Conservative political pundit Ann Coulter is slated to speak at GW Feb. 10, and the College Republicans, who are sponsoring the author and columnist’s visit, are raising the necessary funds for her speaker’s fee.
The Young America’s Foundation, Coulter’s scheduler, confirmed the scheduled speech. Senior Jeff Holth, chairman of the College Republicans, said bringing her to campus would cost about $15,000, the same amount she has charged at other schools.
Holth, who said the College Republicans group is seeking other organizations to co-sponsor the event, did not say how much more money his group needs to raise.
“This is definitely not a sure thing,” Holth said. “We know there’s also a possibility that it won’t happen.” Patrick Coyle, director of campus programs at YAF, would not comment on the event’s funding.
Holth said Coulter would be a “keynote speaker for the semester,” and that while his organization enjoys hosting members of Congress, it was looking for a more controversial speaker to kick off the second semester. Last semester’s speakers included Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and former Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp.
“We know some of our best events are some of our most controversial,” Holth said. “You’re going to get a reaction from people on campus who want to see her because they don’t like her.”
While College Democrats executive board member Mike DiNapoli called protesting a “waste of time,” and said he has no plans to demonstrate outside the event, he noted that Coulter is a “divisive figure.”
Markos Moulitsas-Z?niga, proprietor of the popular left wing site DailyKos.com, discouraged people from protesting the event, saying to do so would be like throwing fuel in a burning fire.
“I think people who disagree with Coulter would be better off ignoring her visits,” Moulitsas-Z?niga said. “They give her more attention and notoriety by making a big deal with protests.”
Coulter is used to having liberal foes protest her. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Cornell and a law degree from the University of Michigan, she wrote four national bestselling books, including “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.” She writes a widely syndicated weekly column and is a regular guest on myriad television programs. Coulter has been a lightning rod of criticism for her outspoken beliefs for more than a decade. Shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she suggested in a National Review piece that the United States should “invade their (terrorists’) countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
In October 2004, two men threw tofu cream pies at Coulter during a speech at the University of Arizona. Last week, one of the men pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, reported the Arizona Daily Wildcat. The other man made the same plea in November, according to the college newspaper.
-Michael Barnett contributed to this report.