Inside the system
November 14, 2003 | Page 4
A wake for clean air
STAFFERS AT the general counsel's office at the Environmental Protection Agency had a fun Halloween party this year. It was billed as a wake for the Clean Air Act.
About five dozen career staff from the counsel's office and from around the building attended the event, which featured "wanted" posters of Jeffrey R. Holmstead, assistant administrator for air and radiation, sporting a mustache.
The posters said: "Wanted: suspected in the untimely death of C.A. Adams. [CAA is the common shorthand for the Clean Air Act] Reward: $27,500 per violation per day." Those are the penalties for violations of the CAA.
This election brought to you by...
IN A move that takes corporate funding of politics out of the backrooms and puts it right up front for everyone to see, the cash-strapped South Carolina Democratic Party has come up with a new plan. Get advertisers to pay for its first-in-the-South February 3 Democratic presidential primary.
State party Chairman Joe Erwin, a Greenville marketing executive by trade, sees corporate logos on ballots as a way to pay the bills for the primary. He plans to use corporate sponsorships to help raise $500,000.
So why advertise on a primary ballot or other election materials? "Some statewide corporation may want their company identified with democracy," Erwin said.
About three months ago, Erwin said the party was starting from scratch on raising the money. State Democrats plan to raise some of it from soft-money donations that won't have to be disclosed, but if a corporation wants to give a little extra to slap its name on a ballot, a media backdrop--or pretty much anything--Erwin will consider it. It's a takeoff on the way ballparks sell ads on scoreboards or the backs of seats.
"You do what you have to do," he said, "as long as you do it legally and with integrity." Sponsorships and logos "somewhat changes the nature of politics," Erwin concluded, "but boy, isn't it consistent with the way things are changing?"
Heard it through the grapevine
"IF I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer. You've got to blow that thing up."
"IT DOES [bother me] that they used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff...I don't know why they filmed it, or why they say the things they do, you know."
"LISTEN, WE'RE making good progress in Iraq. Sometimes it's hard to tell it when you listen to the filter [of the media]."
"IN BAGHDAD, official control over the news is getting tighter. Journalists used to walk freely into the city's hospitals and the morgue to keep count of the day's dead and wounded. Now the hospitals have been declared off-limits, and morgue officials turn away reporters who aren't accompanied by a Coalition escort."
"AND THE second question: can you promise a year from now that you will have reduced the number of troops in Iraq?"
"THE SECOND question is a trick question, so I won't answer it."
"HATE HER! The only thing she's going to be remembered for is standing by her man, and that is really sad. She had a shot, and she really blew it."