Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Monday, October 02, 2006


Tom Kuhn Gets What He Pays For

According to Robert Novak, Bush's mega-fundraiser, college roomate, and "close-friend" Tom Kuhn hosted a big-money D.C. fundraiser for Sen. Lieberman last week.

Here's a little background on Kuhn, who in addition to being a confidant of the president, was also a member of the Bush-Cheney 2000 Energy Dept. transition team.

He obviously got what he paid for from Bush, which included weakening the Clean Air Act:

Shortly after a judge ruled in 2003 that FirstEnergy Corp. (see Anthony Alexander) broke the Clean Air Act by failing to upgrade pollution controls when it renovated one of its filthy coal plants, the Bush administration released new rules that seriously undermined that same section of the Clean Air Act. Kuhn welcomed the weaker rules, saying, “Today’s regulations will lift a major cloud of uncertainty.”

As well as killing EPA initiatives to lessen air pollution in national parks:

Kuhn attended a 2000 meeting in which executives of polluting industries huddled with officials of states that face sanctions for flunking federal air standards. The meeting, organized by the top environmental appointee of Pioneer and then-Michigan Governor John Engler, explored how to relax federal air standards if Bush became president. Kuhn hosted a 1999 meeting of the “Air Quality Standards Coalition,” an industry group seeking to sabotage proposed EPA rules to cut air pollution in national parks.

Even better, in a fundraising letter for the Bush campaign in 1999, Kuhn spelled out quite clearly in his own words how the D.C. quid-pro-quo game is played, as the Center for Public Integrity recounts:

Thomas R. Kuhn, the head of the Edison Electric Institute, the primary trade group for electrical utilities, was a Bush Pioneer, one of the elite fundraisers who promised to raise at least $100,000 for the Texas governor. Kuhn wrote a May 27, 1999, letter to other fundraisers, informing them of the importance of letting the Bush campaign know exactly which industries were raising money for him. "As you know . . . a very important part of the campaign's outreach to the business community is the use of tracking numbers for contributions," Kuhn wrote. "Listing your industry's code does not prevent you, any of your individual solicitors or your state from receiving credit for soliciting a contribution. It does ensure that our industry is credited, and that your progress is listed among the other business/industry sectors." Bush and his administration made sure that the coal industry could cash in its credits.

So Tom Kuhn got what he paid for from Bush.

What is he getting from Joe?
Actually, the reducing of the clean air requirement was called new source review. What it did was remove the federal government's ability to change the clean air rules and thus mandate huge spending to bring existing plants up to code. For instance, if I get approvals to build a plant and I have a built in rate of return, the gov't can not now change my emmision requirements and undermine the economics of my investment. It's actually common sense.
Do a little research Tparty and you will be surprised at what you learn. Spewing the talking points does nothing for anyone.
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