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[greenyes] Pres. Bush and Sound Science
Oh, now I understand what "sound science" is. Silly me.

                                        Peter


PULL QUOTE: "A National Marine Fisheries Service biologist, Michael Kelly,
has asked for protection under federal "whistle-blower" laws, saying he was
subjected to political pressure to go along with the low-water plan and
ordered to ignore scientific evidence casting doubt on the plan. This month,
a federal judge ruled the administration violated the Endangered Species Act
in the way it justified the water diversion."

WALL STREET JOURNAL - 7/31/03


Oregon Water Saga Illuminates
Rove's Methods With Agencies
By TOM HAMBURGER
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

WASHINGTON -- In a darkened conference room, White House political
strategist Karl Rove was making an unusual address to 50 top managers at the
U.S. Interior Department. Flashing color slides, he spoke of poll results,
critical constituencies -- and water levels in the Klamath River basin.

At the time of the meeting, in January 2002, Mr. Rove had just returned from
accompanying President Bush on a trip to Oregon , where they visited with a
Republican senator facing re-election. Republican leaders there wanted to
support their agricultural base by diverting water from the river basin to
nearby farms, and Mr. Rove signaled that the administration did, too.

Three months later, Interior Secretary Gale Norton stood with Sen. Gordon
Smith in Klamath Falls and opened the irrigation-system head gates that
increased the water supply to 220,000 acres of farmland -- a policy shift
that continues to stir bitter criticism from environmentalists and Indian
tribes.

Though Mr. Rove's clout within the administration often is celebrated, this
episode offers a rare window into how he works behind the scenes to get
things done. One of them is with periodic visits to cabinet departments.
Over the past two years Mr. Rove or his top aide, Kenneth Mehlman -- now
manager of Mr. Bush's re-election campaign -- have visited nearly every
agency to outline White House campaign priorities, review polling data and,
on occasion, call attention to tight House, Senate and gubernatorial races
that could be affected by regulatory action.

Every administration has used cabinet resources to promote its election
interests. But some presidential scholars and former federal and White House
officials say the systematic presentation of polling data and campaign
strategy goes beyond what Mr. Rove's predecessors have done.

"...

"...

"...

Klamath River water levels were an issue at least as far back as the 2000
presidential campaign. During the unusually dry summer of 2001, angry
farmers stormed the head gates to forcibly release water, but the Bush
administration generally resisted their demands. In 2002, the issue
continued to loom large as Mr. Smith faced a potentially difficult
re-election challenge.

On Jan. 5, Mr. Rove accompanied the president to an appearance in Portland
with Mr. Smith. The president signaled his desire to accommodate
agricultural interests, saying "We'll do everything we can to make sure
water is available for those who farm."

The next day, Mr. Rove made sure that commitment didn't fall through the
cracks. He visited the 50 Interior managers attending a department retreat
at a Fish and Wildlife Service conference center in Shepherdstown, W.Va. In
a PowerPoint presentation Mr. Rove also uses when soliciting Republican
donors, he brought up the Klamath and made clear that the administration was
siding with agricultural interests.

His remarks weren't entirely welcome -- especially by officials grappling
with the competing arguments made by environmentalists, who wanted river
levels high to protect endangered salmon, and Indian tribes, who depend on
the salmon for their livelihoods. Neil McCaleb, then an assistant Interior
secretary, recalls the "chilling effect" of Mr. Rove's remarks. Wayne Smith,
then with the department's Bureau of Indian Affairs, says Mr. Rove reminded
the managers of the need to "support our base." Both men since have left the
department.

An Interior spokesman, Mark Pfeifle, says Mr. Rove spoke in general terms
about the Klamath conflict in the course of a broader discussion. Without
directing a policy outcome, Mr. Pfeifle says, Mr. Rove simply "indicated the
need to help the basin's farmers."

In the end, that is what happened when Interior reversed its previous stance
and released more water. Mr. Rove's intervention wasn't the only reason. Mr.
McCaleb himself says the biggest factor was a report from the independent
National Research Council, which questioned the basis on which Interior
scientists had made earlier Klamath flow decisions.

But Mr. Rove didn't let the matter drop after the Shepherdstown meeting.
Weeks later, he returned to Oregon and met with a half-dozen or so farmers
and ranchers. Thereafter, the White House formed a cabinet-level task force
on Klamath issues. The results became clear on March 29, when the water was
released to parched farms.

That hasn't ended the controversy. Environmentalists blame the change in
water levels for the subsequent death of more than 30,000 salmon, calling it
the largest fish kill in the history of the West.

A National Marine Fisheries Service biologist, Michael Kelly, has asked for
protection under federal "whistle-blower" laws, saying he was subjected to
political pressure to go along with the low-water plan and ordered to ignore
scientific evidence casting doubt on the plan. This month, a federal judge
ruled the administration violated the Endangered Species Act in the way it
justified the water diversion.

"...

"...

"...
______________________________
Peter Anderson
RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING Corp
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address





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