Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed's public affairs firm Century Strategies "has raked in millions of dollars by mounting grassroots lobbying drives" for corporations, Republicans and "controversial lobbyists." Reed is also the
GOP pollster Frank Luntz's advice against 1998 rookie Senate candidate John Edwards - "it's almost impossible to go too far when it comes to demonizing lawyers" - wasn't successful, but Luntz remains influential. Molly Ivins writes that Luntz is now focusing on women undecided voters.
"That's not very wise ... People are aware that this has happened. It's going to be treated seriously," warned GOP strategist Grover Norquist, incensed that biotech company Amgen hired a former senior Al Gore aide to lobby for them.
The former head of a GOP Marketplace, a Republican consulting group, has pleaded guilty to jamming get-out-the-vote efforts on election day in New Hampshire two years ago. The company used computer-generated phone calls to flood phone lines that were set up so voters could call for rides to the polls.
"When he appeared on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Channel show last week, Georgetown law professor David Cole was impressed that the hard-charging host played, as part of his opening commentary, 'a balanced sound bite' from the chairman of the 9/11 commission," reports Howard Kurtz. "Cole was less impressed when an aggravated O'Reilly stopped the taping of 'The O'Reilly Factor' and killed the sound bite. And when Cole brought up the incident during his interview, he says, O'Reilly 'exploded,' called him an SOB and declared he would never be invited back."
"One of environmentalism's biggest foes - Ron Arnold—is back, peddling the idea that environmentalism breeds terrorism," reports Bill Berkowitz. "Arnold is the same man who once bragged to the New York Times that, 'No one was aware that environmentalism was a problem until we came along.' He's been so successful, says one environmentalist, that he's now 'within striking distance' of checking off every item on his 'wise-use' agenda."
The White House and Fox News are spinning furiously in response to the 9/11 commission's recent report, which contradicts one of the administration's key arguments for war with its finding that there was no working relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
"In a direct challenge to federal
limits on political advocacy, the National Rifle
Association plans to begin broadcasting a daily radio
program on Thursday to provide news and pro-gun commentary
to 400,000 listeners. The group says its jump into broadcasting with its program,
'NRANews,' means that it should be viewed as a media
organization that does not have to abide by provisions of a
sweeping campaign finance law from 2002. That law stops
organizations from using unregulated 'soft' money to buy
In its "first large-scale change since 2001," Fox News is launching a major redesign of its website. Fox News vice-president of national ad sales Roger Domal said, "In addition to just freshening up the site and making it easier to navigate ... it's a reaction to what advertisers want." Fox News hopes the site "will enable it to become a significant competitor in the online news space. This month, the site doubled its advertising sales staff in New York and San Francisco ...