The Bush White House has denied any connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth – the group that has been airing factually unsupportable smear ads against Sen. John Kerry’s war record. But a new report today shows that one of the key accusers in the smear ads was a lobbyist for a company that recently received a massive federal contract from the Bush administration.
As the Washington Post reports, Rear Admiral William L. Schachte Jr., the man who claims Kerry was not under fire when he received his first Purple Heart, is a top lobbyist for a defense contractor that recently won a $40 million grant from the Bush administration. According to a March 18 legal filing by Schachte’s firm, Blank Rome, Schachte was one of the lobbyists working for FastShip’s effort to secure federal contracts. On Feb. 2, FastShip announced the Bush administration had awarded it $40 million.
Schachte has other connections to the Bush administration. The Washington Post notes David Norcross, Schachte’s colleague in the Washington office of Blank Rome, is chairman of this week’s Republican convention in New York. Records show that Schachte gave $1,000 to Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns. Additionally, Schachte helped organize veterans’ efforts against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and for Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary.
This is not the first member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who has been revealed to be connected to the President. The Bush-Cheney campaign’s top outside lawyer was forced to resign after he admitted providing legal services to the veterans group. The Bush-Cheney campaign’s veterans adviser was also featured in one of the smear ads.