A BUSH WATCH SPECIAL:
DUBYA AND THE GRAVEDIGGER. ...Austin, Texas...www.bushwatch.com...

"By far the best of the sites devoted to an individual candidate is Bush Watch, created to keep an eye on Bush.
All the news and incisive analysis of the candidate's campaign." London (UK) Independent, 5/10/99

BACKGROUND

Funeralgate Timeline

Molly Ivins Summary

Ex-funeral agency chief settles suit

11/09/2001

By GEORGE KUEMPEL / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – A former state funeral home regulator who said she was wrongfully fired for investigating a large funeral home chain operated by a longtime family friend ofGeorge W. Bush has settled her 2-year-old whistleblower lawsuit for $210,000.

The state will pay Eliza May and her lawyers $155,000 and Houston-based Service Corp. International will pay $55,000, said sources familiar with the agreement.

Ms. May contended in her lawsuit that she was fired in 1999 as executive director of the Texas Funeral Service Commission after SCI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Waltrip met with Joe Allbaugh, a top aide to Mr. Bush while he was governor, to complain about the agency's investigation of the company's homes.

After the investigation, fines totaling about $450,000 were assessed against more than 20 of SCI's affiliated funeral homes for using unlicensed embalmers. SCI has appealed, and a state hearings officer is expected to rule soon on the case.

Neither SCI, Mr. Bush nor any of the other defendants admit wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement. Attorney General John Cornyn, who was also named as a defendant as a result of a legal opinion he wrote that was favorable to SCI, represented the state in the case.

SCI spokesman Greg Bolton said only that the case has been settled to everyone's satisfaction.

"I'm told all of the parties to this litigation and their attorneys have agreed to a compromise settlement agreement, which has resulted in the dismissal of all claims," he said.

Harry Whittington of Austin, who was named presiding officer of the Funeral Service Commission after a major shakeup of agency in 1999, said his board reluctantly agreed to pay $50,000 as part of the settlement to end the 2-year-old case.

It was unclear which state agency or agencies put up the other $105,000.

Derek Howard, one of Ms. May's Austin lawyers, said he couldn't discuss terms of the agreement. "We're glad the matter has been resolved by way of settlement," he said.

Mr. Bush, Mr. Allbaugh, and the other defendants had previously denied wrongdoing.

Ms. May's lawyers had accused Mr. Bush of improperly intervening in the funeral commission investigation as a favor to his friend, Mr. Waltrip.

Mr. Waltrip served as a trustee for the George Bush Presidential Library, and SCI donated more than $100,000 toward its construction. Mr. Waltrip also contributed $45,000 to the younger Mr. Bush's gubernatorial campaigns.

While governor, Mr. Bush had dismissed the lawsuit as "frivolous" and filed a statement saying he "had no conversations with SCI officials, agents or representatives concerning the investigation or any dispute arising from it."

But Newsweek reported that Mr. Bush had briefly appeared in a meeting that Mr. Allbaugh was holding in his state office with Mr. Waltrip and SCI lawyer Johnnie B. Rogers of Austin.

Mr. Rogers was quoted by the magazine as saying that Mr. Bush addressed Mr. Waltrip, saying, "Hey, Bobby, are those people still messing with you?"

According to the magazine, when Mr. Waltrip responded "Yes," the governor turned his attention to Mr. Rogers. The magazine quoted Mr. Rogers as saying that Mr. Bush said, "Hey, Johnnie B., are you taking care of him?"

Asked about the report, Mr. Bush said he didn't remember what he said during the exchange. Mr. Rogers said he was misquoted.

Mr. Allbaugh went on to manage Mr. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and is director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.



Nov. 9, 2001, 12:26PM

Gov. Perry approves lawsuit settlement

Ex-official claimed probe caused firing

Associated Press

AUSTIN -- Gov. Rick Perry has approved a settlement in a lawsuit filed by a former Texas regulator who accused President Bush of hindering an investigation into a funeral services company when he was governor, Perry's office said Thursday.

Former Texas Funeral Service Commission Director Eliza May alleged she was fired in 1999 because of her investigation into SCI, the world's largest funeral company.

Perry approved the settlement about a week ago, spokeswoman Kathy Walt said.

A source close to the case told the Associated Press the settlement was for $210,000. The funeral services company, Houston-based Service Corp. International, was to pay about $55,000 and the state was to pay the rest.

Walt did not immediately know the terms of the agreement and May's attorney Derek Howard said any terms were to be confidential. He said he signed off on the deal about one month ago.

"We're glad the lawsuit has been settled," he said, adding he could not elaborate under terms of the agreement in which the state did not admit any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for Texas Attorney General John Cornyn said he was unaware of a final settlement.

SCI attorney Pat Lochridge said he did not know the lawsuit was final.

