Thursday, August 09, 2007

Political use of drug warriors

I know I'm a little late with this story -- I've known about it for weeks but there are so many outrages -- but it's worth a few moments of indignation if you hadn't known about it. Last year during election season the White House arranged for John Walters, the "drug czar," and his deputies to travel at taxpayer expense to about 20 events with vulnerable Republican candidates. Often they used the events to announce "drug fighting" grants, otherwise known as pork to help incumbents.

Key piece of evidence of purely political intention: an e-mail by a drug policy official describing Karl Rove as pleased with how the office -- along with the Commerce, Transportation and Agriculture departments, went "above and beyond" in their helpful efforts. "This recognition is not something we hear every day and we should feel confident that our hard work is noticed. The director and deputies deserve the most recognition because they actually had to give up time with their families for the god awful places we sent them." How brown is your nose, Douglas Simon? (He's the liaison of the "drug czar's office" with the White House.)

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