Politics

Posted by Sheldon Rampton on April 04, 2007

Doug Dowie, the former Fleishman-Hillard executive who is about to begin serving prison time for conspiracy and fraud, continues to maintain his innocence.

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Posted by Sheldon Rampton on April 04, 2007

Steve Schmidt, a former White House communications strategist and campaign manager for Arnold Schwarzenegger, has gone to work for Mercury Public Affairs, a subsidiary of the Fleishman-Hillard PR firm.

No
Posted by Anne Landman on March 30, 2007

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.

Posted by Judith Siers-Poisson on March 27, 2007

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.

No
Posted by Conor Kenny on March 26, 2007

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:

Posted by Bob Burton on March 23, 2007

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.

No
Posted by Conor Kenny on March 22, 2007

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.

Posted by Conor Kenny on March 21, 2007

Guest poster: Paul Blumenthal of the Sunlight Foundation:

The controversy around the firing of several U.S. attorneys in December has dominated the news coming out of Congress this week and Congresspedia’s staff and citizen editors have been busy tracking developments on our thorough page on the subject. Of central importance to the controversy is the issue of why those eight particular U.S. attorneys were fired. I’ve been looking into the analyses of the documents released by the Justice Department, and they show that the attorneys were at least partially judged by their willingness to toe-the-line — or, as one internal administration document put it, to be good “Bushies” — and were deemed expendable if they moved too far from administration priorities. In the case of some of the fired attorneys, it appears that the offense committed may have been their investigations into Republican officials, including members of Congress, in the lead-up to the 2006 congressional elections.

Here is a look at four of the attorneys at issue and their respective corruption investigations:

Posted by John Stauber on March 21, 2007

(NOTE: See an update on this issue at: http://www.prwatch.org/node/6081 )

On Sunday, March 18, Sheldon Rampton and I wrote "Iraq: Why Won't MoveOn Move Forward?", an article now widely circulated online. It has helped to focus debate on whether the Democratic Party is really attempting to end the war in Iraq, or is content to simply manage the war for supposed electoral advantage in 2008.

Posted by John Stauber on March 18, 2007
MoveOn candlelight vigils
MoveOn's vigils: candles in the wind?

(NOTE: See an update on this issue at: http://www.prwatch.org/node/6081 )

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. To commemorate the occasion, the online advocacy group MoveOn.org is organizing more than 1,000 candlelight vigils throughout the United States. "We’ll solemnly honor the sacrifice made by more than 3,000 servicemen and women, and we'll contemplate the path ahead of us," states MoveOn's website. "We cannot send tens of thousands of exhausted, under-equipped, and unprepared troops into the middle of an Iraqi civil war. ... Honor the sacrifice. Stop the escalation. Bring the troops home."

MoveOn's 3.2 million members strongly oppose any continuation of the war, and the language above seems to suggest that MoveOn's leadership agrees. But MoveOn's organizing around Iraq has become notably ambiguous lately. Although it talks in general terms about bringing the troops home, specific timetables or meaningful steps in that direction are nowhere discussed. Most strikingly, MoveOn has adamantly refused to support the Iraq amendment from Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters, which calls for "a fully funded, and systematic, withdrawal of U.S. soldiers and military contractors from Iraq" by the end of 2007.

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