The company's top executive contributed to Bush's political campaigns.

May sued the funeral commission, SCI and its chairman and chief executive officer, Robert Waltrip. She later added then-Gov. Bush and Cornyn as defendants, alleging they were part of a conspiracy to protect SCI and Waltrip, a Bush contributor.

Howard wanted to question Cornyn about a June 1999 opinion he issued favoring the funeral home company. That decision reversed an earlier decision by the attorney general's office that it would be inappropriate for the attorney general to issue an opinion on a contested matter such as the SCI investigation.

SCI is appealing a recommended fine of $450,000 for illegal embalming practices, Lochridge said.


FEATURED QUOTES.

" McNeil, chairman of the nine-member funeral service commission, said Bush has never tried to interfere in the agency's investigation of SCI's embalming practices....McNeil said his only conversation about the controversy came at a Bush campaign stop in Fort Worth last fall. McNeil said he shook the governor's hand and said, 'I sure hope we haven't embarrassed you.' He said Bush told him, 'I will be embarrassed if you have not done your job.' " Ken Herman, Austin American-Statesman, 5/16/99

"According to Johnnie B. Rogers, a folksy lobbyist who now serves as SCI's lawyer, on April 15 he and Waltrip dropped off a letter at the governor's office demanding a halt to the investigation. Rogers told Newsweek that....Bush popped his head in and spotted Waltrip. 'Hey Bobby, are those people still messing with you?' Bush said, according to Rogers. When Waltrip said they were, Rogers recalled that the governor turned to him and said, 'Hey, Johnnie B. Are you taking care of him?' 'I'm doing my best, Governor,' Rogers said he replied." Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, 8/9/99

"Bush, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, submitted a one-page affidavit to the court in which he says he has "had no conversations with Texas Funeral Services [sic] Commission officials, agents or representatives concerning the investigation of SCI by the Texas Funeral Services Commission or any dispute arising from it. I have had no conversations with SCI officials, agents or representatives concerning the investigation or any dispute arising from it." Robert Bryce, Salon, 8/5/99


POLITEX: WILL GEORGE WALDO'S BANDWAGON TURN INTO A HEARSE? Bush is presently pulling a "Where's Waldo?" with respect to telling the court what he knows about interactions between himself, his Funeral Commission, the Service Corporation International, which owns over 10% of all funeral homes in Texas and has been called "the world's largest death care company," key members of his staff, and the Attorney General, among others. George has missed a July 1 deposition date in a lawsuit filed by former Funeral Commission head Eliza May, which "alleges that May was fired because she 'repeatedly and in good faith reported violations of the law and conduct that she reasonably believed to constitute violations of the law.'" The Austin Chronicle's Robert Bryce calls it a "whistleblower lawsuit" which "alleges that Bush and other politicos worked to thwart an investigation by the Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) into improperly licensed embalmers working out of SCI funeral homes in Dallas."

From the perspective of Robert Waltrip, CEO of the funeral corporation, he "wants state regulators to interpret the law in a way that allows SCI to continue making huge profits on its embalmings, even though its prices are already among the highest in the industry." From the perspective of the state funeral agency, "SCI must notify consumers when it uses third-party contractors to do embalmings, including how much such services cost. Tens of millions of dollars in revenue are at stake, particularly for SCI, the biggest player in the Texas funeral business." Bush finds himself caught in the middle, needing to uphold the state laws and defend the good-faith actions of his appointees, but also needing to satisfy the demands of his campaign contributers: "As a major player in the funeral business, SCI is accustomed to doling out cash in the form of perfectly legal campaign contributions. From 1996 through the 1998 election, SCI's PAC contributed about $113,000 to the campaigns of dozens of politicians. Bush received $35,000 from SCI."

On April 10, 1998 state funeral commission employees made a surprise inspection at two of the corporation's funeral homes. As a result, according to Waltrip's lawyers in a document filed this June 11th, the CEO talked with Bush in his office on April 15th about the contents of a six-page letter that he wrote in protest of the inspections. On June 16th this version of the events of April 15th was changed. The second version had Waltrip in Bush's office waiting for Joe Albaugh, the governor's chief of staff. In this version, Bush "passed by" and "'exchanged pleasantries' with Waltrip, their discussion was 'not substantive; they did not discuss the content' of Waltrip's letter complaining about the TFSC. The document adds that Waltrip 'has never discussed' with Bush his complaints about the TFSC. Perhaps Waltrip or his lawyers realized that implicating the governor in the dispute would damage Bush's presidential campaign," adds reporter Bryce.

