In their search for hard money, House Republicans truly broke some new ground recently by awarding Harry Weiss, president of Weiss and Associates, their National Leadership Award and appointing him California co-chairman of the Business Advisory Council.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) chairs the council, and his signature is on Weiss’ award, which thanks him for his “Republican ideals.”
But then there’s the obligatory twist: Weiss is the proud owner of a PR firm that represents some of the most prolific, uh, “adult”
stars in the San Fernando Valley, as well as a few spicy Web sites and video stores. He also founded Nefarious Films, for which Weiss is a producer and director of his own adult flicks. Weiss, who’s been in the industry for nine years, has even landed a handful of roles of his own in adult films.
As he told HOH on Friday, Weiss has only had “non-sex roles,” such as the time he played a judge in a film closely resembling the Larry Flynt case, in which an adult entertainer had to defend himself on First Amendment grounds. The films always need a few non-sex roles, Weiss said, to help move the plot along. Who knew?
A onetime Democrat when he grew up in Union County, N.J., Weiss said he was surprised to find a message on his work phone a month or so ago asking him if he’d like to join the Business Advisory Council. The call is in fact a fundraising pitch used by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Weiss, who labels himself a centrist who didn’t vote in 2000 because he hated both President Bush and former Vice President Al Gore, called back, and the Republican telemarketer offered him a spot on the council. “They said they considered me a responsible and important part of the business community,” he recalled.
“I, of course, asked what this was costing me. And they said ‘No cost.’”
With that, Weiss signed on and the person on the other end then granted him the leadership award and played a recorded greeting from DeLay, the arch-conservative who drove the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton over his alleged lies about sexual indiscretions.
The GOP operative never actually asked what services Weiss and Associates performed, Weiss said. Like other recipients of the leadership award, the caller did ask Weiss if he wanted to pay a few hundred dollars to have his name included on a GOP advertisement in The New York Times talking up the president’s economic plan. Weiss declined, and the caller said that was fine.
A week or so later he received a letter “welcoming me aboard,” promising access to key Republicans and inviting him to an NRCC fundraiser with Bush later this year.
Perhaps members of the more conservative wing of the GOP would strive to rescind the award if they knew Weiss’ clients include actor Lexington Steele, who, according to the Internet Movie Database, boasts of 336 adult film credits since 1997, including, most recently, “Bring’um Young 10,” “Can’t Get Enough” and a whole bunch of unprintable titles.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.