Sean Penn to Spend Time With Top Republicans

Image: Sean Penn to Spend Time With Top Republicans

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 01:49 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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Outspoken liberal actor Sean Penn, who counted the late Hugo Chavez among his friends, will appear with high-profile Republicans next weekend at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala, the New York Post reported.

Penn is being honored "for his work in saving the life of Jacob Ostreicher, a Hasidic Jew who was unjustly accused and rotting in a Bolivian jail for three years," Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the event organizer, wrote in The Times of Israel.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

"Penn not only electrified the world by saving the life of Ostreicher by apparently secreting him out of Bolivia at considerable personal risk. He has also remained in close contact with Ostreicher and is extending himself significantly to help him rebuild his life back in the United States, after the horrors to which he was exposed," Boteach wrote in an op-ed piece.

In 2007, The Huffington Post published "an open letter" by Penn to then-President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in which he wrote that they were "villainously and criminally obscene people, obscene human beings, incompetent even to fulfill your own self-serving agenda, while tragically neglectful and destructive of ours and our country's."

That letter appeared years after Penn reportedly paid $56,000 to take out an ad in The Washington Post in which he penned a letter to Bush for his decisions following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In that letter, Penn accused Bush of leading "through a blood-lined sense of entitlement."

Penn will receive the Champion of Jewish Justice award at the Champions of Jewish Values gala, the New York Post reported. The gala is hosted by billionaire casino mogul and hefty GOP donor Sheldon Adelson along with hedge-fund manager Michael Steinhardt. Also scheduled to be in attendance are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, both Republicans.

The Post's Page Six columnist Richard Johnson wrote that he asked Penn's publicist why the Academy Award-winning actor would be "consorting with the enemy," and was told that "Sean Penn comfortably and happily communicates with people of differing points of view all the time. In fact, he has done it incredibly effectively on behalf of the people of Haiti for years."

In 2011, Moviefone.com published a story that cited a Hollywood Reporter survey that found that 52 percent of Republicans avoid going to see a movie with Penn in it. Jane Fonda was next, with 48 percent, followed by Whoopi Goldberg, at 47 percent.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

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