Politics

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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Extreme UN Makeover

"The United Nations is looking for a well-connected Washington figure to head its information office," reports the Financial Times, "as part of a wide-ranging image makeover to improve relations with Congress." The "makeover" began earlier this month, when Kofi Annan named Mark Malloch Brown, former PR consultant to Corazon Aquino and the

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The Money Behind Social Security Privatization

"President Bush's political allies are raising millions of dollars for an election-style campaign to promote private Social Security accounts, as Democrats and Republicans prepare for what they predict will be the most expensive and extensive public policy debate since the 1993 fight over the Clinton administration's failed health care plan," reports Jim VandeHei.

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Republicans 'Outorganized and Outthought' Democrats

The 2004 presidential race was the most expensive in history. While Republicans did outspend Democrats -- $1.14 billion to $1.08 billion -- the difference wasn't that much. "Despite their fundraising success, Democrats simply did not spend their money as effectively as Bush," the Washington Post's Thomas Edsall and James Grimaldi report.

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