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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Uncoordinated 

A couple of related items we picked up from our distingushed colleague Susan at the always-excellent Suburban Guerrilla:
FROM U.S. NEWSWIRE: Earlier today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) with the White House asking it to detail its contacts with individuals connected to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT).

CREW asked the White House to release information regarding contacts between the Executive Office of the President and: any member of SBVT; SBVT donors Harlan Crow, Bob J. Perry and Paraclete Armor & Equipment; Merrie Spaeth, who has coordinated the public relations efforts of SBVT; any employee of Stevens Reed Curcio & Poltholm, the advertising agency that has made SBVT's commercials; Rupprath and Associates, the detective agency that gathered the SBVT affidavits; SBVT fundraiser The McIntosh Company; and Kenneth Cordier, a former member of the Bush campaign's veterans steering committee.

The White House has claimed no involvement with SBVT or the group's anti-Kerry campaign ads, a claim undermined by recent revelations that Cordier, who appears in one of SBVT's advertisements was on the Bush campaign's veterans steering committee at the time he made the ad, and by the fact that a Kerry campaign volunteer picked up a flier for SBVT at the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign offices in Gainesville, Florida.

FROM THE AP WIRE: A lawyer for President Bush's re-election campaign disclosed Tuesday that he has been providing legal advice for a veterans group that is challenging Democratic Sen. John Kerry's account of his Vietnam War service.

Benjamin Ginsberg's acknowledgment marks the second time in days that an individual associated with the Bush-Cheney campaign has been connected to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which Kerry has accused of being a front for the Republican incumbent's re-election effort.

The Bush campaign and the veterans' group say there is no coordination.

The group "came to me and said, 'We have a point of view we want to get into the First Amendment debate right now. There's a new law. It's very complicated. We want to comply with the law, will you keep us in the bounds of the law?'" Ginsberg said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I said yes, absolutely, as I would do for anyone."

Ginsberg said he never told the Bush campaign what he discussed with the group, or vice versa, and doesn't advise the group on ad strategies.

"They have legal questions and when they have legal questions I answer them," Ginsberg said. He said he had not yet decided whether to charge the Swift Boat Veterans a fee for his work . . . .

Ginsberg also represented the Bush campaign in 2000 and became a prominent figure during the Florida recount.
UPDATE (8/25): Ginsburg's gone.

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