Friday, August 03, 2007

Lobbyists, Democrats pressure Bush, Pakistan government for fair elections

This is the first time in Pakistani electoral history i've seen such an organized campaign to get someone out of office. Bhutto has her work cut out for herself, but it also seems odd that she is sleeping with the very enemy she seeks to do away with.

I've copied some salient lines below, and the article gives some good background info as well.

"Lobbyists for a Pakistani opposition party are urging top Democrats to press the Bush administration and President Pervez Musharraf to promote free and fair elections in Pakistan this year.

Under contract with the Pakistan People’s Party, led by former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, lobbyists with BKSH & Associates have made dozens of contacts with Capitol Hill, the State Department and think tanks around Washington.

“Our key message has not wavered: Robust U.S. support for free and fair, internationally monitored elections in Pakistan remains critical, as does U.S. support for the safe return and participation of opposition candidates,” a BKSH director, Lisa Cotter Colangelo, said.

Her firm has earned more than $80,000 since January for its work on behalf of Bhutto’s party, according to records filed with the Justice Department.

Led by Cotter Colangelo, who has more than 15 years of experience in representing foreign opposition parties, BKSH is using its partners to help Bhutto’s party.

BKSH’s affiliate, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, has worked on polling research for the party.

Parent company Burson-Marsteller LLC is handling an extensive media campaign, with the former Coalition Provisional Authority’s communications director in Iraq, Robert Tappan, taking the reins.

Lobbyists have handed out several op-eds critical of Musharraf, including columns by Bhutto and an editorial by The New York Times, entitled “Propping up the General.”

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tom Tancredo is at it again

I'm going to let Tancredo's statements speak for themselves because they speak volumes! It is disappointing and extremely horrifying that an elected official in the US can not only say such things, but get away with it.

I hope anyone reading this calls his office and gives them a piece of their mind.

Republican candidate advocates threat to bomb Islamic holy sites as response to terrorist attack on U.S.

2007-08-02 19:10:39 -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo says the best way he can think of to deter a nuclear terrorist attack on the U.S. is to threaten to retaliate by bombing Islamic holy sites.
The Colorado congressman on Tuesday told about 30 people at a town hall meeting in the state of Iowa that he believes such a terrorist attack could be imminent and that the U.S. needs to hurry up and think of a way to stop it.
«If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,» Tancredo said at the Family Table restaurant. «Because that's the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they otherwise might do.
Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia, are Islam's holiest cities. All able-bodied Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage there at least once in their lives. Tancredo's comments were recorded and posted on the Web site
A Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group responded in anger Thursday, calling Tancredo's statement «unworthy of anyone seeking public office in the United States.
«Perhaps it's evidence of a long-shot candidate grasping at straws and trying to create some kind of a controversy that might appeal to a niche audience of anti-Muslim bigots,» said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Campaign spokesman, Alan Moore, said Tancredo stands by his statement.
This is not the first time Tancredo has suggested taking extreme action against Mecca and Medina.
In 2005, he drew international criticism after he told a radio talk show host that «you could take out» Islamic holy sites if terrorists ever launched a nuclear attack against the United States.