Connections: Bush & Swiftboater smearer John O'Neill & Nixon

Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2004 12:15 pm
What is the connection between Swiftboater smearer John O'Neill and Richard Nixon?

"I saw some war heroes ... John Kerry is not a war hero," said John O'Neill, a Houston lawyer who joined the Navy's Coastal Division 11 two months after the future senator left Vietnam. "He couldn't tie the shoes of some of the people in Coastal Division 11."

O'Neill claims he is a political independent, but political independents don't clerk for Justice Rehnquist.

The following is on his law firm's website:

Born San Diego, California, February 19, 1946; admitted to bar, 1974, Texas. Education: United States Naval Academy (B.S., cum laude, 1967); University of Texas (J.D., summa cum laude, 1973). Order of the Coif. Member, Chancellors (Grand Chancellor, 1972-1973). Member, Texas Law Review, 1972-1973. Member, President's National Advisory Counsel on Supplemental Services and Centers, 1973-1974. Member, Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, Section of Corporation, Banking and Business Law, American Bar Association, 1978-. Law Clerk to Justice William H. Rehnquist, U.S. Supreme Court, 1974-1975.(Emphasis mine.)

O'Neill was also used by Nixon to try and discredit Kerry's post-service anti-war efforts. Now two Republican presidents have used the guy to try and attack Kerry.

Even better is the c.v. of another of O'Neill's law firm's partners: Margaret Wilson:

Born Waco, Texas, December 5, 1958; admitted to bar 1984, Texas. Education: Baylor University (B.A., summa cum laude, 1981); (J.D., with honors, 1983). Associate Editor of the Baylor Law Review; Adjunct Professor, South Texas College of Law, 1988-1989; Deputy General Counsel, Department of Commerce, 2001-2002. General Counsel to Governor George W. Bush, 1998-2000. Member State Bar of Texas; Texas Bar Foundation. (Emphasis mine again.)

Update: From the Houston Chronicle:

In 1971, O'Neill squared off against Kerry on the Dick Cavett Show in a 90-minute, televised forum in which the two Vietnam War veterans sparred over the U.S. role in Southeast Asia.

President Nixon and top aide Charles Colson had taken a keen interest in O'Neill as part of their effort to discredit Kerry and the anti-war movement, according to memos and tapes in the National Archives. A clean-cut Naval Academy graduate, O'Neill was viewed by Nixon's team as an effective messenger against Kerry, who was causing the administration headaches as the leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

And, for a good dose of irony:

In a series of memos, Nixon aide Colson, who later went to prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, referred to the administration's efforts to promote O'Neill and to challenge Kerry to debate him.

On June 15, 1971, Colson noted that Kerry first turned down a debate offer with O'Neill and that he was "beginning to take a tremendous beating in the press."

"Let's destroy this young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader," Colson wrote about Kerry.
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Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2004 12:40 pm
This connection has sure been getting quite a bit of media attention.
Interesting history.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 09:48 am
Another link from Bush to Swiftboater smearers
"Ginsberg said he had not yet decided whether to charge the Swift Boat Veterans a fee for his work." To me, this is very important. Pro bono legal services are understood before any legal consultation is provided. If Ginsberg was not charging the SBFT that means he was doing it as a donation of labor---at the same time he was a paid counselor for Bush's campaign. That is supporting the group. ---BBB

Lawyer Advising Vets Quits Bush Campaign
By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - An election lawyer for President Bush who also has been advising a veterans group running TV ads against Democrat John Kerry resigned Wednesday from Bush's campaign.

"I cannot begin to express my sadness that my legal representations have become a distraction from the critical issues at hand in this election," Benjamin Ginsberg wrote in a resignation letter to Bush released by the campaign.

"I feel I cannot let that continue, so I have decided to resign as national counsel to your campaign to ensure that the giving of legal advice to decorated military veterans, which was entirely within the boundaries of the law, doesn't distract from the real issues upon which you and the country should be focusing."

