It didn't get much attention in the US press, but presidents of the United States and Mexico and the prime minister of Canada met 8/20-21 at the exclusive Montebello resort in Canada to discuss the possibility of expanding the North American Free Trade Agreement into a "Security and Prosperity Partnership." The talks were cut short when Mexico President Felipe Calderón left 8/21 to be on hand to deal with Hurricane Dean, which struck Yucatan. Labor and citizens' organizations protested the secret process that threatens to undermine democratic government, labor and human rights, and environmental protection. The SPP is a White House initiative that consists of a secretive series of agreements between the three countries on issues ranging from border security to patent protections. "The SPP harkens back to the politics of the Old Boy's Club," said Ted Lewis, Global Exchange's Human Rights Director, "where heads of state sit around the table with corporate executives to hash out a political wish list without public participation or scrutiny." An elite group of corporate CEOs, known as the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), was to meet with the heads of state while public interests, including labor, environmental and human rights groups, were kept 25 kilometers away. "The SPP ensures that corporate concerns are heard, while other concerns remain silenced," said Jon Hunt of the Campaign for Labor Rights. "In the SPP the business leaders have direct access to the Three Amigos while civil society is left out, on the other side of the fence."

In the SPP, the governments misconceive migration as a security problem, rather than understanding the economic roots of migration and seeking to re-evaluate and recast the failed structural adjustment policies that led to NAFTA, which has caused sharp increases in poverty in Mexico and consequently the near doubling of undocumented Mexican immigration to the US since NAFTA's implementation in 1994, noted Global Exchange (globalexchange.org). The SPP seeks to expand market access for US and Canadian corporations by creating so-called Super Corridors to link Canada to the US-Mexico border. SPP documents also have hinted at the poor performance of Mexico's national oil company, a long sought-after target for US investment and potentially privatization. The SPP encourages Mexico to create a separate gas production company and open it to private investment, a profoundly unpopular view in Mexico.


REAL ID THREATENS PATIENCE, PRIVACY. If you think the lines are long to renew your driver's license now, wait until states implement the federal Real ID Act next year. The act, signed in 2005 as part of an emergency military spending and tsunami relief bill, aims to create a uniform national ID card by May 2008. More than half the nation's state legislatures have passed or proposed legislation denouncing the plan, and seven states -- Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington -- have rejected compliance, CNN reported (8/16). But federally-approved cards will be needed to board an airplane or enter a federal building, nuclear facility or national park, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the National Conference of State Legislatures in August. Citizens in states that don't comply with the new rules will have to use passports for federal purposes. The law requires all 245 mln driver's license and state ID holders to visit their local motor vehicle agencies to apply for a Real ID by 2013. Applicants must bring a photo ID, birth certificate, proof of Social Security number and proof of residence. States must maintain and protect massive databases housing the information. States are expected to assume most of the estimated $14 bln in costs. Texas estimates that it might have to charge its citizens more than $100 for a license. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation say the IDs and supporting databases -- which Chertoff said would be federally interconnected -- will infringe on privacy and will lay the groundwork for "a wide range of surveillance activities" by government and businesses.


BUSH FIGHTS HEALTH CARE FOR KIDS. The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for states to extend coverage to children in middle-income families, the New York Times reported (8/21). In a letter sent to state health officials on 8/17, Dennis G. Smith, the director of the federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations, said states that want to raise eligibility for the child health program above 250% of the poverty level must first demonstrate that they have "enrolled at least 95% of children in the state below 200% of the federal poverty level" who are eligible for either Medicaid or the child health program. No state in the nation has a participation rate of 95% and Cindy Mann, a research professor at the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University, told the Times, "No state would ever achieve that level of participation under the president's budget proposals." After learning of the new policy, some state officials said that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children by imposing standards that could not be met. The poverty level for a family of four is $20,650 in annual income. New York now covers children in families with income up to 250% of the poverty level. The State Legislature has passed a bill that would raise the limit to 400% of the poverty level -- $82,600 for a family of four -- but the change is subject to federal approval. California wants to increase its income limit to 300% of the poverty level, from 250%. Pennsylvania recently raised its limit to 300%, from 200%. New Jersey has had a limit of 350% for more than five years. Bush has said he does not want the program to become a substitute for private health coverage.


LEAHY: CHENEY BARRED GOP SUBPOENAS. After the White House missed its 8/20 deadline to turn over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding legal justifications for the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said that the administration's stonewalling amounted to "contempt of the valid order of the Congress," and pointed out that these subpoenas were passed by broad bipartisan votes. Leahy added that when Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa) led the committee in the 109th Congress, he also tried to ask questions about the program's legal justifications. But Vice President Cheney personally told Republican senators they were not allowed to issue subpoenas."


