The online news and information center for Moderate and Progressive Arkansans.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Republican version of "Free Speech"

And to think we heard it first on WKRP!

The Republican Party of Hamilton County Ohio (Cincinatti area) is filing suit against a local website operator for saying unkind things about the Neocons. By the by, Hamilton County would be home-base for Rep. Jean Schmidt (2nd Congressional - Ohio) who only Friday called John Murtha of Pennsylvania a "coward" in open House Debate.

You can read all about it in the Cincinatti Post

Friday, November 04, 2005

Who are the boys in the back room?

Gunner's Campaign Contributions

According to a recent story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (among others) “Former state senator and Republican candidate for attorney general Gunner DeLay of Fort Smith said Monday that he wants to bar campaign contributions from utilities to candidates for attorney general, which he says are unethical and a conflict of interest...”

So let’s see who DeLay received money from during his 2002 run for Congress (Arkansas 3d District) and see if there are any utilities. Shall we see if this ethical position on campaign contributions is longstanding or brand new?

According to Federal Election Commission reports for that race, DeLay accepted the following contributions (among others):

hmm- and what is this?
Looks innocent enough until you dig a level deeper and discover that the “National Groundwater Association PAC” is listed as having received a donation in the same amount several months earlier from Tom DeLay’s ARMPAC - AMERICANS FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (07/26/2001 - 1000.00). If you dig into the other donations to the Groundwater PAC, they are mainly from individuals involved in water pumping and well drillers in amounts of hundreds of dollars. And the Tom DeLay donation from the national version of the Texas organization that resulted in indictment is the only contribution in the exact amount that went to Gunner DeLay.

So-- let’s be charitable. Maybe Gunner thinks accepting a grand in washed bucks from a man indicted for money-laundering Enron cash and a grand in campaign donations from coal companies don’t count as “unethical contributions from utilities.”


But how would that explain the two grand from Entergy? Entergy Arkansas’ website proudly proclaims that they have delivered electricity to Arkansas customers “for more than 90 years.” The website goes on to note that “We serve approximately 667,000 customers in 63 counties”in Arkansas.

Maybe Entergy cut Gunner a check from coal gassification profits rather than the "utility" side? Maybe Gunner thinks the Entergy that contributed to his Congressional war-chest isn’t a utility? Maybe the contribution to DeLay from Entergy is only an “unethical conflict of interest” for state attorney-general candidates but not for Congressional candidates who would be involved in approving national energy policy?

There are a couple more amusements in Gunner's FEC Reports for the 2002 Congressional race. Those Federal Election Commission records indicate contributions from the National Pawnbrokers Association PAC in the amount of $2,000.00 dated June 16, 2005 and $5000.00 from the New York based "Hudson Valley PAC" on August 18, 2005.

June and August 2005 contributions to a race that Gunner lost three years prior? Is Gunner still running for the Congressional seat he already lost or is he he seeking a currently open position as Attorney General? Is he quietly funneling out-of-state money into the attorney general's race via his old congressional accounts?

Nobody's going to quibble that the pawnbrokers and the New Yorkers can't give cash to whoever they please -- but why is Gunner washing those bucks through his old Congressional Campaign accounts?

The answers depend upon definitions of “utility,” and “unethical,” and “conflict-of-interest” we guess.

Maybe Gunner will step up and explain how he defines those terms -- and while he's at it, maybe he can define "hypocrisy" for us.

Click here to check out the FEC Records for yourself

Another One Bites The Dust - Bush Appointee Under Investigation for Propagandizing Public TV; Resigns from Board

Tomlinson resigns from CPB board

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Kenneth Tomlinson has resigned from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board of directors, the board announced Thursday.

The board has been reviewing a report by CPB Inspector General Kenneth Konz -- undertaken following media coverage of Tomlinson's attempts to add more conservative programming to public broadcasting, the trade magazine Broadcasting & Cable reported. Konz recently briefed key Capitol Hill staffers on his investigation.

Science Daily report is here.

The Boston Globe / Los Angeles Times article is here.

The Good News (foto)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

1997 Origin of the Lie That Started the War in Iraq (PNAC essay)

There are far more than 16 false words leading up to the war in Iraq. The truth is that George Bush's Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitze are among the signatories to a January 1998 letter urging then-president Bill Clinton to take action against Iraq based upon a false claim of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The letter, was signed by several Directors of the then-new "Project for a New American Century" (PNAC). PNAC was established to promote American militarism across-the-board, but with a peculiar interest in Iraq specifically. Of particular note is the claim that Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction" as of 1997.

Was it mere circumstance that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were chosen for positions at the top of George Bush's Defense Department, given a definite desire for war in Iraq and a conviction that Saddam had dreaded WMDs and an active desire to use them?

Perhaps not. If we look at the initial statement of principles, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are not the only Iraq-Hawks among the new Project Directors at its founding in 1997. As a matter of fact, a quick look at PNAC's initial statement of purpose penned in 1997 indicates current Vice President Dick Cheney, former Vice President for Daddy-Bush Dan Quayle and Bush-Brother Jeb Bush as founding members of PNAC. Read it here.

The last question perhaps would be "Why did George Bush wait until after September 11, 2001 if his political cronies and cohorts had him convinced that Saddam Hussein was such a dire threat?" Why didn't George come out swinging during the 2000 election campaign if he "knew" a threat existed? Why did he not enter office selling his tale of terror? Why was the WMD claim espoused in early 1998 not thoroughly investigated prior to invasion? Was September 11 an excuse for war with Iraq rather than a reason -- or was George Bush awaiting a politically expedient moment to declare himself a wartime Prez in order to help assure his reelection to a second term? Did Rove recommend Bush bide his time waiting for a handy "powder keg" incident in order to start his war?

And why is no one asking those questions now?

Worthy of Consideration... (foto)

A question for the man-who-would-be-guvner (foto)