U2’s Bono says he is not involved in efforts by U.S. lawmakers to use his band’s concerts to raise campaign money.
Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and other politicians have scheduled fundraising events in private suites during shows for U2’s North American Vertigo tour, which runs through the end of December.
Jamie Drummond, executive director of DATA, an Africa advocacy group that Bono helped found, said in a message posted on the band’s Web site: “Neither DATA nor Bono are involved in these (fundraisers), and they cannot be controlled. The U2 concerts are categorically not fundraisers for any politician; they are rock concerts for U2 fans.”
Another DATA spokesman said Bono was speaking for himself and not for the rest of the Irish rock band.
Bono is a dedicated lobbyist for the world’s poor and AIDS-stricken.
Santorum’s press secretary, Robert Traynham, said Thursday that the decision by the Senate’s third-ranking Republican to hold a fundraiser during Sunday’s Philadelphia show is based on his “deep respect and admiration for Bono and their work together over the last few years to fight the global spread of HIV-AIDS.”
Traynham said Santorum’s office has not spoken with Bono about his position, but it is routine for elected officials to host such fundraisers at sporting and cultural events.
The fundraiser will go ahead as planned, Traynham said.
Clinton, the former first lady, who represents New York, expects 18 supporters willing to pay $2,500 each to benefit Democrats, to join her at a U2 concert at the MCI Center in Washington.
Messages left Thursday with Clinton’s office were not immediately returned.