David Letterman gives Greg Pence's opponent a wad of cash

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David Letterman celebrates his first anniversary hosting CBS-TV's highly successful Late  Show on Aug. 30. Letterman struck this casual pose for a portrait in New York, August 1994.Pacers star Reggie Miller visited David Letterman on a 2003 episode.David Letterman in his second season of Late Night with David Letterman.  April 1983John Mellencamp and fellow Hoosier David Letterman during a 1989 taping of Late Night with David Letterman at the Chicago Theater.David Letterman holds a photo of his new son, Harry Joseph Letterman, during a 2003 taping of The Late Show with David Letterman.Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt visited David Letterman in 2006. Vanderjagt successfully kicked a 46-yard field goal attempt on the street outside the Late Show studio, just days after he missed a kick of the same length that would have sent the Colts game with the Pittsburgh Steelers into overtime.Jay Leno (left) appeared as a  guest on Late Night with David Letterman in this undated photo.Singer Courtney Love flashes David Letterman while standing on his desk during the taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, March 17, 2004.David Letterman during his days as a weatherman at WTHR.David Letterman hosted the Academy Awards in 1995.Colts quarterback Peyton Manning tried to toss a football into a passing  New York City cab during a 2005 episode.David Letterman walks with Oprah Winfrey from the Ed Sullivan Theater to the premiere of Winfrey's new musical The Color Purple at the nearby Broadway Theater after Winfrey made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005.In this photo released by CBS, actor Joaquin Phoenix, left, waives to the audience from the set of the The Late Show with David Letterman, in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 as host David Letterman watches from the desk.Comedian David Letterman is shown in this NBC publicity photo in May 1980, announcing that the former Indianapolis weatherman would headline a new, live daytime talk-variety series, The David Letterman Show, to be telecast from New York Mondays-Fridays from 10-11:30 a.m. (NYT) beginning June 23, 1980.In this photo provided by CBS, comedian Bill Murray, center, takes a selfie with singer Lady Gaga and host David Letterman on the set of the Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in New York. The singer had Murray, Letterman and the entire audience over to the Roseland Ballroom for a special performance.nbsp;Team co-owner David Letterman watches from Bertrand Baguette's pit box during the 95th running of the Indianapolis 500, Sunday, May 29, 2011, morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Matt Kryger / The Star227_Indy26.#156473.jpg David Letterman, R, keeps a watchful eye on the track during one of the many caution laps. (Photo by Gary Mook)Former President Bill Clinton, left, signs a book for CBS Late Show host David Letterman's son, Harry, during a taping of Late Show with David Letterman, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004, in New York. Clinton wrote that carrying the book around would make him strong, and that he should be about 22 years-old when he finishes reading the book.  (AP Photo/CBS, JP Filo) **MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES**
Former President Bill Clinton, left, signs a book for CBS Late Show host David Letterman’s son, Harry, during a taping of “Late Show with David Letterman,” Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004, in New York. Clinton wrote that carrying the book around would make him strong, and that he should be about 22 years-old when he finishes reading the book. (AP Photo/CBS, JP Filo) **MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES** 
JP FILO Associated PressComedian Billy Crystal removes a surgical glove after shaking hands with show host David Letterman during the the taping of The Late Show with David Letterman in New York, Monday, March 31, 2003.  Letterman  returned to the Ed Sullivan Theater after recovering  from an eye infection caused by shingles, according to the CBS television network. (AP Photo/CBS, J.P. Filo)ADVANCE FOR  MONDAY PMs, Nov. 21 --FILE-- David Letternan returns the ball to Andre Agassi, the U.S. Open men's tennis champion, during the taping of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman in New York, Sept. 12, 1994.  David Letterman has clearly hit his prime, he crashes CBS prime time at 10 p.m., Monday, with his ``Late Show Video Special.''Bobby Rahal, left, and talk show host David Letterman face reporters during a news conference at a New York Mercedes-Benz dealership Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1996. Letterman makes a pretty good living joking around. But one thing that gets the star of CBS's ``Late Night With David Letterman'' to talk straight _ for at least a few moments _ is his part ownership of Team Rahal in the CART FedEx Championship Series. (AP Photo/Steve Macauley)Oscars host David Letterman gestures to the audience during his opening monologue at the 67th annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Monday, March 27, 1995. (AP Photo/Michael Caulfield)BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 24:  In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Late Show television host David Letterman entertains soldiers at the Coalition Provisional Authority headquarters December 24, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq.  (Photo by Reynaldo Ramon/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David LettermanDavid Letterman and his mother Dorothy Mengering share a laugh during the dedication ceremony for the David Letterman Communication and Media Building at Ball State University on Friday.   Adam Alexander / The Star PressDavid Letterman asked the crowd if he still needed a name tag after receiving a Sagamore of the Wabash award during Friday's dedication of the David Letterman Communication and Media Building at Ball State University.   Adam Alexander / The Star PressJeffrey Smulyan, Thomas Deweese, David Letterman, Dorothy Mengering, and Ball State President Jo Ann Gora cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony of the David Letterman Communication and Media Building at Ball State University on Friday.   Adam Alexander / The Star PressMembers of the NHL Champion New Jersey Devils pour Dave Letterman coffee from the Stanley Cup during the taping of CBS's Late Show With David Letterman on Monday, June 26. 1995, in New York. Last Saturday night the Devils beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 to sweep the  best-of-7 Stanley Cup final.  (AP Photo/Alan Singer, CBS)Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sept. 24, 2000. Staff Photo Greg Griffo. File Number 52420. David Letterman points to the McLaren garage while visiting the paddock.Photo from the Star-News book, Hoosier Century       The 500 has been a tradition for CBS Late Show host David Letterman shown yukking it up at the track in 1993.  He is shown in the pit area with the scoring tower behind him.  News staff photo Patty Espich.Sportscaster Marv Albert, who recently started anchoring the MSG cable network's SportsDesk, speaks with David Letterman during the taping of the Late Show with David Letterman in New York on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1998. In Albert's first interview since marrying his longtime girlfriend, Heather Faulkiner, Albert discussed the past year in his life, which he described as a nightmare, and tells Letterman of the benefits of his weekly therapy sessions which he has undergone since last year's scandal.(AP Photo/CBS, Alan Singer)5/26/02 -- (PHOTO BY ROBERT SCHEER) W/ STORY, FILE 70820, SLUG: INDY27 // The 86th Indianapolis 500. // Owner Roger Penske, right, gives a little direction to fellow team owner David Letterman in the pits before the race.TELETTERMAN17 - Lawrence City Council named this intersection after David Letterman last week. The sign sits off 59th Street by an Army Reserve complex. Photo by chris.sikich@topic.com  GENERAL INFORMATION:In this picture released by the U.S. Marines, an Army soldier holds up cue cards as comedian David Letterman delivers his opening monologue written specifically for the troops during The Late Show at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on Friday, Dec. 24, 2004. Letterman, along with his musical director Paul Shaffer and stage manager Biff Henderson, brought the popular late night television show to the Marines, sailors and soldiers currently stationed at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq. (AP Photo/U.S. Marines, Sgt. Luis R. Agostini)
In this picture released by the U.S. Marines, an Army soldier holds up cue cards as comedian David Letterman delivers his opening monologue written specifically for the troops during “The Late Show” at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on Friday, Dec. 24, 2004. Letterman, along with his musical director Paul Shaffer and stage manager Biff Henderson, brought the popular late night television show to the Marines, sailors and soldiers currently stationed at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq. (AP Photo/U.S. Marines, Sgt. Luis R. Agostini) 
LUIS R. AGOSTINI AP5/30/05 INDY30 #113514 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo by Matt Detrich / The Star::: Rahal Letterman Racing Co-Owner David Letterman keeps a close eye on his drivers during Sunday's Indianapolis 500.In this photo released by CBS, Indy Racing League star rookie Danica Patrick discusses her first season with host David Letterman during her second appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005. Patrick, who is a driver for Letterman's Rahal Letterman racing team, placed fourth in the Indy 500 earlier this year. (AP Photo/CBS, J.P. Filo)5/29/05 INDY30 #113515 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo by Matt Kryger / The Star::: David Letterman,right, congradulates driver Kenny Brack,left, on a good job after Brack's strearing broke in his car knocking him out of the race.David Letterman's yearbook photoMUNCIE, Ind.: TV show host David Letterman proudly points to his son, Harry, in the audience during the dedication ceremonies of Ball State University's David Letterman Communication and Media Building in Muncie on Friday, September 7, 2007. The school named the building in honor of the CBS Late Show host, a Ball State alum. He read off his Top 10 Good Things About Having Your Name on a Building list to the crowd of students, faculty and other fans. (Charlie Nye / The Indianapolis Star).David Letterman clowns for the camera while walking out with team co-owner, Bobby Rahl before the  start of the Indianapolis 500. Gary Mook/For the StarThis photo, supplied by Harpo Productions, shows Oprah Winfrey welcoming first-time guest David Letterman to her 22nd season premiere held at WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Monday,Sept. 10, 2007. in New York. