Letter demands firing of Crossroads aide, calls Bozell ‘critically important figure in American history’

Will Rahn | Senior Editor

A group of conservative leaders has signed an irate letter demanding that a Republican political consultant be fired for calling the relatively undistinguished scion of a prominent political family a “hater.”

Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for the Karl Rove-affiliated political action committee American Crossroads, used the epithet when discussing L. Brent Bozell, the nephew of former Sen. James Buckley and deceased National Review founder William F. Buckley, during an appearance on a local radio show Wednesday.

The letter, which is being circulated by the Washington, D.C. based public relations shop Shirley & Banister, calls Bozell “a beloved and critically important player in American history.”

Bozell is known through his Media Research Center blog, occasional appearances on television and trademark bright-red beard.

“On behalf of the conservative movement, we are demanding you terminate Mr. Collegio,” the letter, sent to American Crossroads President Steven Law, reads. “An apology is not acceptable.”

The letter also implicitly argues that Bozell should not be criticized, simply because many members of his family were important conservative figures at one point.

“Mr. Bozell is what we call in our movement a ‘legacy,'” it reads. “He has devoted his life to the cause of American conservatism as did his father, Brent Bozell II, who wrote ‘Conscience of a Conservative’ for Barry Goldwater.”

“Maybe you’ve heard of Brent’s uncle, Bill Buckley, whose words you misquote and twist as the basis for your organization enough to falsely suggest you know something about him,” it continues. “You may have heard of his other uncle, Jim Buckley, a former U.S. Senator, or Brent’s mother, Patricia Buckley Bozell—both important figures and writers in our conservative movement.”

“Ronald Reagan often saluted the contributions of the Bozell and Buckley families to the cause of American conservatism,” it says.

After celebrating Bozell’s political connections and genetic pedigree for several paragraphs, the letter then turns its attention to Collegio, who is mocked for using “the language of the establishment Republicans.”

“You obviously mean to have a war with conservatives and the Tea Party,” the letter reads, referring to Collegio and his group. “Let it start here.”

The letter is signed by radio host Mark Levin, Reagan biographer Craig Shirley and Daily Caller contributor Ginni Thomas, among others. Bozell did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment.

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READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW:

February 6, 2013

Mr. Steven Law
President & Chief Executive Officer
American Crossroads
P.O. Box 34413
Washington, DC 20043

Dear Mr. Law,

We, the free men and women of this great nation, affirm everyone’s natural right to speak their mind, but we cannot and will not abide the unjust, personal broadside your aide Jonathan Collegio leveled against a man whose family has dedicated itself to advancing the cause of liberty for over half a century.

This morning Mr. Collegio attacked L. Brent Bozell, III and labeled him as a “hater” twice in an interview. His attack was not grounded in reason or principle; its justification was nothing more than disagreement with your newly formed organization.

Mr. Bozell is what we call in our movement a “legacy.” He has devoted his life to the cause of American conservatism as did his father, Brent Bozell II, who wrote “Conscience of a Conservative” for Barry Goldwater.

Maybe you’ve heard of Brent’s uncle, Bill Buckley, whose words you misquote and twist as the basis for your organization enough to falsely suggest you know something about him.

You may have heard of his other uncle, Jim Buckley, a former U.S. Senator, or Brent’s mother, Patricia Buckley Bozell — both important figures and writers in our conservative movement.

Ronald Reagan often saluted the contributions of the Bozell and Buckley families to the cause of American conservatism.

Mr. Collegio calling Mr. Bozell a “hater” publicly on WMAL radio this morning reflects the language of the establishment Republicans. It is the divisive language of the Left.

Rather than engaging in an intellectual debate, you, Mr. Collegio, Mr. Rove, and others in the consultant class attack good conservatives and Tea Party leaders and members.

On behalf of the conservative movement, we are demanding you terminate Mr. Collegio. An apology is not acceptable.

American Crossroads and the so-called Conservative Victory Project have already been severely marginalized. The sheer audacity of political consultants maligning a beloved and critically important player in American history is simply a bridge too far.

You obviously mean to have a war with conservatives and the Tea Party.

Let it start here.

Sincerely,

Craig Shirley
Reagan Biographer

Diana Banister
Director
Citizens for the Republic

Mark Levin
Author

Jenny Beth Martin
Co-Founder and National Coordinator
Tea Party Patriots

Morton Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch

Mathew D. Staver
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council

Austin Ruse
President
Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute

Richard Viguerie
Chairman
ConservativeHQ.com

Manuel Miranda
Third Branch Conference

Phyllis Schlafly
President
Eagle Forum

Robert Fischer
President
Fischer Furniture, Inc.

Mark Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising

David N. Bossie
President
Citizens United

Troy Newman
Pro-Life Nation

Richard F. Norman
Founder and President
The Richard Norman Company

Tricia Erickson
President
Crisis Management, Inc.

Ginni Thomas
Liberty Consulting

Angelo M. Codevilla
Professor emeritus
Claremont Institute

William Wilson
Americans for Limited Government

Rick Scarborough
Vision America

Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
The Conservative Caucus Inc.

Colin Hanna
Let Freedom Ring

Andrea Lafferty
President
Traditional Values Coalition

Frank Gaffney
President
Center for Security Policy

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