Ginsberg's acknowledgment Tuesday evening that he was providing legal advice to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth marked the second time in days that an individual associated with the Bush-Cheney campaign had been connected to the group, which Kerry accuses of being a front for the Republican incumbent's re-election effort.

The Bush campaign and the veterans' group have said repeatedly that there is no coordination.

Lawyers on the Democratic side are also representing both the campaign or party and outside groups running ads in the presidential race. Ginsberg's dual role has drawn attention because of an ad the Swift Boat Veterans group ran accusing Kerry of exaggerating his Vietnam War record, an issue that has dominated the campaign since early August.

Kerry has fired back by accusing Bush of using the group as a front to run a smear campaign for him. Democrats have jumped on any tie, even if legal, to back up that claim.

Ginsberg said he never told the Bush campaign what he discussed with the group, or vice versa, and didn't advise the group on ad strategies.

The group "came to me and said, 'We have a point of view we want to get into the First Amendment debate right now. There's a new law. It's very complicated. We want to comply with the law, will you keep us in the bounds of the law?'" Ginsberg said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. "I said yes, absolutely, as I would do for anyone."

Ginsberg said he had not yet decided whether to charge the Swift Boat Veterans a fee for his work.

On Saturday, retired Air Force Col. Ken Cordier resigned as a member of the Bush campaign's veterans' steering committee after it was learned that he appeared in the commercial.

Kerry, meanwhile, is the subject of complaints by the Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee accusing his campaign of illegally coordinating anti-Bush ads with soft-money groups on the Democratic side, allegations he and the groups deny.

Neither campaign has produced proof of coordination on the part of its rival.

Joe Sandler, a lawyer for the DNC and a group running anti-Bush ads, MoveOn.org, said there is nothing wrong with serving in both roles at once.

In addition to the FEC's coordination rules, attorneys are ethically bound to maintain attorney-client confidentiality, Sandler said. They could lose their law license if they violate that, he said.

Ginsberg represented the Bush campaign in 2000 and became a prominent figure during the Florida recount.

He also served as counsel to the RNC in its unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to overturn the nation's campaign finance law, which banned the national party committees from collecting corporate, union and unlimited donations known as soft money and imposed stricter rules on coordination involving parties, candidates and interest groups.

Larry Noble, head of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics campaign watchdog group and former FEC general counsel, said it's true that serving as a lawyer for both a campaign and a soft-money group isn't considered automatic evidence of coordination under commission rules, but added that it doesn't mean the FEC won't look at it.

"I think there's a valid question about when you're talking about strictly legal advice and when you're talking about policy issues and strategic issues," Noble said. "It's fair to ask what the advice is about."
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:01 am
What?! You mean a lawyer offered legal advice on a topic his is considered an expert in?!! MY GOD! WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?!
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:05 am
NY Times graph of link between Bush lawyer and SBFT ads
NY Times graph of link between Bush lawyer and SBFT ads:

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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:09 am
CREW FOIAs White House Contacts with Swift Boat Vet Group
CREW FOIAs White House Contacts with Swift Boat Veterans Group
Tue Aug 24, 2:47 PM ET

Contact: Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, 202-588-5565

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Earlier today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) with the White House asking it to detail its contacts with individuals connected to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT).

CREW asked the White House to release information regarding contacts between the Executive Office of the President and: any member of SBVT; SBVT donors Harlan Crow, Bob J. Perry and Paraclete Armor & Equipment; Merrie Spaeth, who has coordinated the public relations efforts of SBVT; any employee of Stevens Reed Curcio & Poltholm, the advertising agency that has made SBVT's commercials; Rupprath and Associates, the detective agency that gathered the SBVT affidavits; SBVT fundraiser The McIntosh Company; and Kenneth Cordier, a former member of the Bush campaign's veterans steering committee.

The White House has claimed no involvement with SBVT or the group's anti-Kerry campaign ads, a claim undermined by recent revelations that Cordier, who appears in one of SBVT's advertisements was on the Bush campaign's veterans steering committee at the time he made the ad, and by the fact that a Kerry campaign volunteer picked up a flier for SBVT at the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign offices in Gainesville, Florida.

