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Commentary :: Government & Elections

BTL:Bush Avoids Accountability in Iraq-WMD Blame Game

Interview with Scott Ritter, former chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
2004 Presidential Election Campaign To Break All Spending Records Big contributors get what they pay for

Interview with Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, conducted by Scott Harris

Early on in this year's race for the White House, President Bush and his Democratic opponents Sen. John Kerry and former Vermont governor Howard Dean declined federal matching funds and spending limits for their primary campaigns, signaling what may be the nations' most costly presidential campaign ever. Although the United States Supreme Court recently upheld key provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation banning soft money, the new law will have little effect in reigning in profligate spending by big corporations and special interest groups.

Already President Bush has amassed more than $130 million dollars for his re-election bid. The bankrupt and discredited Enron Company is Bush's top career patron, having contributed more than $600,000 dollars to his various campaigns. Other industries backing the president include the nation's top financial investment firms such as Merrill Lynch and big credit card companies like MBNA.

The Democratic Party's likely candidate, John Kerry, lists personal assets between $200 million and $800 million - primarily through his wife's wealth. During his political career, Kerry has received critical support from media giant Time Warner, big banks and powerful law firms.

The public, exposed to a succession of major financial scandals, is ever more cynical about U.S. politics and asking tough questions about the role big money plays in shaping public policy. Between The Lines Scott Harris spoke with Charles Lewis, founder and executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, who discusses this year's presidential campaign and the investigative research found in his new book titled, "The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and his Democratic Challengers and What They Can Expect in Return."

Contact the Center for Public Integrity by calling (202) 466-1300 or visit their website at His book, "The Buying of the President 2004" is published by Perennial.

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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©2004 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.

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