21 August 2007

the piyush scam calls in the lawyers to stifle free speech

click here to download three page .pdf
awwww little piyush "bobby" jindal gets his feelings hurt so what does he do? he runs to a slimy high powered washington d.c. insider lobbying group to save him. according to source watch's entry for patton boggs, they have a rather shady past themselves:
Patton Boggs has lobbied on behalf of the dietary supplement company Metabolife International. According to Associated Press, "Patton Boggs earned millions helping project reassurances to Congress and its customers that Metabolife products were safe. Patton Boggs attorneys helped prepare carefully worded responses to regulators. Between 2001 and this year, Metabolife paid Patton Boggs $1.8 million to lobby Congress."[6]

Patton Boggs' work for Metabolife has resulted in legal scrutiny: "One former and four current Patton Boggs attorneys were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in San Diego, court documents say. Prosecutors allege company founder Michael Ellis lied about Metabolife's safety record in a 1998 letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which documents say Patton Boggs attorneys helped draft. ... In mid 2002, Patton Boggs lobbyist Lanny Davis wrote a senator whose subcommittee was investigating Metabolife that the company had received only 78 'unproven, anecdotal allegations' of strokes, heart attacks, seizures and deaths." Company documents released just one week later revealed that the number of health complaints actually numbered in the thousands.[7]

In April 2002, members of congress objected to a video prepared by Patton Boggs promoting exploration for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, hosted on the U.S. Interior Department's web site. The Department's distribution of the video was in apparent violation of a law forbidding federal agencies to engage in PR activities "designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress." The Department is becoming "a cinema house for lobbyists," says Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey. "The Interior Department should not be spreading oil company propaganda any more than the Department of Energy should be promoting Enron stock," he said. "It's not their job."[8]
this is just more of the typical republican tactics but like we wrote here the democrats would be better served by focusing on piyush's voting record.

the inclusion of the Columbia Broadcasting Sys. Inc. v. Democratic Nat'l Comm., 412 U.S. 94 (1973) case in mr. williard's letter appears to be somewhat misleading. like patton boggs through that in there to ensure that the station managers upon receipt of the letter would see a court case cited, be bluffed and think "oh dear better pull it." the american center for law and justice, which is about as right wing as one can get, seemingly praises the courts decision:
Justice Douglas’s concurring opinion in Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Democratic National Committee15 eloquently explained why “censorship or editing or the screening by Government of what licensees may broadcast”—through the Fairness Doctrine or otherwise—“goes against the grain of the First Amendment.”16

Justice Douglas observed:
The Fairness Doctrine has no place in our First Amendment regime. It puts the head of the camel inside the tent and enables administration after administration to toy with TV or radio in order to serve its sordid or its benevolent ends. In 1973—as in other years—there is clamoring to make TV and radio emit the messages that console certain groups. There are charges that these mass media are too slanted, too partisan, too hostile in their approach to candidates and the issues.17

Justice Douglas put the Fairness Doctrine in the larger context of the First Amendment’s prohibition against government censorship of political and other speech:
[T]he prospect of putting Government in a position of control over publishers is to me an appalling one, even to the extent of the Fairness Doctrine. The struggle for liberty has been a struggle against Government. The essential scheme of our Constitution and Bill of Rights was to take Government off the backs of people. . .. [I]t is anathema to the First Amendment to allow Government any role of censorship over newspapers, magazines, books, art, music, TV, radio, or any other aspect of the press. . . .18 -- click here to read more sixteen page .pdf.
the bottom line is that this silly patton boggs letter isnt worth the paper its written on.

heres what a real attorney warning letter looks like:

click here to read more at the smoking gun
see also
daily kingfish
exposing jindal series
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  • jindal on religion.com
  • piyush "bobby" jindal wst... series inks page
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