No wetland left behind
According to documents obtained by USA Today, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture paid a freelance writer $9,375 to "research and write articles for hunting and fishing magazines describing the benefits of NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) programs." The stories, however, had less to do with conservation and more to do with promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of a 2002 agricultural subsidy bill.
The new info comes on the heels of the controversy over Video News Releases, Armstrong Williams (a conservative journalist who was paid $240,000 to promote No Child Left Behind), James Guckert/Jeff Gannon, and news that the Health and Human Services Department paid columnists to advise the dept. on its marriage initiatives, write brochures, and train staff.
Since Bush took office, contracts for public relations work have jumped from $39 million to $88.2 million in 2004.