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Bush Says Won't Pay Commentators to Promote Agenda


Benevolent Dictator
DP Veteran
May 19, 2004
Reaction score
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Source: Yahoo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
President Bush on Wednesday ordered his Cabinet secretaries not to pay media commentators to promote his legislative agenda, saying payments by the Education Department were improper and new leadership was now in place.
In his most direct criticism to date, Bush leveled blame at officials at the Education Department for paying conservative commentator Armstrong Williams $240,000 to tout his landmark education plan, "No Child Left Behind."

Bush said it was an improper use of government funds, and told a news conference: "I expect my Cabinet secretaries to make sure that that practice doesn't go forward. There needs to be independence."

Federal communications regulators earlier this month opened an investigation into whether Williams violated a ban on "payola" in promoting the education law.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday asked the Government Accountability Office to also investigate syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher, who had a nearly $22,000 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote Bush's initiative encouraging marriage.

Bush said the White House was unaware of the payments to Williams.

Asked what will happen to officials at the Education Department who made the decision to pay Williams, Bush said: "We've got new leadership going to the Department of Education."

White House domestic policy adviser Margaret Spellings is replacing Rod Paige as education secretary.

"But all our Cabinet secretaries must realize that we will not be paying, you know, commentators to advance our agenda. Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet," Bush said.

Is this a growing trend? Do you think that it will stop or get worse as time goes by?
Personally, I think that Bush is doing an outstanding job of nipping this in the bud.
Yes after he won the election and when its convienent. I believe he really didn't know it was going on. After all, he doesn't know when anything is going on.
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