CREW's executive director Melanie Sloan stated "Despite evidence to the contrary, the Bush Administration has repeatedly claimed that it has nothing to do with SBVT or its ads. If this is true, then the White House should have no qualms about releasing information regarding any contacts between White House officials and those connected with SBVT."

Sloan decided to send the FOIA after reading that, upon being asked whether she had worked with White House officials, SBVT public relations coordinator Merrie Spaeth said "The answer is 'no' unless you refresh my memory." (NYT 8/20/04). Sloan said that she was also skeptical of Bush political advisor Karl Rove's claim that he has not spoken with his friend and large Republican donor Bob Perry in over a year. The FOIA was sent, said Sloan, "to gather the information Ms. Spaeth, Karl Rove and others may need to have their memories refreshed as to whether or not SBVT illegally coordinated with the White House."

A copy of CREW's FOIA request can be found on the Web at http://www.citizensforethics.org

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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:13 am
Re: NY Times graph of link between Bush lawyer and SBFT ads
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

There is a story circulating out there that a Bush campaign attorney also advised the Swift Boat Veterans. The left (including the media) is screaming "gotcha!" But wait, it turns out this is more of a case of the pot and the kettle. The acknowledgment by attorney Benjamin Ginsberg is being cited as supporting The Poodle's complaint that Bush is coordinating with the Swiftees. But Ginsberg says the group came to him only for advice on how to properly follow the wretched disaster known as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation. There are only so many lawyers that know how it works, and he is one of them.

Since the media won't tell you about it, shall we highlight the extensive ties between The Poodle's campaign and the Bush-bashing Moveon.org? The lawyers for the DNC are doing the same thing. That's right...you have all this outrage on the left over all this supposed "coordination" but the Democrats are doing the exact same thing. You want a name? We have a name! The lawyer's name is Joe Sandler, and he works for both the DNC and Moveon.org.

Let's recap, shall we?

* The Swiftees go to Benjamin Ginsberg, an acknowledged expert on McCain-Feingold, and asks him for advice on how to abide by the law as they run their ads. The Kerry campaign cites that as proof of collaboration between the Bush campaign and the Swiftees, and the media jumps right on board.
* Joe Sandler works for both the DNC and Moveon.org, and the media ignores it.

In neither case is a law or rule being violated. When the Democrats do it, it's fine. When the Republicans do it, it's evil.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:14 am
I find this informating fascinating because Karl Rove, Bush political advisor, has claimed that he has not spoken with his friend and large Republican donor Bob Perry in over a year. Poor Bob Perry, he can't go to all the GOP's convention's activities for fear of emphasing his connection betwen Bush and the SBVTers. ---BBB

Kerry critic listed as fund-raiser's co-host
NYC event guest list includes president's father, Rove
By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News

Houston home builder Bob Perry, a key bankroller for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is listed as the co-host of a New York City fund-raiser next week for the Harris County GOP, whose guest list includes President Bush's top political adviser.

Mr. Perry, who has given $200,000 to the veterans' group to help launch the anti-John Kerry ads that question the Democrat's Vietnam War record, has denied any links to Mr. Bush or the national Republican Party regarding the Swift Boat Veterans' campaign.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Perry, said that while the prolific GOP donor has given money to the local party, he was surprised to find his name on the invitation.

"He told me, 'I never approved the use of my name. I'm not going to be there,' " Mr. Miller said.

Mr. Perry also does not plan to attend the convention in New York City, Mr. Miller said.

Invitations to the Harris County reception and fund-raiser Sept. 1 at Tavern on the Green name Mr. Perry as an event sponsor, and those on the invitation list include former President George Bush, presidential adviser Karl Rove and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:19 am
swift boat pissing contest
In all the frenzy of "he said they said" I have yet to hear the Kerry people say that these men were all there and have as much right to there opinion as John Kerry had to his.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:20 am
swift boat pissing contest
In all the frenzy of "he said they said" I have yet to hear the Kerry people say that these men were all there and have as much right to there opinion as John Kerry had to his.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:25 am
August 25, 2004 - New York Times
Bush Campaign's Top Outside Lawyer Advised Veterans Group

The Bush campaign's top outside lawyer said Tuesday that he had given legal advice to the group of veterans attacking Senator John Kerry's Vietnam War record and antiwar activism in a book, television commercials and countless appearances on cable news programs.

