August 04, 2008

article in ny daily news today

Nicole Sexton's airing GOP secrets
Monday, August 4th 2008, 4:00 AM

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens might want to bring "Party Favors" to jail with him, should he end up doing time on charges of hiding $250,000 in gifts from an oil company.

Top Republican fund-raiser Nicole Sexton wrote the thinly veiled novel after becoming disgusted with the greed she witnessed and jumping ship to Bono's liberal One Campaign.

The thirtysomething blond was finance director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2002 to 2005, raising nearly $100 million in one year alone. She helped the campaigns of Sens. Bill Frist, Elizabeth Dole and George Allen, among others — but Sexton's not revealing the identities of her characters except her own: Temple Sachet. But readers in D.C. are already buzzing about which senator demanded sex just to agree to travel to a New York fund-raiser.

Sexton has said she felt "dirty," ultimately, involved in a process where politicians become more interested in the big bucks than the issues, and where the fund-raising director gets 10%-15%, easily making over $1 million from one campaign. And this, she told The Nation, is comprised of donations "from the guy that gives $50 and works at T.J. Maxx."

We asked Sexton if her incredible life transformation was a form of penance for playing such a key role in putting Republicans in power.

"I'm a strong fiscal conservative, but I've never been a social conservative," Sexton, who's still a registered Republican, told us. "And it must be noted, in terms of compassion, that this administration has done more to fight AIDS around the globe than any previous one.

"But I'm very dissatisfied with what Congress has been able to do, and what they haven't done."
Sexton, whose mother is New Orleans socialite Marlyne Sexton, says the "incredibly weak" government response to Hurricane Katrina was a turning point. "If I wasn't upset before Katrina, I certainly was after."

What goes wrong with politicians who start out as idealists? Sexton thinks that, "When they come to Washington, with power and money working hand in hand, and all that excess, it's hard for them to stay focused on why they came there, and to be true to the idea of public service."
Sexton's not the only one in the GOP to want change. At a packed fete for "Party Favors" at Michael's last week, where John Loeb, John McLaughlin, Somers Farkas and even Lauren Bush grabbed books, D.C. big Marina Ein took a presidential poll.

Barack Obama trounced John McCain, 31 to 17.

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