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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Penn Hardly Gone from Clinton Campaign

George Wenschhof

The day after Maggie Williams, the Clinton campaign manager announced that Mark Penn was no longer the strategist for the campaign, Penn was participating in conference calls with the press on behalf of Senator Hillary Clinton. Read more here:

Then, in an even more ironic twist, Howard Wolfson who is reportedly Penn's replacement in Clinton's campaign is said to have an equity interest in the firm Glover Park Group. This firm has a $40,000 per month contract with Colombia to represent it's interest in trade agreements with the U.S. This situation with Howard Wolfson apparently still having equity in a firm representing the interests of Colombia is further illustration of the tangled web of money and influence in politics today. Read more here:

Prior to the Pennsylvania primary, a state hit hard by lost jobs, union pressure to fire Penn increased with Gerry McEntee, president of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) asking Clinton to fire Penn.

President George W. Bush, perhaps sensing the political implications in the national election for president, sent the Colombia FTA, (free trade agreement) legislation to congress. Democratic leaders expressed their dismay at his move and promised to work for defeat of this legislation.

Now, Senator Clinton needs to send a clear message as to her position in regard to the Colombia FTA legislation submitted by the Bush administration. The best way to do so is to truly fire Mark Penn and show the complete removal of his influence on her campaign. Clinton should also ask that Wolfson sell his equity, if any, in the Glover Park Group.

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