According to Federal Election Commission records, in February, the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania paid Fox News “political analyst” Dick Morris $10,000 for speaking at its 2010 Lincoln Day Dinner. Following the payment, Morris repeatedly appeared on Fox News to discuss Pennsylvania politics, and shill for Pennsylvania Republicans and causes.
Between February 22 and July 19, Morris discussed Pennsylvania politics at least 13 times on Fox News. During those instances, Morris ironically criticized corruption involving the purported “bribe” of Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) by the White House; cheered on Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey's electoral chances; and forwarded the bogus non-scandal over the Justice Department's actions in a case involving the New Black Panther Party at a Pennsylvania polling station.
The following are those 13 instances:
- During the February 22 edition of Hannity, while discussing health care reform, Morris touted Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), stating: “There are 17 doctors in the House out of about 170 Republicans. There are only three Democratic doctors in the House. And there are two Republican doctors in the Senate, Coburn and Barrasso. I think that those are the people that should be the spokesmen at the summit. The head of the caucus of doctors is Tim Murphy from Pennsylvania. And they ought to go and say President Obama, you are president and we respect you for that. But we're doctors. We know more about health care than you do.”
- On the March 4 edition (retrieved from Nexis) of On the Record -- prior to the Democratic Senate primary -- Morris said: “Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania I think is going to be defeated.”
- On the April 12 edition of Hannity, Morris said that “you have four incumbents that are the walking dead. Specter in Pennsylvania, he's eight points behind Toomey.”
- During the May 24 edition of Hannity, Morris discussed Sestak and baselessly claimed that an alleged job offer by the Obama administration to Rep. Joe Sestak would constitute an “impeachable offense.”
- Morris repeated his Sestak allegations on the May 27 edition of On the Record.
- Morris repeated his Sestak allegations on the May 28 edition of Hannity.
- Morris repeated his Sestak allegations on the June 3 edition of On the Record, adding: “It is clear why they offered Sestak a job, because they wanted to clear the way for Specter to get him to switch parties so they could have a filibuster-proof majority.
- On the June 16 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Morris spoke about purported corruption and said: ” You look at the Sestak thing and you say yuck. And it's the process that goes on that turns you off."
- On the June 25 edition of On the Record, Morris discussed immigration reform and said of President Obama: “The whole point is that he's decided to tack to the left on this issue. He's decided to risk alienating the anti- immigration forces. He's decided to risk the seats that he has in Arizona and New Mexico because he feels, nationally, to win states like Illinois and Pennsylvania and Florida where there are Senate seats up, he feels he needs a strong Latino turn-out.”
- On the July 7 edition (retrieved from Nexis) of The O'Reilly Factor, Morris discussed the bogus story of the New Black Panther Party and a polling station in Pennsylvania during the 2008 elections. Morris also discussed the story on the July 15 edition of On the Record.
- During the July 19 edition (retrieved from Nexis) of Hannity, Morris discussed U.S. Senate races and said, in “Pennsylvania we have a lead.”
- On the July 19 edition of Hannity, Morris said, “We're going to take the Senate, too. I have a big article on DickMorris.com, my Web site, that goes through each state. But what it boils down to is that there are seven states and we need win six of them.” Morris added that Pennsylvania is one of those states: “They're on the table in Pennsylvania.”
Additionally, Morris repeatedly promoted a fundraising effort for ads for the League of American Voters to pressure Democrats to vote against health care reform. In a February 23 blog post, Morris listed 31 “Vulnerable Democratic Congressmen” who are “swing congressmen on health care” and wrote that the “League of American voters has produced ads targeting these swing Congressmen and we urge you STRONGLY to CLICK HERE to send them money to help fund these ads." The list includes several Pennsylvania Democrats.
The PA GOP's payment to Morris was addressed to his “Triangulation Strategies” for the purpose of “Event - Speaker.”
The Alabama Republican Party also paid Morris $15,000 (addressed directly to Dick Morris at the address of “Triangulation Strategies” ) on June 23 for “Summer Dinner Speaker.” Morris spoke at the local party's 2010 Reagan Dinner.
Media Matters has noted that Morris has said he plans to campaign for roughly 40 Republican congressional candidates this election cycle.
This is not the first ethics problem for Fox News' Dick Morris. Given Fox News' non-response to Morris' repeated transgressions, it likely won't be the last.