SENATE OUTLOOK. As Republicans prepare to defend 22 Senate seats next year (Dems defend 12), Alaska was not expected to be a target race until the FBI started swarming Sen. Ted Stevens' house and offices. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is hoping that the Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) will challenge Stevens, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is also trying to recruit Begich for a race against the equally tainted Rep. Don Young (D). Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos.com noted that state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) is the probable fall-back for the House race "which wouldn't be too shabby."

In Colorado, Rep. Mark Udall (D) is the favorite to win the seat Sen. Wayne Allard (R) is giving up. Former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) was accused in July by a liberal activist group, ProgressNowAction, of selling his vote on the state's Board of Education for a campaign contribution.

In Kentucky, where Dems hope to pay back Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) for leading the effort to unseat former Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, Att'y Gen. Greg Stumbo is the likely Dem nominee to challenge McConnell, but Moulitsas noted that popular US Rep. Ben Chandler has has not ruled out a run. Conventional wisdom has Chandler waiting for 2010, when he faces either a senile Jim Bunning (R) or (more likely) an open seat. "But with the GOP's position crashing and burning nationally and in Kentucky, Chandler could deliver a killing blow to the man who has bedeviled Kentucky Democrats for decades," Moulitsas wrote.

In Maine, Rep. Tom Allen (D) is expected to make his challenge of Sen. Susan Collins (R) a referendum on the war on Iraq.

In Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman (R) is taking a risk by bringing in President Bush for a fundraiser. The money will come in handy but Dems Al Franken and Mike Ciresi are expected to make the race a referendum on Bush, as a recent poll showed two-thirds of Minnesotans disapprove of him.

Nebraska is waiting to hear Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) announce whether he runs for reelection, runs for president, runs for both, or retires from politics. If he runs for reelection, Moulitsas wrote, "no one seems to have the appetite to challenge him." If he does retire, centrist former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) might make a bid, with Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey (D), who is more progressive, also considering a primary race. Republicans include Att'y Gen. Jon Bruning and Ag Sec'y Mike Johanns, a former governor.

In New Hampshire, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) would be favored to defeat incumbent Sen. John Sununu (R) -- if she decides to run. Otherwise, Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, "Lieberdem" Katrina Swett and professor Jay Buckey would fight it out for a chance at taking out Sununu. "Any of them would have an even chance to win ... while Shaheen makes it as close as a "done deal" as is ever possible in politics," Moulitsas wrote.

In New Mexico, where Sen. Pete Domenici (R) was damaged by revelations that he tied to engineer election-year political prosecutions, the only "serious" Dem to challenge Domenici appears to be Don Wiviott, an environmentally friendly housing developer with no name recognition or election experience.

In North Carolina, Sen. Liddy Dole (R) is vulnerable, with approval ratings under 50%, but Dems are still looking for a candidate to make fight for her life.

In Oregon, state House Speaker Jeff Merkley will face activist lawyer Steve Novick in the Dem primary to challenge Sen. Gordon Smith (R). Merkley has the establishment edge after recruiting Gov. Ted Kulongoski and former Gov. Barbara Roberts as campaign chairs.

In Tennessee, rumors have Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) eyeing the open chancellor slot at Vanderbilt University. Former Rep. Harold Ford, now the DLC chair after he lost his 2006 Senate race to Bob Corker, might try again, but Mike McWherter, the son of a popular former governor, also is looking at the race.

In Texas, Dems hope that sub-50% approval ratings for Sen. John Cornyn (R), who is especially unpopular among Texas Latinos for his immigrant bashing, will create an opening for the winner of the Dem primary between Mikal Watts, a self-funding trial lawyer from San Antonio, and state Rep. Rick Noriega of Houston, a progressive veteran of Afghanistan as a lieutenant colonel with the National Guard. Among Noriega's supporters is Massey Villarreal, a prominent Houston businessman who served as chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and was national Hispanic vice-chairman of the Bush/Cheney for President Campaign in 2000. "I'm now a Rick Noriega Republican," Villarreal told the Rio Grande Guardian, explaining that he was "disappointed" with the "mean-spiritedness" of the "amnesty" debate that Cornyn led. Latinos form a quarter of the Texas electorate.