On May 18, 1998, state agency head Eliza May met with Bush chief of staff Albaugh, Bush general counsel Margaret Wilson, May's boss, Dick McNeil, the agency's general counsel, Jack Schrader, the corporation's laywer, Johnnie Rogers, and Waltrip, himself. The meeting was held in Joe Albaugh's office. May came with a court reporter, but claims the court reporter was "refused entrance into the meeting." May is quoted in a previous Austin Chronicle story by Robert Bryce as saying, the meeting "was clearly designed to intimidate me and to obtain information about what we were doing. They were unhappy with the fact that I was doing this investigation." May expected some kind of political heat with the job, but "she never expected to be called onto the carpet in the office of Joe Allbaugh, Gov. George W. Bush's chief of staff. Nor did she ever imagine that she'd have to explain the rationale behind an unannounced April 10, 1998, visit her investigators had made to two SCI funeral homes -- particularly while Robert Waltrip, the burly, surly CEO and founder of SCI, was sitting in the same room." Since Waltrip's meeting with Bush on April 15, 1998, "May was fired by the TFSC. And within a year, SCI had hired a lobbyist who helped pass a bill through the Texas Legislature overhauling the TFSC and ousting board chair McNeil. Within 14 months of Waltrip's visit to Bush's office, Texas Attorney General John Cornyn, who got $2,000 in political contributions from SCI, had issued an opinion backing SCI in its dispute with the TFSC."

This story is shaping up to be the major scandal of the Bush administration. The Bryce stories linked above go into much more detail, but here's what he concludes about Bush's role: "Clearly, the politico with the most to lose in Funeralgate is Bush. And he's staying as far from the scandal as he can. But so far, Waltrip has done the governor few favors. By issuing conflicting interrogatory answers, Waltrip appears to have impugned his own credibility as well as the governor's. So which is it? Did Waltrip talk to Bush about SCI's complaints or not? Either way, the manner in which Bush's office handled this case does not bode well for the governor. And why did Allbaugh get involved? Did he, as Bush's chief of staff, simply make his own decision to intervene on behalf of SCI? Could Allbaugh have been persuaded by a $35,000 political contribution? Allbaugh, who left the governor's office on July 1 to work full time as campaign manager for Bush's presidential campaign, hasn't been deposed yet, but he will be soon. And he will be a key witness when May's case goes to trial, as will Bush's legal counsel, Margaret Wilson. 'Gov. Bush was not involved in this case and has no personal knowledge of the facts in this case,' says his spokesperson, Linda Edwards. Perhaps that's the case. But why, then, is Bush fighting the deposition? Neither Edwards nor the AG's office have provided any legal reason why Bush should be allowed to duck the deposition. It is possible Bush will claim executive privilege -- a move that would certainly add intrigue to Bush's political aspirations." 7/11-13/99


POLITEX: DAD AND JUNIOR GIVEN CASH BY FUNERAL FIRM UNDER FIRE. "Bush is quick to note that his title is governor, not head lawmaker. 'I'm not the leader of the Legislature. I'm in the executive branch,' he said. That makes him CEO for a multifaceted enterprise in which, at any time, there is trouble in one or more of the agencies. How a governor handles those messes can be a measure of how he or she reacts to crisis. When one of Bush's big corporate donors, funeral home giant Service Corporation International of Houston, became entangled in a regulatory tiff with the Texas Funeral Service Commission last year, questions were raised about whether the company's $35,000 in Bush campaign contributions bought intervention from the governor's office. The governor's office denies that anything improper occurred, but the appearance of influence-buying helped fuel a growing controversy about funeral home regulation in Texas. Bush has managed to stay out of the controversy. His top aides have handled the political fallout. Dick McNeil, chairman of the nine-member funeral service commission, said Bush has never tried to interfere in the agency's investigation of SCI's embalming practices. McNeil, a Fort Worth funeral home executive, said neither the governor nor his aides ever asked him to back off the SCI investigation. McNeil said his only conversation about the controversy came at a Bush campaign stop in Fort Worth last fall. McNeil said he shook the governor's hand and said, 'I sure hope we haven't embarrassed you.' He said Bush told him, 'I will be embarrassed if you have not done your job.'" (AAS 5/16/99.) McNeil was removed from his job by the legislature during this past session. Given Bush's present unwillingness to answer a subpoena about the case makes one wonder if we will be embarrassed by the job he's doing. Dubya's behavior hardly produces confidence in him as the kind of CEO one would want as President.

