With so many Republican scandals in DC these days, it’s hard to keep on top of all of them. The latest one that’s flying under the radar comes to you via real news, not propaganda.
Remember WH propagandist Armstrong Williams who pushed No Child Left Behind while being paid for it via a contract he had with the Dept of Education and Ketchum? Well, that major faux pas is far from being old news. Senator Frank Lautenberg has been on the case and he’s gotten results.
WASHINGTON, DC — The Inspector General of the Department of Education has informed United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) that he has referred the investigation into the payments by the Bush Education Department to journalist Armstrong Williams to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorney is now actively investigating the matter. The request for the IG to specifically investigate potential fraud in the contract was made by Senator Lautenberg.
Ironically (or not), it has also been announced that the Dept of Health and Human Services has just given Ketchum a big, juicy contract to manage the Bush Medicare Drug Benefit campaign. Ketchum – the company that not only spawned Williams but also produced those fake news reports last year with Karen Ryan. Ketchum has promised not to cross the line this time. It must be nice to be so blatantly corrupt and still get millions of taxpayer dollars as a result. I sense a pattern here.
Armstrong Williams. Such a hard-working young man…
The U.S. Attorney is investigating whether Mr. Williams took taxpayer funds for work he did not perform under a contract to promote the President’s No Child Left Behind Act. Mr. Williams claimed he engaged in 168 different activities (including interviews, columns and speeches) promoting the Bush administration’s education initiative. Other than one column, the Department of Education was unable to produce any evidence that Mr. Williams did in fact perform this work.
Obviously, Mr Williams is the subject of a vast left-wing conspiracy. And what’s in his future?
The Government Accountability Office has concluded that the Education Department engaged in illegal “covert propaganda” by hiring Williams to promote the No Child Left Behind Act without requiring him to disclose that he was being paid. The Education Department’s inspector general has also reviewed the Williams deal, which was part of a broader contract that the education agency had with Ketchum, a public relations firm.
Now the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is investigating whether Williams accepted public money without performing his required duties, said Dan Katz, chief counsel for Lautenberg. The attorney’s office has a range of potential remedies, from suing to recover the money to possible criminal charges, Katz said.
Well, while he’s in jail maybe he can propagandize his way into getting several of the disproportionate number of incarcerated African-American inmates to vote for the Republicans in 2006.