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions,George Burns)President Barack Obama is pictured with host David Letterman during a break at a taping of CBS The Late Show with David Letterman, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009, at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Jeff Eshowsky (standing) and David Letterman are shown in a Broad Ripple high school yearbook ad for Atlas Supermarket.David Letterman in Manhattan prior to the premiere of Late Night with David Letterman  Jan. 1982David Letterman during the second season taping of Late Night with David Letterman.  Feb. 1982David Letterman gestures to the audience in the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman. Feb. 2, 1982In an image from video provided by CBS, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno, from right, record a promo for CBS' Late Show that aired during the broadcast of the NFL football Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. The promo was recorded earlier in the week at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. The ad revisited Letterman and Winfrey's Super Bowl spot from 2007, but with another person watching the game with them - late night talk show host Jay Leno. (AP Photo/CBS) ** MANDATORY CREDIT   NO SALES  ARCHIVE OUT  NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY **2013 INDY 500 winner Tony Kanaan, entices  Late Show host David Letterman to touch the Borg-Warner Trophy during Monday's 6/3 show taping in New York. Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS ???2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights ReservedNEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31:  Howard Stern and David Letterman attend Howard Stern's Birthday Bash presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM)Stand-up comedian David Letterman is pictured in a 1979 publicity photo. / File photoDavid Letterman reacts after Buddy Rice, one of the Rahal Letterman drivers, wins the rain-shortened 2004 Indianapolis 500.Oprah Winfrey reacts to a question from Ball State University alumnus David Letterman, right, host of CBS's Late Show, during an interview at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. The conversation is part of the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)Recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, from left, ballerina Natalia Makarova, comedian and television host David Letterman, actor and director Dustin Hoffman, laugh during a reception hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for the honorees in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • David Letterman celebrates his first anniversary hosting CBS-TV's highly successful Late  Show on Aug. 30. Letterman struck this casual pose for a portrait in New York, August 1994.1 of 52
  • Pacers star Reggie Miller visited David Letterman on a 2003 episode.2 of 52
  • David Letterman in his second season of Late Night with David Letterman.  April 19833 of 52
  • John Mellencamp and fellow Hoosier David Letterman during a 1989 taping of Late Night with David Letterman at the Chicago Theater.4 of 52
  • David Letterman holds a photo of his new son, Harry Joseph Letterman, during a 2003 taping of The Late Show with David Letterman.5 of 52
  • Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt visited David Letterman in 2006. Vanderjagt successfully kicked a 46-yard field goal attempt on the street outside the Late Show studio, just days after he missed a kick of the same length that would have sent the Colts game with the Pittsburgh Steelers into overtime.6 of 52
  • Jay Leno (left) appeared as a  guest on Late Night with David Letterman in this undated photo.7 of 52
  • Singer Courtney Love flashes David Letterman while standing on his desk during the taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, March 17, 2004.8 of 52
  • David Letterman during his days as a weatherman at WTHR.9 of 52
  • David Letterman hosted the Academy Awards in 1995.10 of 52
  • Colts quarterback Peyton Manning tried to toss a football into a passing  New York City cab during a 2005 episode.11 of 52
  • David Letterman walks with Oprah Winfrey from the Ed Sullivan Theater to the premiere of Winfrey's new musical The Color Purple at the nearby Broadway Theater after Winfrey made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005.12 of 52
  • In this photo released by CBS, actor Joaquin Phoenix, left, waives to the audience from the set of the The Late Show with David Letterman, in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 as host David Letterman watches from the desk.13 of 52
  • Comedian David Letterman is shown in this NBC publicity photo in May 1980, announcing that the former Indianapolis weatherman would headline a new, live daytime talk-variety series, The David Letterman Show, to be telecast from New York Mondays-Fridays from 10-11:30 a.m. (NYT) beginning June 23, 1980.14 of 52