The lawyer, Benjamin L. Ginsberg, said that the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, called him last month to ask for his help and that he agreed. Mr. Ginsberg said that he had yet to work out payment details with the group and that he might consider doing the work pro bono.

Mr. Ginsberg, the chief outside counsel to the Bush-Cheney re-election effort, agreed to an interview after several telephone calls to him and the campaign's asking that he explain his role. He said that he was helping the group comply with campaign finance rules and that his work was entirely separate from his work for the president. President Bush has called for an end to advertising by all groups like that of the Swift boat veterans, called 527's for the section of the tax code that created them.

The campaign of Senator John Kerry shares a lawyer, Robert Bauer, with America Coming Together, a liberal group that is organizing a huge multimillion-dollar get-out-the-vote drive that is far more ambitious than the Swift boat group's activities. Mr. Ginsberg said his role was no different from Mr. Bauer's.

Mr. Bush's campaign aides have repeatedly said they have no connection to the group, almost all of whose challenges to Mr. Kerry and his war record have been contradicted by official war records and even some of its members' own past statements.

Scott Stanzel, a Bush spokesman, said, "There has been no coordination at any time between Bush-Cheney '04 and any 527."

Mr. Ginsberg, a prominent elections lawyer, was a senior lawyer for the Bush organization in the Florida recount after the 2000 election and was once general counsel to the Republican National Committee. He said he had no involvement in the message or strategy of the Swift boat group and said he had no reason to believe that Mr. Bush knew of his involvement.

"The truth is there are very few lawyers who work in this area,'' Mr. Ginsberg said. "It's sort of natural that people do come to the few of us for the work. What happened was a month or so ago some decorated Vietnam vets came to me and said: 'We have an important point of view to enter into the debate. There's a new law that's complicated, and we want help complying with the law.' "

He added, "I have given them some legal compliance advice."

Mr. Kerry has gone on the offensive over the group's activities, saying it is "a front" for Mr. Bush's campaign and repeatedly calling on the president to repudiate an advertisement from the group attacking his record. Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is also a decorated war veteran, has also called on Mr. Bush to repudiate the spots.

The 527 groups are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money as long as they do not coordinate their activities with federal campaigns or political parties. Campaign finance rules do not prohibit lawyers from working for both outside groups and campaigns because they are not considered strategists.

Mr. Bush has declined to take on the group directly but repeated this week that he believed that all outside groups should stop advertising.

Mr. Ginsberg had been at the forefront of pressing the legal case against Democratic 527's, which have spent more than $60 million on advertisements against Mr. Bush.

In complaints against the groups, Republican lawyers have noted that Harold M. Ickes, who has helped raise money for and organize America Coming Together and the Media Fund, both 527 groups, is also on the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee.

The chairman of the Democratic convention, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, has been an adviser to another 527 group, the New Democrat Network. And Jim Jordan, a spokesman for the Media Fund, was Mr. Kerry's campaign manager until he resigned in November.

Mr. Ginsberg said he decided to help Republican groups after the Federal Election Commission declined to imposed strict rules on the 527 groups in May.

"At that point,'' he said, "I was more than happy to help all Republican groups comply with the law so that there wasn't unilateral disarmament."

An occasional collaborator with Mr. Ginsberg, Chris LaCivita, is also working for the group, advising on media strategy. Mr. LaCivita was political director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2002 and now works for the DCI Group, a Washington political strategy firm whose partners include Charles Francis, a longtime friend of President Bush from Texas and Tom Synhorst, an adviser to the Bush campaign in 2000, who was an architect of the campaign's effort in the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. LaCivita said yesterday that he worked as a private contractor for DCI and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and that there was no coordination between the firm and the group.

"Obviously, I don't work for the Bush campaign," he said.

