Fox411 columnist Roger Friedman is reporting that Oprah Winfrey, an outspoken supporter of Barack Obama, “accepted at least $5 million” for her girls school in South Africa from Harold Simmons.”
Simmons is described by Friedman as a “Dallas billionaire” and “a leading Republican donor and supporter of John McCain.”
“This past August it was revealed that Simmons was the single donor to a 527 committee called American Issues Project,” wrote Freidman in his Tuesday column. “Its only issue: to run ads linking Obama to William Ayers, the political activist who was once part of the Weather Underground. Simmons paid $2.9 million to try and make Ayers the Obama campaign’s ‘Swift Boat,’ an issue that might have sidelined permanently the Illinois senator’s chances and advance John McCain — Simmons’s candidate — to the White House.
“Nevertheless, Winfrey has cultivated her friendship with Simmons on many social fronts since 2001, resulting in his being second only to her in donating funds to her Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“According to the 2006 federal tax filing for the Oprah Winfrey Operating Fund, Winfrey accepted a $1 million donation to the school from Simmons. That amount, The Dallas Morning News reported in 2007, was only part of a $5 million pledge to the Academy. Simmons is considered Dallas’s leading philanthropist to worthy causes. In this case, though, it might have been unnecessary, since Winfrey herself has donated over $60 million to the school.”
Continue reading Friedman’s column here.