  • In this photo provided by CBS, comedian Bill Murray, center, takes a selfie with singer Lady Gaga and host David Letterman on the set of the Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in New York. The singer had Murray, Letterman and the entire audience over to the Roseland Ballroom for a special performance.nbsp;15 of 52
  • Team co-owner David Letterman watches from Bertrand Baguette's pit box during the 95th running of the Indianapolis 500, Sunday, May 29, 2011, morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Matt Kryger / The Star16 of 52
  • 227_Indy26.#156473.jpg David Letterman, R, keeps a watchful eye on the track during one of the many caution laps. (Photo by Gary Mook)17 of 52
  • Former President Bill Clinton, left, signs a book for CBS Late Show host David Letterman's son, Harry, during a taping of Late Show with David Letterman, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004, in New York. Clinton wrote that carrying the book around would make him strong, and that he should be about 22 years-old when he finishes reading the book.  (AP Photo/CBS, JP Filo) **MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES**18 of 52
  • Comedian Billy Crystal removes a surgical glove after shaking hands with show host David Letterman during the the taping of The Late Show with David Letterman in New York, Monday, March 31, 2003.  Letterman  returned to the Ed Sullivan Theater after recovering  from an eye infection caused by shingles, according to the CBS television network. (AP Photo/CBS, J.P. Filo)19 of 52
  • ADVANCE FOR  MONDAY PMs, Nov. 21 --FILE-- David Letternan returns the ball to Andre Agassi, the U.S. Open men's tennis champion, during the taping of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman in New York, Sept. 12, 1994.  David Letterman has clearly hit his prime, he crashes CBS prime time at 10 p.m., Monday, with his ``Late Show Video Special.''20 of 52
  • Bobby Rahal, left, and talk show host David Letterman face reporters during a news conference at a New York Mercedes-Benz dealership Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1996. Letterman makes a pretty good living joking around. But one thing that gets the star of CBS's ``Late Night With David Letterman'' to talk straight _ for at least a few moments _ is his part ownership of Team Rahal in the CART FedEx Championship Series. (AP Photo/Steve Macauley)21 of 52
  • Oscars host David Letterman gestures to the audience during his opening monologue at the 67th annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Monday, March 27, 1995. (AP Photo/Michael Caulfield)22 of 52
  • BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 24:  In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Late Show television host David Letterman entertains soldiers at the Coalition Provisional Authority headquarters December 24, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq.  (Photo by Reynaldo Ramon/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Letterman23 of 52
  • David Letterman and his mother Dorothy Mengering share a laugh during the dedication ceremony for the David Letterman Communication and Media Building at Ball State University on Friday.   Adam Alexander / The Star Press24 of 52
  • David Letterman asked the crowd if he still needed a name tag after receiving a Sagamore of the Wabash award during Friday's dedication of the David Letterman Communication and Media Building at Ball State University.   Adam Alexander / The Star Press25 of 52
  • Jeffrey Smulyan, Thomas Deweese, David Letterman, Dorothy Mengering, and Ball State President Jo Ann Gora cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony of the David Letterman Communication and Media Building at Ball State University on Friday.   Adam Alexander / The Star Press26 of 52
  • Members of the NHL Champion New Jersey Devils pour Dave Letterman coffee from the Stanley Cup during the taping of CBS's Late Show With David Letterman on Monday, June 26. 1995, in New York. Last Saturday night the Devils beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 to sweep the  best-of-7 Stanley Cup final.  (AP Photo/Alan Singer, CBS)27 of 52
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sept. 24, 2000. Staff Photo Greg Griffo. File Number 52420. David Letterman points to the McLaren garage while visiting the paddock.28 of 52
  • Photo from the Star-News book, Hoosier Century       The 500 has been a tradition for CBS Late Show host David Letterman shown yukking it up at the track in 1993.  He is shown in the pit area with the scoring tower behind him.  News staff photo Patty Espich.29 of 52
  • Sportscaster Marv Albert, who recently started anchoring the MSG cable network's SportsDesk, speaks with David Letterman during the taping of the Late Show with David Letterman in New York on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1998. In Albert's first interview since marrying his longtime girlfriend, Heather Faulkiner, Albert discussed the past year in his life, which he described as a nightmare, and tells Letterman of the benefits of his weekly therapy sessions which he has undergone since last year's scandal.(AP Photo/CBS, Alan Singer)30 of 52
  • 5/26/02 -- (PHOTO BY ROBERT SCHEER) W/ STORY, FILE 70820, SLUG: INDY27 // The 86th Indianapolis 500. // Owner Roger Penske, right, gives a little direction to fellow team owner David Letterman in the pits before the race.31 of 52
