Thursday, February 12, 2004

Unbelievable. Wingers want to politicize executive hiring 

There's a word for this: It's totalitarian. (We won't use the "F" word, but feel free to think it.)

WaPo here:

Republican activists ...were angry that the tax and financial services preparation company had recently hired Nicholas J. Spaeth, a Democrat, as the company's senior vice president and chief legal officer. Spaeth, based at the company's headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., is responsible for overseeing "the functions of the company's business units" as well as its government relations activities.

Republicans feel very strongly about this type of thing. They've organized the "K Street Project," an effort to identify the partisan ties of lobbyists so the White House and others will know who's a loyal Republican and who's not.

"[H&R Block] runs a Democratic shop. They're insulting to Republicans. They don't understand Republicans," said Grover Norquist, one of the forces behind the K Street Project.

Either that, or they understand Republicans entirely too well.

Linda McDougall, vice president for corporate communications at H&R Block, said Spaeth's politics, whatever they might be, had nothing to do with his appointment or with his work.

"We looked at skills in doing the job, not in the points of view," she said.

She noted that the company's political action committee contributions for the 2001-2002 campaign cycle and for 2003 were split 50-50 between Republican and Democratic candidates. She also said Sarah Wilson, a legislative assistant in the Washington office, worked for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The company's even-handed PAC contributions did not impress Norquist.

"That is so 1984. So they have no interest in legislation in this town?" Norquist said. "That is so lazy."

Thanks, Grover, for making it crystal clear that under the Republican yoke, everything is pay to play. You'll never drown the baby in the bathtub that way!

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