under increasing fire for his failure to clarify
his National Guard record, fix the economy, bring
down the cost of health care, and secure post-war
Iraq, President Bush has resorted to attacking
his political opponents as "beholden to special
interests and out of touch with regular Americans."
But a look at the more than $320 million that
Bush has raised since 2000 shows that he is the
man with the most special interest connections
in American history - and that he has rewarded
those special interests in kind.
while the president attacks Senator John Kerry
(D-MA) for accepting money from lobbyists, a new
study shows "the president accepted more in direct
contributions from lobbyists in one year than
Kerry did in the past 15 years." All told, Bush
collected at least $6.5 million in "bundled" contributions
from lobbyists last year alone.
that has not stopped Bush from his ad hominem
attacks on opponents for "special interest" connections.
Yesterday, for instance, Bush attacked the US
Senate for being beholden to "special interests"
for holding up an insurance industry-backed bill
to restrict medical patients from seeking legal
redress in the event of malpractice. Yet, it was
Bush who accepted more than $3 million from the
insurance industry before he wrote the bill.
the campaign trail last year, Bush said, "We can't
let the special interests of Washington prevent
us from doing what is necessary to protect the
biggest interest we have, which is the American
people." Yet it was Bush who did the bidding of
his friends in the meat processing/meat packing
industries by refusing to protect the American
people from Mad Cow disease. Specifically, Bush
refused to enact stringent meat inspection regulations
and delayed country-of-origin labeling laws at
the urging of the agribusiness industry which
has given him $5.5 million. To make extra sure
that the agribusiness special interests were protected,
Bush also packed the U.S. Department of Agriculture
with agribusiness executives.
on issues of war and peace, Bush has put special
interests before almost anything else. As the
Center for Public Integrity reported, the more
than 70 companies and individuals that Bush awarded
up to $8 billion in Iraq/Afghanistan contracts
have "donated more money to the presidential campaigns
of George W. Bush - a little over $500,000 - than
to any other politician over the last dozen years."
Posted: February 18, 2004