Politics

No PR Firm Left Behind

In the continuing saga of taxpayer money used to champion Bush administration policies, the Palm Beach Post reports, "A Florida State University center has used more than a half-million in education tax dollars to put a positive spin on President Bush's key school policies, including hiring a public relations firm to teach charter schools to be more media-savvy." As part of a 5

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Anti-Propaganda Propaganda?

The Federal Propaganda Prohibition Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Stop Government Propaganda Act in the Senate, "to increase congressional oversight of federal PR contracts." Yet, "the reaction of the industry has been less than panicked." Why? "Neither bill is likely to become law." PR Week writes, "These anti-PR bills are mostly PR tools.

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A Quiet Revolution In Business Lobbying

"After brief pleasantries on the phone the other day," writes Jeffrey Birnbaum, "Thomas J. Donohue got down to business with a top health insurance executive. 'We're in a new year and a new time,' Donohue said smoothly. 'Can we put you on the list and get your money?' The executive said yes, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was $100,000 richer.

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Anti-Social Tendencies

"A city commissioner, a liberal radio producer, a deputy Democratic campaign manager and a number of university professors" were among 42 people on a "do not admit" list for President Bush's Fargo, North Dakota event promoting Social Security privatization. The White House said the list, given to two ticket distribution sites, must have come from local volunteers.

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Secret Marriage Contracts

Syndicated columnist and Institute for Marriage and Public Policy president Maggie Gallagher received $41,500 from the Bush administration in 2002 and 2003, to promote Bush's $300 million initiative encouraging poor couples to marry. Although Gallagher repeatedly praised the initiative in her columns and during interviews and television appearances, she never mentioned receiving government funds.

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A Steady Diet of Lobbyists Turned Regulators

"Jonathan L. Snare has been named to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration," writes Molly Ivins. "He used to be the lobbyist for Metabolife, the ephedra diet pill that attracted so much unpleasant attention. Ephedrine was finally barred in 2003 after the Food and Drug Administration decided it had caused 155 deaths.

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Inaugural Product Placement

"Talk about free advertising," exclaimed Forbes. "Cadillac's first 'customer' for its redesigned, 2006 DTS will be President George W. Bush, who will ride in a black limousine version of the new car during his inaugural parade on January 20." Deville marketing manager Keith Spondike said that Bush's use of the DTS will reinforce Cadillac's image of "appealing to and transporting high-profile people."

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