10/18/2005

Daily Kos: Charges possible over Armstrong Williams propaganda

Administration payola may have consequences.

Congressional auditors last month found that the $240,000 contract violated a ban on "covert propaganda" and said the Education Department should ask for some of the money back. Higgins, while criticizing the deal as "bad management" of tax dollars, found no ethical breaches during his investigation. He issued that report on April 15.

But in the letter sent to Lautenberg, Higgins says he is "currently working" with the U.S. attorney's office on an investigation. Lautenberg has pressed for fraud charges, and his office said Friday that the U.S. attorney's office has "an active investigation" of the contract.

Justice Department spokesman Channing Phillips said Justice is merely "working with the Department of Education in reviewing the matter." He wouldn't say whether Williams could face any charges.

Williams? While he could face charges for failing to carry out the terms of his contract, the people who should be facing the heat are those in the Education Department who signed off on this payola scheme.

Then we can cue the "criminalization of politics" talking points.

Daily Kos: Charges possible over Armstrong Williams propaganda

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