In Virginia, it's all about the Warners. If Sen. John (R) announces his retirement in September, as expected, then Mark (D), the popular former governor, becomes the favorite in what would be a tough but definitely winnable race against Rep. Tom Davis (R) or former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who reportedly also is looking at the race. "The wrinkle is that Mark (D) seems more interested in running for governor again, a gig he loved, than in being one of 100 across the river in D.C.," Moulitsas noted.

Democrats also expect challenges in South Dakota, where Sen. Tim Johnson is still recovering from brain surgery, and Louisiana, where Sen. Mary Landrieu lost hundreds of thousands of Democratic constituents after the flooding of New Orleans.


CONGRESS HAS CLEANED CABINET. For precedent of impeachment of Att'y Gen. Alberto Gonzales, Adam Cohen of the New York Times (8/19) noted that the House in 1876 impeached William Belknap, Ulysses S. Grant's disgraced secretary of war, for taking bribes, and the Senate removed him from office even after he tried to resign.

Cohen also noted that James Iredell, whom George Washington would later appoint to the Supreme Court, told North Carolina's ratification convention that "giving false information to the Senate" was the sort of act "of great injury to the community" that warranted impeachment. For what it's worth, James Madison, the father of the Constitution, said in a speech to the first Congress that "wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject" an official to impeachment. The replacement of prosecutors who refused to let partisan politics guide their decisions about who to prosecute would seem to fit that category.


'OWN-TO-RENT' PROPOSED FOR SUBPRIME BORROWERS. The best way to help subprime borrowers struggling to hang onto their homes is to allow them to become long-term renters, paying the fair market rent, Dean Baker suggested at tpmcafe.com (8/19). Currently, if a homeowner is not able to make their mortgage payments, the mortgage holder can go to court to place the house in foreclosure, Baker said. Under his proposal, the foreclosure process would be changed so that the current homeowner would have the option to remain in their house as a renter paying the fair market rent. After the foreclosure, the mortgage holder would own the house and be free to sell it to another person, but the former homeowner would still have the right to remain as a renter. "By allowing homeowners to stay in their house as renters, this plan should also help to prevent the sort of blight that often afflicts neighborhoods with large numbers of foreclosures, since homes will remain occupied, and long-term renters will have an incentive to mow the lawn and do other maintenance that keeps up the appearance of the property," Baker noted. "... It doesn't give homeowners any windfalls, but it can ensure that they don't end up being thrown out on the street. In short, the own-to-rent plan is a simple and low-cost way to help moderate income homebuyers. It doesn't require any tax dollars and does not set up a new government bureaucracy to manage the housing market." In contrast, he noted, politicians are lining up with plans to bail out the mortgage holders who speculated in predatory mortgage debt.

"The point here is simple," Baker wrote. "We can design a mechanism that will directly benefit millions of moderate income homeowners who are struggling to hang on to their homes. Or, we can come up with schemes that will benefit the banks and hedge funds who speculated in mortgage debt. Place your bets."


GONZO HURRIES UP DEATH PENALTY. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 gave a one-year time limit to file a habeas petition to challenge death sentences in federal court. The law cut the limit further to six months for states that provided lawyers for a federal appeal. But when it reauthorized the Patriot Act in 2006, Congress added a little-noticed provision that lets the attorney general, rather than federal judges, decide whether states are complying with the 1996 law. Now Gonzales reportedly is about to certify California and other states as being in compliance with the 1996 law, in essence just giving them the six-month statute of limitations. But these states have done nothing that this law requires, Erwin Chemerinsky wrote in the Los Angeles Times (8/16). "Everywhere but Arizona, death row inmates still have to pay for their attorneys (unlikely), get pro bono representation (difficult) or represent themselves (unwise). Any 'certification' is a lie. ... All of this creates serious pitfalls even for well-informed and highly diligent prisoners. Six months leaves little room for error. Undoubtedly, many more habeas petitions, including highly meritorious ones, will wind up dismissed, deemed too late." He noted that more than a dozen innocent people's convictions were overturned on writs of habeas corpus in recent years. Last year, John Grisham published a bestselling nonfiction book about one: Ron Williamson, whose death sentence in Oklahoma was overturned by a federal judge. "Shortening the statute of limitations risks that others like him will never get their day in court," Chemerinsky wrote.


