feats of strength, the airing of grievances — they are rituals well known to “Seinfeld” fans familiar with “Festivus,” a fictional holiday made popular by the television show. And tonight, House Majority Leader-Elect Eric Cantor, R-Va., and his supporters plan to embrace those traditions with a Festivus-themed fundraiser.

“Air your grievances,” reads an invitation for the event, which will be held at a downtown Washington restaurant. The invitation, posted on the Web site of the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group, notes that tickets range from $500 to $2,500.

The fundraiser will benefit the Every Republican Is Crucial Political Action Committee, or ERIC PAC, Cantor’s committee.

“It’s a lighthearted theme for an event that has occurred for several years running,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for Cantor. “The airing of the grievances is an important Festivus tradition, and after two years of Obama/Reid/Pelosi policies being forced upon people there are plenty of grievances to air.”

But the leader of the liberal advocacy organization, Americans United For Change, is using the fundraiser to criticize Cantor for supporting policies the group says will hurt the middle class, including an extension of tax cuts for wealthy Americans as well as a plan to privatize social security. (A press release lists several other grievances.)

“Rep. Cantor chooses to insulate himself behind corporate lobbyists instead of facing the real problems our country must tackle,” Tom McMahon, Executive Director of Americans United for Change, said in a statement, adding: “If Rep. Cantor was actually celebrating Festivus, and giving any credence to the middle class, we would not want to be there for the feats of strength. It wouldn’t be pretty.”

Apparently channeling the true spirit of the holiday, Dayspring responded: “I wonder whether Americans United For Change will attack the President's $30,000 per plate fundraisers with the same vigor.”

Notably, the fundraiser takes place on the last night of Hanukkah. Cantor is the only Jewish Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

No word yet on what “feats of strength” will be required of participants.

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