Evidence continues to mount that the Bush administration is in bed with business groups. The latest proof is an email, provided to the Washington Post by a disenchanted lobbyist, that described a campaign to undermine environmental, health, and safety regulations. A Republican congressional aide to the House subcommittee overseeing federal regulations sent the email in late September to a dozen lobbyists (think U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Farm Bureau types) inviting them to a secret brainstorming session to discuss regulations they found too burdensome. The aide, Barbara Kahlow, explained that President Bush’s controversial regulatory czar, John Graham, wanted to work confidentially with lobbyists to target onerous rules; a chart included in her email, listing 57 such rules, was labeled “non-public” (in boldface with underlining). Confronted with the email and chart, Graham denied contributing to or even seeing the list and vowed not to change any regulations without input from affected agencies and the public.
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