Sunday, March 06, 2005

Remember this?

Thanks to a couple hot tips from the comments on the Eschaton post questioning the legality of the federal government's new Homeland Propaganda division, here's some old hypocrisy brought to focus in the new light, dug up your's truly.

Reno Is Now Probing Clinton's Fund-Raising

By Roberto Suro and John F. Harris
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 21, 1997;
Page A01

The Justice Department announced yesterday that it has taken the first step in a process that could lead to the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate allegations that President Clinton made illegal 1996 fund-raising telephone calls from the White House.
As if you could stomach any more...

Justice Dept. to Probe Gore Fund Calls

By Roberto Suro and Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 4, 1997;
Page A01

The Justice Department announced yesterday that it has launched a review of Vice President Gore's solicitation of campaign contributions by telephone from his White House office to determine if they warrant a full-scale investigation that could lead to appointment of an independent counsel.
The main accusations being levelled at both Clinton and Gore in these cases was that they were violating the Hatch Act and USC Section 18 §607. The Hatch Act is intended to prohibit federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. The second law is a prohibition of the use of federal property for political candidates campaign solicitations.

In the cases of Clinton and Gore, the complaints based on the Hatch Acts are easily disposed due to the fact that it allows political candidates running for election to engage in partisan actions. It was intended to address the issue of non-elected federal employees engaging in such activity. Think Porter Goss.

While Gore did indeed use the White House to place calls, he did so using a DNC credit card. Thus, it was a minor violation of the law, but did not cost the taxpayers, which is what the law was intended to ward against.

So, tell me now, who is going to work in Bush's propaganda division? Are they going to be unpaid volunteers? Where are they going to work from? Are they going to solicit funds? Are they going to use email and/or telephones?

It is pretty clear that this administration pays little regard to laws that it finds inconvenient, so I think we all know the answers to my questions.

The internal, taxpayer-funded campaigning is backed up by television advertisements, grass-roots organizing and lobbying from business and other groups that support the Bush plan.
Under Clinton, at least some efforts at accountability were present (with Reno investigating at the behest of the Republicans). Don't count on that in this administration.

Its time to get crankin', folks. Contact your senators and let them know how you feel about your taxdollars being used to pay for Bush's advertising campaign to destroy your Social Security system.