Saturday, May 01, 2004

Know Bush Fact #22

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

"The corporations don’t have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government."
- Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

For example:

Bush’s Chief Strategist, Karl Rove, was a lobbyist for Phillip Morris from 1991 to 1996.

Andrew Card, Bush’s White House Chief of Staff, was chief lobbyist for General Motors and head of American Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Thomas A. Scully, President of the Federation of American Hospital Group, lobbying for 1700 for-profit hospitals, became Bush’s Chief Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, until he resigned in December 2003, just after Bush’s Medicare Bill was forced through Congress.

Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. was Bush's Office of Management and Budget Director until recently. Prior to that he was a lobbyist for Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical for 13 years.

James Connaughton, Bush’s Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, previously lobbied on behalf of ASARCO Inc., Atlantic Richfield, Aluminum Co. of America, Chemical Manufacturers Association, and General Electric (focusing especially on Superfund toxic sites).

J. Steven Griles, Bush’s Deputy Interior Secretary, is known as one of the energy industry’s most powerful lobbyists. He was a lobbyist for United Company (a coal, oil, and gas development firm), and was also the former Vice President of National Environmental Strategies, representing the National Mining Association and Occidental Petroleum.

Rebecca W. Watson, long-time lobbyist and attorney for the extractive industries, was named Bush's Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management in the Department of the Interior.

William G. Myers, III served as lobbyist for the National Mining Association, the Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, then became Bush’s Chief Solicitor for the Interior Department. This year Bush nominated him for a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the appellate court that hears cases from Alaska and the American West, where environmental law concerning 485 million acres of public lands is decided.

Bush made Nicholas Calio his Legislative Affairs Director. Calio spent the 90s lobbying for Anheuser-Busch, the Boeing Corp., AT&T, Atlantic Richfield Company, BP Amoco, and Tenneco Automotive, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automobile exhaust systems. Calio’s top deputy at the White House, Kirsten Ardleigh Chadwick, was also a registered lobbyist for Tenneco.

Monsanto, manufacturer of such food additives as the controversial bovine growth hormone, BST, used to have to lobby the Secretary of Agriculture. Then Monsanto executive Ann Venamin became Bush’s Secretary of Agriculture through April 2003.

Linda J. Fisher was Bush’s Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Agency until she resigned in June 2003, just one day before her boss, Christie Todd Whitman, did the same. Previously, Ms. Fisher was Monsanto’s Vice President for Government and Public Affairs, lobbying on behalf of Monsanto’s interests on agriculture, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, environment, finance and trade issues, and managing the company’s political action committee and political contribution funds.

A former top lobbyist for private banks engaged in student lending, William D. Hansen, was Bush’s Deputy Secretary at the Education Department until July 2003.

Bush picked Texan James C. Oberwetter, of Hunt Consolidated Inc. and the American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry lobby group, to be U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

And last but not least...

In December, 2001, Bush named Marc Racicot, a lobbyist whose clients included Enron Corp, railroad giant Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Recording Industry Association of America, to be Chairman of the Republican National Committee. In June 2003, Bush chose Mr. Racicot to be the Chairman of the Bush-Cheney Re-Election Campaign.

Bush replaced Racicot as Chairman of the Republican National Committee with Ed Gillespie, whose lobbying firm raked in $27.4 million from 2000 through 2002 working for a list of clients that includes Microsoft, Tyson Foods, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Viacom. Before its collapse, Enron paid Gillespie’s firm $700,000 to lobby against the "re-regulation" of Western electricity markets.

To verify/research, Google "Bush +lobbyist."
- May 1, 2004

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