Wednesday, July 10, 2002

They're back!
Daniel Altman reports in the NY Times that
A small, secretive group that used television advertisements to attack George W. Bush during his campaign for president has re-emerged to point to links between oil companies with questionable accounting practices and the Bush administration.

The group, American Family Voices, paid for a 30-second commercial that will be shown until Thursday on cable news programs here and in New York. The commercial calls President Bush "sly like a fox" for talking down his dealings with Harken Energy, an oil company on whose board he once sat.


Mr. Lux, a consultant who works for American Family Voices under contract, would not say who donated the money for the television time. But the group and its advertising agency, the Glover Park Group, have significant links to the Clinton administration. Mr. Lux was an aide to President Bill Clinton, and the partners at Glover Park include Joe Lockhart, who was once Mr. Clinton's press secretary, and Carter Eskew and Michael Feldman, two advisers to Al Gore's unsuccessful campaign for president in 2000.

Mr. Lux said 12 donors responded to a request for money, and he hinted that the contributors included a trial lawyer, an executive in high technology and a prominent person in Hollywood.


Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said the committee had nothing to do with the commercial. But Ms. Palmieri said that James Carville, once a top campaigner for Mr. Clinton, was involved with American Family Voices.

In the last year, from a sea-green brick building in Washington, American Family Voices has criticized Mr. Bush's tax breaks for corporations and has sponsored a Web site called The Daily Enron, which chronicles corporate accounting scandals.

The group was formed in 2000 with money from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. It has four employees, led by Mr. Lux. It has Section 501(c)4 tax status, which means it cannot run advertisements mentioning specific candidates within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. The status also lets the group keep the identities of its backers a secret.
It's Animal White House reunion week! Union thugs, trial lawyers, and Hollywood fat cats funding Eskew, Feldman, and Carville with Joe Lockhart thrown in for comic relief.