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Posted inDemocracy

Bush’s carbon dioxide flip-flop came through staffer who had lobbied for car-exhaust

President Bush’s decision to abandon his campaign pledge to limit carbon dioxide emissions was routed through a key Bush aide who had lobbied for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automobile exhaust systems. The Bush aide, Nicholas Calio, served as a paid lobbyist and worked extensively from 1996 through 1997 for Tenneco Automotive, based […]

Posted inAccountability

Marc Rich inquiry highlights strange bedfellows

Buried in the furor over former President Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich is the role the fugitive commodities trader played in supplying oil to South Africa’s apartheid government, in violation of international sanctions against the racist regime. Ironically, two leading congressional inquisitors into Clinton’s last-minute pardon Jan. 20 — Republicans Representative Dan Burton of Indiana […]

Posted inAccountability

Longtime Australian policy: Kidnapping children from families

Australian past bordered on slavery and genocide By Philip Knightley January 30, 2001 LONDON — In the United States, Native American children, “Red Indians,” had been forcibly taken from their parents and placed in institutions to “civilize” them. Australia tried a different approach. In 1937, the chief protector of Aboriginals in Western Australia, A. O. […]

Posted inDemocracy

Ashcroft used state employee to fund-raise, records show

While he was attorney general of Missouri, John Ashcroft made use of a state employee to conduct fund raising and other election activities, used letterhead with the attorney generals seal to solicit donations from contributors, and had an associate solicit campaign contributions from a business consultant to a company being investigated by Ashcroft’s office, court […]

Posted inAccountability

Australian past bordered on slavery and genocide

Longtime Australian policy: Kidnapping children from families By Philip Knightley February 8, 2001 Soon after last summer’s Olympics in Sydney, indigenous Australian senator Aden Ridgeway said the “groundswell of good feeling” from the reconciliation theme of the games and aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman’s gold medal victory, heavy with symbolism, were responsible for a new commitment […]

Posted inAccountability

Case studies show value of old-timers

Accounts of airplane “saves,” especially when veteran captains overcome the errors of less-experienced crew members, are mostly anecdotal. Their quick actions avert the crashes or injuries that would otherwise trigger public investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board, which determines what causes a crash and recommends safety measures, or the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates […]

Posted inAccountability

Young pilots riskier than the over-60s who are turned away

Minutes after the TWA Boeing 727 had taken off from New Yorks LaGuardia Airport and was climbing above 10,000 feet, the flight engineer shifted his attention from the control panel to the cockpit window. He caught a glimpse of death. The jetliner inadvertently had caught up with a Beechcraft Bonanza, a single-engine, private aircraft. “The […]

Posted inAccountability

Commentary: Total information awareness: A chance encounter raises questions

LONDON — In early November, the United States came within a pen stroke of dramatically curtailing the news medias freedom of inquiry into government affairs. Had the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001 been signed into law as passed by Congress, it would have completed an astonishing reversal of the common observation that the American press […]

Posted inDemocracy

Bush, Gore recount forces can raise unlimited cash without disclosure to public

As the Republican and Democratic parties have frantically sought private money since Election Day to fund their candidates’ recount efforts, they have entered an area where the Federal Election Commission has only limited jurisdiction. In this gray zone, the two parties can raise unlimited amounts of cash without necessarily having to disclose the donors or […]

Posted inDemocracy

In Congressional races, money talked all the way to the voting booth

If anyone doubted that huge campaign war chests reap big political payoffs, just look at the House and Senate races this year. Eighty-five percent of Senate candidates who raised more than their opponents won, and 94 percent of the House candidates who raised more money than their opponents claimed victory, according to an analysis by […]

Posted inAccountability

Fixing the fixers

NEW DELHI, India, November 13, 2000 — This article was originally published in the Nov. 13, 2000 edition of Outlook India. It is reproduced with permission. Threats, inducements and plain old hard work get the names of ‘wicket’ players. Now for Act II. Interrogator: Tell us, why did he (bookie Uttam Chand) make so many […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Hired hands grab chance to skirt ‘527’ disclosure law

Complying with a new federal law, Political Animals registered with the Internal Revenue Service by the August 1 deadline. Like other so-called “527” groups, so named after a section of the IRS code, Political Animals could operate politically related campaigns without disclosing its identity, contributions or expenditures. Congress targeted such groups in July campaign finance […]

Posted inDemocracy

Did taxpayers lose on deal for oil field?: Elk Hills timeline

Elk Hills: Private or public? By Josey Ballenger, Nathaniel Heller and Knut Royce October 27, 2000 1922 WASHINGTON, October 27, 2000 — 1912: Out of concern for the long-term availability of oil supplies for naval ships, President Taft establishes Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 near Bakersfield, Calif. Over the next few years, his administration adds […]

Posted inDemocracy

Did taxpayers lose on deal for oil field?

“For the last eight years, I have had the challenge of running the streamlining program called ‘Reinventing Government,’” Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore proudly declared at the final 2000 presidential debate, to bolster his claim that he favors smaller government. “And if there are any federal employees in this group, you know what that means.” […]