Sunday, January 11, 2004

Naughty Howie!

AP Exclusive: While governor, Dean accepted speaking fees, gifts from special interests
Just months before he signed a state tax break for insurers in 1993, then-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean met with executives from two companies that might benefit.

Then Dean received a gift from the companies' lobbyist, followed by more than $60,000 in donations over the next two years to one of Dean's own charity funds.

The relationship between Dean and the nontraditional insurance industry is detailed in a series of letters obtained by The Associated Press in which both sides discussed official state business and private financial matters in the same correspondence.

"We greatly appreciate the flexibility your administration and its predecessors have promoted in the regulation of insurance company," one of the companies wrote Dean in 1995. A few sentences later, the company announced it was donating more money to his charity.

"In addition to a contribution in 1994, I am pleased to inform you that we have just forwarded a second contribution in the amount of $25,000 to assist with the project's important work."

Tax records the campaign volunteered to the AP also show that as governor, Dean took more than $13,000 in personal pay from four special interests to give speeches, much of it from a drug company involved in a major sexual harassment case.
Can you imagine the volume of whining if a Republican had done the above?