  • TELETTERMAN17 - Lawrence City Council named this intersection after David Letterman last week. The sign sits off 59th Street by an Army Reserve complex. Photo by chris.sikich@topic.com  GENERAL INFORMATION:32 of 52
  • In this picture released by the U.S. Marines, an Army soldier holds up cue cards as comedian David Letterman delivers his opening monologue written specifically for the troops during The Late Show at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on Friday, Dec. 24, 2004. Letterman, along with his musical director Paul Shaffer and stage manager Biff Henderson, brought the popular late night television show to the Marines, sailors and soldiers currently stationed at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq. (AP Photo/U.S. Marines, Sgt. Luis R. Agostini)33 of 52
  • 5/30/05 INDY30 #113514 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo by Matt Detrich / The Star::: Rahal Letterman Racing Co-Owner David Letterman keeps a close eye on his drivers during Sunday's Indianapolis 500.34 of 52
  • In this photo released by CBS, Indy Racing League star rookie Danica Patrick discusses her first season with host David Letterman during her second appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005. Patrick, who is a driver for Letterman's Rahal Letterman racing team, placed fourth in the Indy 500 earlier this year. (AP Photo/CBS, J.P. Filo)35 of 52
  • 5/29/05 INDY30 #113515 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo by Matt Kryger / The Star::: David Letterman,right, congradulates driver Kenny Brack,left, on a good job after Brack's strearing broke in his car knocking him out of the race.36 of 52
  • David Letterman's yearbook photo37 of 52
  • MUNCIE, Ind.: TV show host David Letterman proudly points to his son, Harry, in the audience during the dedication ceremonies of Ball State University's David Letterman Communication and Media Building in Muncie on Friday, September 7, 2007. The school named the building in honor of the CBS Late Show host, a Ball State alum. He read off his Top 10 Good Things About Having Your Name on a Building list to the crowd of students, faculty and other fans. (Charlie Nye / The Indianapolis Star).38 of 52
  • David Letterman clowns for the camera while walking out with team co-owner, Bobby Rahl before the  start of the Indianapolis 500. Gary Mook/For the Star39 of 52
  • This photo, supplied by Harpo Productions, shows Oprah Winfrey welcoming first-time guest David Letterman to her 22nd season premiere held at WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Monday,Sept. 10, 2007. in New York. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions,George Burns)40 of 52
  • President Barack Obama is pictured with host David Letterman during a break at a taping of CBS The Late Show with David Letterman, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009, at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)41 of 52
  • Jeff Eshowsky (standing) and David Letterman are shown in a Broad Ripple high school yearbook ad for Atlas Supermarket.42 of 52
  • David Letterman in Manhattan prior to the premiere of Late Night with David Letterman  Jan. 198243 of 52
  • David Letterman during the second season taping of Late Night with David Letterman.  Feb. 198244 of 52
  • David Letterman gestures to the audience in the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman. Feb. 2, 198245 of 52
  • In an image from video provided by CBS, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno, from right, record a promo for CBS' Late Show that aired during the broadcast of the NFL football Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. The promo was recorded earlier in the week at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. The ad revisited Letterman and Winfrey's Super Bowl spot from 2007, but with another person watching the game with them - late night talk show host Jay Leno. (AP Photo/CBS) ** MANDATORY CREDIT   NO SALES  ARCHIVE OUT  NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY **46 of 52
  • 2013 INDY 500 winner Tony Kanaan, entices  Late Show host David Letterman to touch the Borg-Warner Trophy during Monday's 6/3 show taping in New York. Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS ???2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved47 of 52
  • NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31:  Howard Stern and David Letterman attend Howard Stern's Birthday Bash presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM)48 of 52
  • Stand-up comedian David Letterman is pictured in a 1979 publicity photo. / File photo49 of 52
  • David Letterman reacts after Buddy Rice, one of the Rahal Letterman drivers, wins the rain-shortened 2004 Indianapolis 500.50 of 52
  • Oprah Winfrey reacts to a question from Ball State University alumnus David Letterman, right, host of CBS's Late Show, during an interview at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. The conversation is part of the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)51 of 52
  • Recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, from left, ballerina Natalia Makarova, comedian and television host David Letterman, actor and director Dustin Hoffman, laugh during a reception hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for the honorees in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)52 of 52