Mr. LaCivita described his role as providing advice on the news media and placing advertisements. Asked to describe how close his involvement was or how Mr. Ginsberg was involved, Mr. LaCivita referred calls to a spokesman for Swift Boat Veterans, which declined to comment.

Mr. LaCivita and Mr. Ginsberg have also been involved with Progress for America, a group that calls itself the leading organization pushing a conservative agenda. Mr. Ginsberg did not say how frequently he consulted with the group.

This is the second time in recent days that an individual associated with Mr. Bush's campaign has acknowledged working with Swift Boat Veterans. On Sunday, the campaign confirmed an accusation first made by Mr. Kerry's campaign that Kenneth Cordier, a retired colonel who appears in the second of two commercials by the group, had been a member of the Bush campaign's veterans' advisory committee. The campaign said that it had not known that Mr. Cordier, a volunteer, was going to be in the spot and that he had resigned as a result of it.

Mr. Kerry's campaign filed a complaint last week with the Federal Election Commission about collaboration between Mr. Bush's campaign and the Swift Boat Veterans, activities that would violate the laws for the 527's.

Swift Boat Veterans portrays itself as an organic group opposed to Mr. Kerry. Yesterday, the chairman of the Federal Election Commission defended the group's right to advertise. But it has gradually acknowledged ties to people close to the Republican Party and Mr. Bush's campaign.

"It's another piece of evidence of the ties between the Bush campaign and this group," Chad Clanton, a spokesman for Mr. Kerry, said. Asked about his campaign's use of shared lawyers, Mr. Clanton said, "If the Bush campaign truly disapproved of this smear, their top lawyer wouldn't be involved.''

On Monday, the veterans' group acknowledged that a longtime Republican operative, Susan Arceneaux, was working for it and had taken out the post office box listed as the group's address. The group described Ms. Arceneaux's role, also, as "compliance."

Records also list Ms. Arceneaux as treasurer of the Majority Leader's Fund, a political action committee affiliated with the former House majority leader, Dick Armey of Texas, which like the Swift Boat Veterans received significant financing from Bob Perry, a Texan who has long supported Mr. Bush.

Mr. Perry has given $200,000 to Swift Boat Veterans. He is listed as co-host on an invitation to a fund-raiser next week at the Tavern on the Green in Manhattan. The invitation list includes President Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday. Mr. Rove has acknowledged through a spokesman to being friends with Mr. Perry.
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Brand X
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:28 am
Re: swift boat pissing contest
tomworthy wrote:
In all the frenzy of "he said they said" I have yet to hear the Kerry people say that these men were all there and have as much right to there opinion as John Kerry had to his.

Welcome to A2K!

Your're not going to hear them say it either, they're going to keep deflecting this torward Bush eventhough it's between Kerry and the Swifties.

Pathetically, Kerry is sending Cleland and Rassman to deliver a letter to Bush's ranch to get him to directly denounce the Swiftie charges.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:29 am
Well, if they are advertising based upon a lie, it is illegal.

But I agree. Let them say what they want to say. They've already been shown to be a complete sham, so why not let them keep digging the hole deeper?

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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:35 am
Bush will not denounce a single ad. He will demounce all the ads as Kerry should do.

Then, the ads should be allowed to keep doing what they are doing as free speech in America is just that. Free.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:39 am
Swift Boats and the Texas Nexus
New York Times Editorial
August 25, 2004
Swift Boats and the Texas Nexus

President Bush should stop evading responsibility and unequivocally condemn the attacks on Senator John Kerry's Vietnam War service that are being orchestrated by negative-campaign specialists deep in the heart of the Texas Republican machine. Mr. Bush says that Mr. Kerry's record is admirable and something to be proud of. Yet he allows these politically useful ads to continue spreading unfounded charges that Mr. Kerry fabricated his medal-winning experience as a Swift boat commander.

