Department of Education Money Spent on Bush Ads
by Chris Bowers, Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 08:37:25 PM EDT
The government used a similar approach this year in promoting the new Medicare law and drew a rebuke from the investigative arm of Congress, which found the videos amounted to propaganda in violation of federal law.
The Education Department also has paid for rankings of newspaper coverage of the No Child Left Behind law, a centerpiece of the president's domestic agenda. Points are awarded for stories that say President Bush and the Republican Party are strong on education, among other factors.
The news ratings also rank individual reporters on how they cover the law, based on the points system set up by Ketchum, a public relations firm hired by the government.
The video and documents emerged through a Freedom of Information Act request by People for the American Way, a liberal group that contends the department is spending public money on a political agenda. The group sought details on a $700,000 contract Ketchum received in 2003 from the Education Department.While underfunding its own education initiatives by more than $7B, the Bush administration instead illegally spends taxpayer money designated for education on campaign propaganda.