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MUNCIE, Ind. – Jeannine Lee Lake, the Democratic nominee in Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District, is expecting another boost from David Letterman after he rescued her with a wad of cash.

On May 2, less than a week before the primary election, Lake had stopped to gas up her car, which was nearly empty, en route to a meeting with supporters at The Caffeinery downtown. But her election-campaign credit card was declined due to insufficient funds.

“I was really sad, because we had worked so hard, and we were literally down to zero cash,” Lake recalled Monday. She drove on to the meeting, during which someone strongly resembling Letterman walked into the coffee shop.

After determining it was the legendary comedian – a Ball State graduate who was in town that day to meet with students on campus –  Lake introduced herself as a congressional candidate and mentioned she could use “a little boost.” Letterman asked who she was running against. When she told him it was Republican Greg Pence, the vice president’s brother, Letterman said, “How can I help?”

‘A wad of cash’

“It didn’t occur to me to ask for money,” Lake said. She suggested “a little publicity. Maybe you could take a picture with me? He said, ‘I’ll do better than that. I have some money; I’ll give you a wad of cash.’ “ 

Letterman then trotted to his car and returned with what Lake later counted to be 58 twenty-dollar bills, which she saw as a sign of good luck. “Primary Election Day was 5/8,” Lake said. And the cash totaled $1,160, which she viewed as another lucky number. General Election Day is 11/6. 

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After Lake defeated five fellow Democrats in the primary, her campaign stayed in touch with a Letterman assistant, who, according to Lake, confirmed over the weekend that he would appear at a fundraiser for her in Indianapolis.

“He’s going to talk about me for 10 to 15 minutes,” said Lake. 

“Dave is a fan of Jeannine, but we cannot confirm an appearance,” Letterman spokesman Tom Keaney told The Star Press on Tuesday.

“We don’t have a date or venue, but it’s 100 percent likely going to happen,” said Lake supporter Ethan Snyder, who spoke to Letterman’s assistant this past weekend. “There are just no details to report.”

Lake is the underdog

Anything can happen in politics, but Chad Kinsella, an assistant professor of political science at Ball State University called it “very unlikely” that Lake could upset Pence.

“The district is a very safe Republican seat, even in what will not be a good year for Republicans,” Kinsella told The Star Press. “Also, Greg Pence’s name identification in this district will help.

“David Letterman has strong links back to this community, and has, since retiring, become much more open and outspoken about his political views. He will be a big draw and raise some money for Jeannine, but … I am not sure the money will be enough nor give her campaign enough sustained attention to make a big difference. Quite frankly, I am not even sure David Letterman himself could win in this district. That is how safe it looks.”

