The rapper was one of approximately 10,000 names drawn from a computer list of charity contributors solicited to join the Republican Party's elite Inner Circle of wealthy financial backers by Texas Sen. Phil Gramm's office, said a congressional aide who asked not to be identified. He was invited to join the Inner Circle by Republican Senate leader Bob Dole of Kansas after he contributed money to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
[Eric Wright]'s presence at the event sparked criticism from conservatives. Florida anti-obscenity crusader Jack Thompson, the Coral Gables attorney who ignited last year's legal furor surrounding the Miami rap group 2 Live Crew, voiced outrage that the Republican Party would invite the rapper to the exclusive event.
"We believe that Mr. Wright is not pro-violence or pro-drug and hope that his actions speak louder than his words," [Wendy Burnley] said, referring to the rapper's gangster-oriented lyrics. "Whatever the nature of Mr. Wright's business, he contributed $2,500 to help the Republican Party and he is now a member of the Inner Circle."