PREZ HOPEFULS RANKED ON TRADE. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Rep. Ron Paul had the best fair-trade records among the presidential candidates, according to the scorecard of Todd Tucker, research director with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, at citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade (8/9). Kucinich (D-Ohio) scored 93% (14/15), though his only blemish was not showing up for the Morocco FTA vote. On everything else, he voted the fair trade position (Fast Track 1998, 2001, 2002, NAFTA for Africa twice, China PNTR, WTO withdrawal twice, NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Australia, Central America, Bahrain and Oman). Paul (R-Texas) had the top fair-trade record in the GOP field with 83% (15/18). Like Kucinich, Paul missed the Morocco FTA, and Paul voted wrong on Fast Track 1984 twice. But everything else was right (Fast Track 1979, 1998, 2001, 2002, NAFTA for Africa (twice), Chile, Singapore, Australia, Central America, Bahrain, Oman, and China PNTR, and WTO withdrawal twice.

Among the other Dems, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) scored 63% (5/8), voting right on NAFTA for Africa (twice), Chile and Singapore and Fast Track 2002. He voted wrong on China PNTR and another Fast Track 2002. He did not vote on the Australia FTA. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) scored 50% (1/2), voting right on CAFTA, wrong on the Oman FTA. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) scored 43% (3/7), voting right on Fast Track 2002 (twice) and CAFTA. She voted wrong on NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Australia and Oman.

Sen. Chris Dodd scored 39% (7/18), voting right on Fast Track 2002 (twice), Fast Track disapproval and on NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Central America and Oman. He voted wrong on Fast Track 3 times (1984, 1988 and 1993) and on Canada FTA, NAFTA, WTO, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, and the Australia FTA. He did not vote on Fast Track 1979.

Sen. Joe Biden scored 25% (5-20), voting right on Fast Track 2002, NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Central America and Oman but voting wrong on Fast Track in 1974 (twice), 1979, 1984, 1993, and 2002, on the Canada FTA, NAFTA, WTO, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, Australia FTA and Fast Track disapproval. He didn't vote on Fast Track 1988.

Bill Richardson, as a House member, had a 10% fair trade record (1/10), voting right on the Canada Free Trade Act but wrong on Fast Track 5 times (1983, 1984, 1988, 1993 and 1998), on Israel FTA, Fast Track disapproval, NAFTA and the WTO.

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) had a zero fair-trade record (0-3), voting wrong on Fast Track in 1973 and 1974 and missing the 1979 Fast Track vote.

For the GOP field, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) scored 71% (17/24), voting right on Canada FTA, Fast Track 1988, Fast Track disapproval, Fast Track 1993, NAFTA, WTO, Fast Track 1998, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, WTO withdrawal (twice), Fast Track 2002, NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Morocco and Central America. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), 47% (7/15 votes), voted right on China PNTR, WTO withdrawal (twice), and NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Central America and Oman. Sen. John McCain scored 6% (1/16), voting right on Fast Track 1988; wrong on everything else.

Sen. Sam Brownback scored 0% (0/10 votes). Former Sen. Fred Thompson scored 0% (0/5 votes).


HOUSE RACES. The announcement (8/16) by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., that he will not seek re-election in 2008 capped a week in which three veteran House Republicans declared that the current 110th Congress would be their last. Hastert, Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce and Mississippi Rep. Charles W. "Chip" Pickering Jr. brought to five the number of House R's who are not seeking re-election next year, compared with two on the Dem side. CQPolitics.com noted 8/17 that the retirements will stoke speculation of a larger "wave" of GOP departures that would seriously hamper the party's quest to make the 16-seat gain that they need to regain the House majority they lost last November.

Republicans will be heavily favored to retain Pickering's seat in Mississippi's 3rd District, which gave President Bush 65% of the vote in 2004. R's are also confident they can hold the San Diego-area 52nd District seat that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) is relinquishing in his longshot bid for the presidential nomination.

R's also have an edge in Illinois' 18th, a Peoria-centered district that Republican Rep. Ray LaHood said he would not defend. But Hastert's 14th District, which takes in suburbs and exurbs west of Chicago and some rural territory, backed Bush with only 55% in 2004. In Pryce's 15th District, which takes in part of Columbus and its suburbs, Bush barely beat Sen. John Kerry (D) and Franklin County commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D) nearly defeated Pryce in 2006 and plans to run again. Potential Republican candidates include former state Att'y Gen. Jim Petro and state Rep. Jim Hughes.

Topping retirement watch lists, CQPolitics.com noted, is 18-term Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), who at 82 is the second-oldest member of the House. Regula has not announced his political plans, but recently said in a local radio interview that Ohio was trending Democratic these days and that it was unlikely that the House Republicans would regain the majority anytime soon. The presumptive Dem nominee in the Canton-area 16th District is state Sen. John Boccieri. State Sen. Kirk Schuring and county commissioner Matt Miller, who took 42% against Regula in the 2006 Republican primary, are preparing to seek the Republican nomination.