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Name recognition can take you far in the world of politics. From Peyton Manning to David Letterman, here are some Hoosier legends who we think could win elective office in Indiana.
Dwight Adams/IndyStar

Lake noted that Letterman previously helped raise campaign cash for Democratic U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidate Tammy Duckworth from Illinois.

As a U.S. Army pilot, Duckworth lost both legs to combat wounds during the Iraq War. She represented the 8th Congressional District in Illinois for two terms before winning election to the Senate.

Duckworth’s campaign is sending Lake information about Letterman’s involvement in her fundraising efforts.

The donor levels for a Duckworth event attended by Letterman and Al Franken reportedly were: 

• Kinda Serious: $1,000

• Serious: $2,700

• Very Serious: $5,400

• Totally Serious: $10,400

“Me being here tonight is absolute proof positive that the election is rigged,” Letterman was quoted as saying.

The price of tables for the Lake fundraiser, Lake said, could range from $5 to $50 to $500 to $5,000. She hopes to raise $250,000 from the event.

Cash donation goes back

Lake had to refund the early May, in-person contribution from Letterman after learning that a congressional candidate cannot accept more than $100 in cash from a particular source. She was allowed to receive a $1,160 donation from Letterman but only $100 of it in cash. The rest must be in the form of a written instrument. Lake has taken steps to re-process the donation, a “process that takes forever.”

She is a former employee of The Star Press (having last worked there as a Newspapers in Education coordinator more than a decade ago) who has taken a leave of absence as the editor and publisher of The Good News, a free publication that highlights the achievements and notable events of minorities and religious leaders in Muncie.

To say Lake is an underdog to Pence might be an understatement. Through June 30, he had raised $1.7 million; she had raised $11,711. She received 8,887 votes out of 23,175 cast in the Democratic primary.

Still, she sounds confident that she will pull off the upset.

Mike Pence’s congressional seat

But in the Republican primary, Jonathan Lamb thought he would upset Pence after logging nearly 30,000 miles on the campaign trail and spending “close to $1 million before all is said and done, most of it my money.”  Pence got 47,756 votes, or nearly 65 percent of the total votes cast (74,057). Lamb finished second in the five-man race with 17,465 votes.

Muncie last sent a Democrat to Congress in 1975, when BSU political scientist Phil Sharp won. He served until 1995 – turning back GOP challengers including future Vice President Mike Pence – when Republican Dave McIntosh took over representation of the district, followed by Mike Pence and Luke Messer, who ran this year for a Senate seat but lost.

More: Jay-Z, David Letterman talk cheating: Beyoncé knew ‘I’m not the worst of what I’ve done’

More: George Clooney reveals how he and Amal met on David Letterman’s ‘My Next Guest’

Follow Seth Slabaugh on Twitter: @SethSlabaughTSP

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Michael Szajewski, head of archives for Bracken LibraryAn early David Letterman audition tape at Bracken LibraryA photo of David Letterman with Barack Obama donatedA Letterman Jacket donated to Bracken Library atMichael Szajewski, head of archives for Bracken LibraryPhotos from David Letterman's early career donatedMichael Szajewski, head of archives for Bracken LibraryMichael Szajewski, head of archives for Bracken LibraryPhotos from David Letterman's early career donatedDavid Letterman's Kennedy Center Honor donated to BallMichael Szajewski, head of archives at Ball State University,Michael Szajewski, head of archives at Ball State University,Sound proofing under David Letterman's desk at BallDavid Letterman's Kennedy Center Honor donated to BallA photo of David Letterman with Michelle Obama donatedA Letterman Jacket donated to Bracken Library atMichael Szajewski, head of archives for Bracken LibraryA Letterman Jacket donated to Bracken Library atCopies of Esquire featuring David Letterman donatedDavid Letterman's Late Show desk donated to Ball State'sMichael Szajewski, head of archives for Bracken LibraryDavid Letterman's Late Show desk donated to Ball State'sMichael Szajewski, head of archives for Bracken LibraryDavid Letterman's Late Show desk donated to Ball State's

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