Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Who Is Ken Mehlman?

Right now Ken Mehlman is the Chairman of the Republican National Committee and the public face for Karl Rove's policies. That is to say, when a blatantly false statement needs to be repeated endlessly by the White House, Ken Mehlman is the fast-talker who broadcasts the lies and deceptions created by George W. Bush's deputy chief of staff. It's Ken Mehlman who tells the Bush administration's version of he truth at breakneck speed and seemingly without taking a breath. This motormouth facility is invaluable on news shows where bytes are kept short and often with only one point of view. But where did Mehlman come from? Mehlman is young (38) and smart. He got a B.A. in government from the Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA in 1988 and a law degree from Harvard in 1991. He was still at Harvard when he worked on Bill Weld's successful campaign to become Governor of Massachusetts in 1990. After graduating from Harvard Law, Mehlman practiced environmental law for three years in Washington D.C. for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld. Then he began to concentrate on politics. He worked on GHW Bush's 1992 re-election campaign. In 1994 he was legislative director for Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX). He then worked on Representative Kay Gould's (R-TX) 1996 and 1998 campaigns and was her chief of staff. He worked on Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign. It was Mehlman who thought up what has been called the “historic Iowa model” used in the 2000 primaries, which garnered the “highest percentage of Republican votes in caucus history”. His model for building strong grassroots teams was also used in MD, VA and SC. Mehlman was made Deputy Assistant to GWBush and Director of White House Political Affairs in 2000. With those titles behind his name, he worked with Federal agencies, Congress, state parties and community organizations to manage the Bush political agenda. In 2004, Mehlman was Campaign manager for Bush-Cheney and credits his mobilization of grassroots workers and pushing forward the “Bush message” with the fact that (according to Mehlman) “the red states have turned redder while the blue states have turned purple.” Mehlman would have us believe he is a true-believer in the GOP agenda. Maybe so. But it's certain Mehlman is a true-believer in Mehlman. And he also seems to be a true-believer in the Karl Rove model of using character assassination, dirty-tricks, lies, deception and voter fraud just in case a candidate cannot win on his merits. It's not easy to find info on Ken Mehlman and I have used data from the John Kennedy Jr. Forum News article posted on December 15, 2004.

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