Another potential retiree is three-term Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), who has battled ethical questions. He has denied wrongdoing, but the likelihood of strong Dem opposition and his meager campaign treasury &emdash; he had $20,000 in his campaign account as July began, far less than at a similar point two years ago &emdash; have stoked speculation that he may not seek re-election in 2008, CQPolitics.com reported.

Should Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) retire, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III is expected to run for his seat and leave open a politically competitive 11th District in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Only two House Democrats have announced they will not seek re-election next year: Mark Udall of Colorado and Tom Allen of Maine. Both are running for the Senate, and Dems are strongly favored to retain their districts.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is not going to repeat its mistake of ignoring an upset bid in the 8th District in North Carolina, where Larry Kissell, a social-studies teacher and former hosiery mill worker, came within 329 votes of unseating Robin Hayes (R) a millionaire hosiery mill owner, in 2006. After spending a paltry $31 on that race, CQPolitics.com noted (8/17), former DCCC chairman, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), hosted an April fundraiser for Kissell in Raleigh; Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California held a fundraiser in August to help Kissell retire his 2006 campaign debt. And already the DCCC has made and bought time for TV ads critical of Hayes. Kissell remains outgunned in head-to-head fundraising, however. In the first six months of the year, he raised $160,000, compared with $496,000 by Hayes.


ROVE'S REALIGNMENT. Conservative writer Andrew Sullivan on Karl Rove, "The man's legacy is a conservative movement largely discredited and disunited, a president with lower consistent approval ratings than any in modern history, a generational shift to the Democrats, a resurgent al Qaeda, an endless catastrophe in Iraq, a long hard struggle in Afghanistan, a fiscal legacy that means bankrupting America within a decade, and the poisoning of American religion with politics and vice-versa. For this, he got two terms of power &emdash; which the GOP used mainly to enrich themselves, their clients and to expand government's reach and and drain on the productive sector. In the re-election, the president with a relatively strong economy, and a war in progress, managed to eke out 51%. Why? Because Rove preferred to divide the country and get his 51%, than unite it and get America's 60. In a time of grave danger and war, Rove picked party over country. Such a choice was and remains despicable." (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com, 8/13.)


WINGER WANTS BUSH COUP. If you wonder how loony the right-wing can get, one winger connected with Family Security Matters has suggested that President Bush copy Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans. "He could then follow Caesar's example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court, Philip Atkinson wrote (8/3) at familysecuritymatters.org, where he is a contributing editor. "President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming 'ex-president' Bush or he can become 'President-for-Life' Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons." Shortly after it was noticed by liberal websites such as digbysblog.blogspot.com (8/20), the essay was deleted from familysecuritymatters.org, whose board of directors boasts such right wing luminaries as Barbara Comstock, Monica Crowley, Frank Gaffney, Laura Ingraham and James Woolsey, but screen caches remain (see www.sargasso.nl/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/fsm.jpg).


FEDS PAY $80K FOR ANTI-BUSH ARRESTS. A couple arrested at a rally in Charleston, W.Va., for wearing T-shirts that bore anti-President Bush slogans settled their lawsuit against the federal government for $80,000, the American Civil Liberties Union announced 8/16. Nicole and Jeffery Rank of Corpus Christi, Texas, were handcuffed and removed from the July 4, 2004, rally at the state Capitol, where Bush gave a speech. A judge dismissed trespassing charges against them. White House spokesman Blair Jones said the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing but the ACLU said that a presidential advance manual makes it clear that the government tries to exclude dissenters from the president's appearances. "As a last resort," the manual says, "security should remove the demonstrators from the event."


BARBOUR'S KIN, FRIENDS PROFIT FROM KATRINA. While Mississipp Gov. Haley Barbour (R), a former lobbyist and chairman of the Republican National Committee, saw his approval rating remain fairly good after Hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) has seen her numbers at or below the low-40s since the deluge. Unsurprisingly, Jonathan Singer noted at MyDD.com, Barbour is running for reelection this fall while Blanco is not. But Timothy J. Burger reported at Bloomberg News (8/16) that Barbour's family and friends have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from hurricane-related business. A nephew, one of two who are lobbyists, saw his fees more than double in the year after his uncle appointed him to a special reconstruction panel. FBI agents in June raided a company owned by the wife of a third nephew, which maintained federal emergency-management trailers. Meanwhile, the governor's own former lobbying firm, which he says is still making payments to him, has represented at least four clients with business linked to the recovery.

From The Progressive Populist, September 15, 2007

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