Bush Nominee to Federal Bench May Have Lied about His Participation in GOP Attorney General Scheme to Shake Down Companies They Regulate
Interview with Elliot Minceberg, vice president and legal director, People for the American Way, conducted by Scott Harris
Since coming to office, the Bush administration has put forward a long list of staunchly conservative nominees for the federal bench. The Democrats in the U.S. Senate, where confirmation hearings are conducted, have approved 133 of the White House nominees and employed the filibuster to block two individuals for what they consider extremist judicial views.
But a wider controversy has now erupted around the nomination of Alabama state Attorney General William Pryor Jr. to the federal appeals court for the 11th circuit. His rigid opposition to abortion, civil rights and individual liberties make it likely that Senate Democrats might once again filibuster the nomination. But documents provided to the Judiciary Committee shortly before a scheduled vote on the nominee, revealed that Pryor may have lied in previous testimony regarding his participation in a scheme by GOP attorney generals to seek campaign contributions from companies they regulate. The Republican Attorney's General Association or RAGA, had successfully solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from corporations in six states, which were then sent to the Republican National Committee without a paper trail.
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who as a former attorney general participated in RAGA fundraising himself, accused a former employee who leaked the documents of stealing evidence and threatened legal action against her. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Elliot Minceberg, vice president and legal director with People for the American Way, who examines the Pryor nomination and the serious ethical issues involved in a system where political payoffs were solicited from potential targets of investigation.
Contact People for the American Way by calling (202) 467-4999 or visit their website at www.pfaw.org
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