Veteran political strategist Ed Rollins brought a burst of positive media coverage to Rep. Michele Bachmann when he signed on as campaign manager of her sometimes loopy presidential bid, but Rollins continues to hide a dark secret from one of his previous national campaigns.
For two decades, Rollins has withheld evidence about the identity of a top Filipino politician who admitted delivering an illegal $10 million cash payment to Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Rollins, who ran Reagan’s reelection campaign in 1984, mentioned the admission in his 1996 book, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, recounting how the Filipino casually asserted over drinks in 1991 that he had carried the money in a suitcase to a Republican lobbyist who was representing the Reagan campaign.
“I was the guy who gave the ten million from Marcos to your campaign,” the Filipino told Rollins. “I was the guy who made the arrangements and delivered the cash personally. … It was a personal gift from Marcos to Reagan.”
In his book, Rollins described this stunning news with a light touch. The first thought that raced through his head, he wrote, was “Cash? Holy shit.”
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