Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Norquist Watch

Turns out that Microsoft has had other cretins and nitwits on retainer other than Ralph Reed. They've paid Grover "Barf Bag" Norquist as well:

Nor is Reed the first prominent Republican hired by the company. Records show that Microsoft paid Grover Norquist $60,000 in 1999. Norquist is founder of Americans For Tax Reform, an influential conservative group that has close ties with the White House and with Republican leaders in Congress.

The company also hired Barbour, Griffin & Rogers at a cost of $180,000. One of the firm's principals, Haley Barbour, is the former head of the Republican National Committee who is now governor of Mississippi.

Public interest groups that track business influence and lobbying in Washington, D.C., said it isn't surprising that Microsoft -- or any major company -- would sign up a Republican operative.

Republican leaders, most notably House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, have told companies that they need to shift business to Republican-leaning firms or lobbyists if they want a reception on Capitol Hill. The initiative is called the K Street Project, after the street in Washington, D.C., where many lobbyists have offices.

"It's inarguable that the K Street Project has been effective getting Republican lobbyists and consultants hired for high-profile assignments," said Steve Weiss, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent watchdog group.

"Organizations and companies know that Republicans are watching."

And we're watching them, and we buy their products. And they need to remember that the Repugs aren't forever, no matter what DeLay et al think.


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