The attempt to contradict the federal government's own records about Mr. Kerry's record is the work of a transparently partisan group led by a longtime Kerry antagonist, John O'Neill, a Swift boat veteran recruited by the Nixon White House to counter Mr. Kerry's denunciations of the war when he returned from Vietnam. The operation's start-up money came from big-money Texas donors long supportive of Bush political causes; some principals have ties to the "independent" attack ads that blindsided another Vietnam veteran, Senator John McCain, in his 2000 primary contest with Mr. Bush.

Rather than single out the Swift boat group, Mr. Bush condemned all such stealth-party activities, Democratic and Republican, which have sprung up to evade legal restrictions on the flood of "soft money'' into political races. Mr. Bush called on Mr. Kerry to join in renouncing these specialists in low-blow politicking - an idea we applaud. This page has long criticized the Democrats' pioneering soft-money evasions, and the Federal Election Commission's refusal to control these rogue operations.

But the president had hardly finished speaking when the White House began sidestepping, insisting that Mr. Bush had not intended to single out the anti-Kerry ads as something that should be stopped. This is unfortunate. Senator McCain has called on the administration to "specifically condemn" the ads.

Senator Kerry invited debate on his war service by making it a keystone of his campaign. But that means fair debate. Some of the veterans in the ads criticizing Mr. Kerry have praised his courage in the past. No one has offered evidence to contradict the record. By failing to condemn the ads, Mr. Bush leaves the impression that he condones this effort to turn the historical record into a partisan blur.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:40 am
Denouncing all the ads, regardless of content, background, or purpose, is the same as denouncing driving entirely because someone got into a wreck.

I agree that we should work to close loopholes in our election system. But denouncing all the ads is ridiculous, simply because the purposes of the ads are different.

Republicans are quick to compare Moveon.org to SBVfT... but Moveon will keep running ads far beyond the time that SBVfT is gone. Why? Because they collected millions of dollars in Hard money donations from citizens, who wanted to see a new leader in the White House(long before Kerry was even considered, btw), as opposed to the Republican-funded soft money SBVfT....

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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 10:45 am
Texan funds anti-Kerry vets
Houston Republican gave $100,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
07:30 PM CDT on Friday, July 23, 2004
By WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN - Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, a major supporter of President Bush and the Republican Party, is the biggest financial backer of a veterans group seeking to discredit Democrat John Kerry's military service, according to federal records.

Mr. Perry gave $100,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that has been critical of Mr. Kerry's anti-war activities after he returned from Vietnam. That accounted for two-thirds of the organization's receipts to date.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth also has hired a Dallas-area private investigator to gather information about Mr. Kerry's three Purple Hearts. Group members, including some who served with Mr. Kerry, argue he did not deserve the medals and is not fit to be president.

The Kerry campaign has accused Swift Boat Veterans of being a politically motivated group with ties to the Republican Party and the Bush administration. The Bush campaign says it is not associated with the group.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Perry, said the Houston businessman is "a self-proclaimed Republican" who has supported many candidates and causes.

"He gives money where he believes it's needed and serves a good interest," Mr. Miller said.

Federal law restricts individual contributions to candidates, but independent groups such as Swift Boat Veterans can accept unrestricted donations. The groups are forbidden from coordinating their activities with candidates.

Mr. Perry is one of the most prolific contributors in Texas. He has donated more than $5 million to state candidates and causes since January 2000 and several hundred thousand dollars to national candidates and the GOP.

According to the organization's filing with the IRS, Swift Boat Veterans raised $158,750 from April through June 30. Other contributions included $25,000 each from Houston lawyer John O'Neill and Dallas developer Harlan Crow.

The report also shows that the group paid $3,179 to Rockwall private investigator Tom Rupprath. Veterans contacted by Mr. Rupprath, who has declined to comment, say he has sought to misrepresent them to damage Mr. Kerry.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 11:16 am
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 11:25 am
If they are false, Kerry should sue them.
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Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 11:42 am
To what end? There's nothing to be gained by suing them. It would never be resolved before the election, so what is the point?

Not to mention the fact that suing the SBVfT could backfire on Kerry immensely; he doesn't want to be seen as someone who has to resort to the court system to prove his innocence.... and he shouldn't have to.

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