Politics

Deja Vu All Over Again: Bush Admin Interference in Judicial Matters

Sharon Eubanks, the lead attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) case against tobacco companies, recently told the [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/21/AR2007032102713.html Washington Post] that Bush appointees at DOJ pressured her to weaken the government's case against the tobacco companies. The Bush administration has been linked to political rigging of judicial matters recently with the firing of the eight U.S. Attorneys, but while these activities are in the headlines today, it's not the first time. A February 15, 2000 [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D00E5DD1531F936A25751C0A9669C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print New York Times] article shows that [[George Walker Bush|President Bush]]'s longtime political advisor [[Karl Rove]] (now a senior advisor in the White House) interfered with Texas Attorney General Dan Morales' plans to bring a lawsuit against the major American tobacco companies to recoup state Medicaid funds spent treating sick smokers. Rove helped draft a 1996 push poll aimed at maligning Morales in an attempt to pressure Morales not to file the suit. The push poll was financed by tobacco companies.

A Talent for PR

It didn't take Former Republican Senator Jim Talent of Missouri long to take a spin through the revolving door between government and the private sector. Talent just lost the Senate seat that he had held since 2003 in November, but the public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard has already hired him as co-chairman of its Government Relations subsidiary.

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Congresspedia: Where Wonks and "Regular Citizens" Work Collaboratively

The Congresspedia project on SourceWatch has been receiving a lot of great edits lately by students, wonks and people who are simply interested in policy and politics (and have a modem). As the "managing editors" of the site, we keep an eye on the edits made to articles to do fact checking, help citizen editors and watch for vandalism. One editor, Lczikowsky, caught our eye by systematically expanding the page on minimum wage legislation to include state-level legislative proposals in 30 states, resulting in an in-depth article that's a great resource for anyone researching the minimum wage. Here's Lczikowsky to discuss his contributions in more detail:

Pakistan People's Party Plans U.S. Lobbying Campaign

In February the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) hired BKSH & Associates, Burson-Marsteller and the polling company Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, to promote the need for "free, open and transparent elections in Pakistan in 2007." The contract, which runs to June 2007, could be worth as much as $250,000.

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Congress to consider spending bills calling for 2008 U.S. combat withdraw from Iraq

With the Iraq War now in its fifth year, both the House and Senate are (for the first time) poised to consider supplemental appropriations bills which would call on President Bush to remove U.S. combat troops from the country by 2008. In the House, a vote is expected soon on a $124 billion spending bill which includes a binding provision demanding withdraw by September 2008.

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