TITLE

Special K

AUTHOR(S)
Beinart, Peter
PUB. DATE
March 2004
SOURCE
New Republic;3/1/2004, Vol. 230 Issue 7, p6
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article argues that John Kerry's record with special interests is no worse than George W. Bush's and is better than most politicians'. When you combine money from paid lobbyists and PACs--which makes sense, since they're both conduits for "special interests"--Kerry actually ranks ninety-second out of 100 U.S. senators. That doesn't make him pure, but it makes him purer than most serious candidates for the White House. And it puts him on a different planet from President Bush, who accepted more money from lobbyists last year alone than Kerry has in the last 15. By defining special interest influence so broadly that it encompasses any person who could realistically seek the presidency, Bush's defenders erase any distinction between the president and his critics. As it happens, they don't consider Bush and Kerry to be equally corrupted. Kerry's lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters is 96 percent. By contrast, the League gave Bush its first ever "F." Gene Kimmelman, senior director of public policy and advocacy for the nonpartisan Consumers Union, chides Kerry for not aggressively supporting competition between cable companies (telecommunication firms are among Kerry's biggest funders). But he says that, "overall, he's been a strong consumer champion."
ACCESSION #
12322628

 

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