Appearing on CNN's Crossfire on August 12, John O'Neill, co-founder of the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and co-author of the Regnery book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, denied he had links to the Republican Party: "I've had no serious involvement in politics of any kind in over 32 years."
But, as Media Matters for America noted on May 4, O'Neill has long-standing ties to the Republicans, having worked under the direction of the Nixon White House and clerked for Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist in the late 1970s*.
Moreover, since 1990, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, O'Neill has contributed $14,650 to federal candidates or national political organizations -- all Republicans:
- 2004: $2,000 to Duane Sand (ND)
- 1999: $1,000 to Peter Staub Wareing (TX)
- 1998: $250 to Rudy Izzard (TX)
- 1996: $1,000 to Brent Perry (TX)
- 1994: $2,500 to Texas Republican Congressional Committee
- 1993: $2,500 to Texas Republican Congressional Committee
- 1992: $1,000 to Texas Republican Congressional Committee
- 1992: $1,000 George H.W. Bush
- 1992: $1,000 to Clark Kent Ervin (TX)
- 1991: $1,000 to Clark Kent Ervin (TX)
- 1990: $400 to Hugh Dunham Shine (TX)
- 1990: $1,000 to A Tribute To Ronald Reagan
Correction: This item previously erroneously stated that O'Neill clerked for Rehnquist in 1990. O'Neill clerked for Rehnquist in the late 1970s. In 1990, according to an October 7, 1991, report by Texas Lawyer, former President George H.W. Bush considered O'Neill for a federal judgeship vacancy.