Friday, July 20, 2007

Hit Piece on Fred Thompson

The New York Times must be getting nervous about Fred Thompson's chances to win the presidency. Yesterday they published an article (below) clearly intended to be a hit piece. Perhaps they don't understand that most people DO understand that lawyers take clients and argue positions all the time that they (the lawyers) don't agree with. Actually I do hope that Fred Thompson wants Roe v. Wade overturned, but also wants abortion legal in the first three months, since it's identical to my own position.

Records Show Ex-Senator’s Work for Family Planning Unit

By JO BECKER, New York Times, July 19, 2007

Billing records show that former Senator Fred Thompson spent nearly 20 hours working as a lobbyist on behalf of a group seeking to ease restrictive federal rules on abortion counseling in the 1990s, even though he recently said he did not recall doing any work for the organization.

According to records from Arent Fox, the law firm based in Washington where Mr. Thompson worked part-time from 1991 to 1994, he charged the organization, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, about $5,000 for work he did in 1991 and 1992. The records show that Mr. Thompson, a probable Republican candidate for president in 2008, spent much of that time in telephone conferences with the president of the group, and on three occasions he reported lobbying administration officials on its behalf.

Mr. Thompson’s work for the family planning agency has become an issue because he is positioning himself as a faithful conservative who is opposed to abortion.

Earlier this month, Mr. Thompson disputed accounts by the group’s former president and others, saying through a spokesman that he had “no recollection” of doing anything to aid the group’s efforts to overturn a rule banning federally financed clinics from dispensing information about abortion to pregnant women. At most, said Mr. Thompson’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, he “may have been consulted by one of the firm’s partners who represented this group.”

Yesterday, Mr. Corallo said the family planning group was an Arent Fox client.
“The firm consulted with Fred Thompson,” he said. “It is not unusual for a lawyer to give counsel at the request of colleagues, even when they personally disagree with the issue.”

From the time he was elected to the Senate from Tennessee in 1994 until he left office in early 2003, Mr. Thompson voted for every abortion restriction measure as well as a ban on government financed abortion for Defense Department personnel. He has also said that he opposes the Roe v. Wade decision because it establishes a federal right to abortion, an issue that he says should be left to the states.

But his record on abortion has not always been as clear cut. In questionnaires Mr. Thompson answered during his 1994 Senate campaign, for instance, he checked a box stating that he believed abortion should be legal under any circumstances during the first three months of pregnancy and said, “I do not believe that abortion should be criminalized.” He has also opposed a constitutional amendment banning all abortion, also on the grounds of states’ rights.

But in answering questions by the conservative Tennessee group Flare during the 1994 campaign, Mr. Thompson promised not to support tax-financed clinics that recommend “abortion as a method of birth control.”

His representation of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which was trying to overturn the ban on abortion counseling, put him at odds with the anti-abortion movement, which considered the ban a crucial victory.

The billing records from Arent Fox show that Mr. Thompson, who charged about $250 an hour, spoke 22 times with Judith DeSarno, who was then president of the family planning group. In addition, he lobbied “administration officials” for a total of 3.3 hours, the records show, although they do not specify which officials he met with or what was said.

The billing records, along with meeting minutes from the association, show that Arent Fox was hired to help overturn the ban.

The family planning association became a client of Arent Fox through Michael Barnes, a former Democratic congressman who was then a partner at the firm. The firm’s current chairman, Marc Fleischaker, said, “Regardless of whatever the political ramifications are, Fred was being a good colleague by helping out one of the firm’s partner.”

After his work for the family planning group was made public earlier this month, Mr. Thompson sought to distance his own positions from those that he took on behalf of clients he represented as a lobbyist and a lawyer.

In a column published on the conservative blog Powerline, Mr. Thompson wrote that in light of lawyer-client confidentiality, it would not be appropriate for him to respond to those who are “dredging up clients — or another lawyer’s clients — that I may have represented or consulted with” 15 or 20 years ago.

If “a client has a legal and ethical right to take a position, then you may appropriately represent him as long as he does not lie or otherwise conduct himself improperly while you are representing him,” he wrote.

He continued, “In almost 30 years of practicing law I must have had hundreds of clients and thousands of conversations about legal matters. Like any good lawyer, I would always try to give my best, objective, and professional opinion on any legal question presented to me.”


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At 5:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Fred Thompson is just as capable of being president as any of the other Republican candidates who have tossed their hats in the ring. As for Democratic runners, there isn't one that would make a pimple on a good president's butt. This country has enough Socialists.

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

since we will probably never have the "perfect candidate", when all is said and done, I will review the overall record of each on my own morality scale and make a prioritized decision based on several factors.

As the late Cardinal O'Connor of NYC said, we have to use a moral scale and make a choice.

Example: On the Abortion issue, if I don't have a clear choice of a lifelong Pro-Life Candidate, then I have to look at the history and level of Pro-Abortion Support of the choices (no pun intended).

Let's compare the record of someone like Ted Kennedy vs. any of the current Republican Candidates.

My Research of Kennedy could end at the BORK HEARINGS. I'd also look at the strong words he used on the Senate Floor and other speeches where he clearly favored Abortion.

He has obviously had an impact on keeping Abortion Legal for all 9 monthes.

(Did I ever say that his Mother died on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and her nickname was ROSE, which is the Pro-Life symbol?)

Anyway, I then repeat the process on other issues that I believe in, then make a choice of who I will support.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that Freds first reflex, when pressed with what might be damaging accusations, was to LIE.

Hell TO The NO on Fred Thompson.

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord, I was a consultant for years in computers. 20 hours of work over a 2 year period is NOTHING. Probably pushing a few papers around and filing bureaucratic crap. If pressed to remember those small projects I worked on over the years, I wouldn't either. But no... HE LIED! Cause he didn't remember 20 hours worth of work some 15+ years ago.

20 hours is NOTHING. It's not enough time to do anything but some grunt work.

If he was leading the case.. put in hundreds of hours, you'd have a point.. I remember my big projects too.. but my little ones? Fixing a few things at an hour here..2 hours there over the course of two years? Come on.

Oh and his complete 100% voting record in the senate where it actually matters the most? Doesn't matter I guess. Irrelevant. Ok. Sure.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all have proof that Bill Clinton lied because it's documented. To say that Fred Thompson lied or Bush lied and people died, is just another pinhead Liberal ploy to sway the minds of voters. Why didn't Bill Clinton get a prison sentence like Scooter Libby? Sure,-- Fred is an actor, but so was Ronald Reagan, and everyone knows that he turned out to be the best President in our lifetime.

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"20 hours is NOTHING."

Every 24 Hours over 1,000 babies are aborted. For 20 hours he got paid to advote for thier murder. Is that STILL Nothing to you? 1000 babies were murdered on his watch as far as I am concerend. It doesnt suprise me that he would want lie and cover his arse. Luckily for him there are people like yourself who are willing to turn a blind eye to the murder of these babies so he could buy his wife bigger tits.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Don Jones said...

To the previous commenter, get a life.
The fact that the giant NYT is gagging at this gnat, when they swallow elephants daily, makes one wonder what is behind this? From where comes the zest? It is almost fanatical.

They believe he will win. Well if he does, be sure and sell your stock in the NYT. He did not at all appreciate the way they treated Jeri.

Fred let the media dig all through his papers at UT which were on loan. He could have gone over there and recovered his papers but no, he let them dig.

Does that sound like a man with someting to hide? Check the records and see. It is overkill and sick on someone's part.

Don Jones


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