Since that McNeil/Bush meeting last fall, Eliza May, the director of the state funeral commission that had been investigating SCI , the world's largest funeral company and a Bush corporate donor, has been fired over an undisclosed grievance filed by the employee May assigned to investigate connections between Bush, SCI, and campaign contributions. McNeil recently disagreed with the Houston Chronicle's 2/10/99 report of the May firing: ""She asked to leave, and we granted it. We didn't fire her." Tx. Monthly/Biz 6/99. May has since filed a "whistleblower" suit against SCI and the state commission, claiming, in part, that McNeil had authorized May's investigation of SCI's campaign contributions, which McNeil denies. "May's lawyer said May was fired because she was trying to uncover conflicts of interests between having funeral home directors run the commission while investigating their own industry." Since we report below on Bush's possible involvement, let's move on to the latest turn in the story. Yesterday spinner Linda Edwards said that Bush will oppose the Eliza May subpoena for August 26th which seeks a deposition from him because "Governor Bush has no personal knowledge of the facts in the case and was not involved in the case.'' (AP 7/22/99) Another reason Bush might be reluctant to honor the subpoena is that May's lawyers might decide to ask Junior about Dad's cash connection to SCI as well as his own, which might open up a whole new can of worms.

SCI CEO Robert Waltrip, " a surly, burly multimillionaire with close ties to the Bush family,...is a longtime friend of the former president and has supported him since Bush ran for Congress in the mid-1960s," notes Robert Bryce in the 7/21/99 issue of Salon. As George Herbert Bush grew more powerful in politics, Robert Waltrip grew more powerful as a funeral home owner. "When Waltrip inhertited the company from his family, it was nothing more than a single funeral home in Houston....Waltrip incorporated the company in 1962. Service Corp. now owns 3,442 funeral homes and 433 cemeteries in 20 different countries." (HC 2/12/99) "While (Texas) legislators received lots of cash from SCI, the ties between the Bush family and the world's largest funeral company appear to be more binding. In March, former President George Bush appeared at a meeting of the International Cemetery and Funeral Association in Houston. The elder Bush charges up to $100,000 per appearance and he is known for being selective in accepting offers. So why speak to a bunch of funeral-home and cemetery owners? According to sources in the funeral industry and articles in the Death Care Business Advisor, a trade newsletter, Bush's appearance at the confab was paid for by SCI, which had 1998 revenues of $2.8 billion," writes Bryce. If Bush were to be deposed in the May suit against SCI and the state, it's possible that May's lawyers would make use of such information to imply that, as Governor, Junior was not neutral about SCI's welfare and to lend credence to the characterization by a May lawyer that "she was getting pressured by certain politicians, including Gov. Bush, to limit the investigation of SCI." (HC 2/10/99) 7/23-25/99


POLITEX: HOW TO TURN A "FLAP" INTO A CAMPAIGN CRISIS. Newsweek's Michael Isikoff the reporter who was instrumental in breaking the Monica/Tripp-Clinton sexgate story, weighed in on the Bush "funeral home flap" yesterday, marking it as a national story to keep an eye on. To bring you up to speed, Eliza May, the fired chief of the state's funeral-home regulatory agency, has sued the state of Texas, Service Corporation International(SCI), the largest funeral-home company in the world, and SCI head Robert Waltrip, claiming she was fired for refusing to dismiss her agency's charge that SCI broke a state law with respect to some of its practices . Her lawyers want to question Bush as a witness, but George does not want to honor the subpoena, claiming he knows nothing, and on August 30 a state judge will decide if Bush has to testify.

"Not long after the investigation began," Isikoff writes, Waltrip called May's boss, " the head of the state agency that regulates him, and demanded that he 'back off.' If not, funeral commission chairman Charles McNeil recalls Waltrip telling him, 'I'm going to take this to the governor.'" According to Waltrip's lawyers in papers filed June 11, the SCI head met and talked with Bush on April 15 about the problems that his company was having with the state's investigators. In a recent issue of Salon, Robert Bryce notes, "In a sworn, notarized court statement that accompanied the June 11 interrogatory, (SCI's in-house lawyer Daniel) Reat said that Waltrip's answers 'are either within his personal knowledge or based on information obtained from other persons, and are true and correct.'" Yet, five days later SCI's lawyers "changed their story. In a highly unusual 'supplemental' response to the interrogatories, the lawyers said Waltrip did not talk to Bush about his problems with state investigators." Here's how Isikoff reports the SCI lawyer's recollection of the events: "According to Johnnie B. Rogers, a folksy lobbyist who now serves as SCI's lawyer, on April 15 he and Waltrip dropped off a letter at the governor's office demanding a halt to the investigation. Rogers told Newsweek that he and Waltrip were ushered in to see Joe Allbaugh, then Bush's chief of staff and now his presidential campaign manager. Rogers says Bush popped his head in and spotted Waltrip. 'Hey Bobby, are those people still messing with you?' Bush said, according to Rogers. When Waltrip said they were, Rogers recalled that the governor turned to him and said, 'Hey, Johnnie B. Are you taking care of him?' 'I'm doing my best, Governor,' Rogers said he replied. Bush's press secretary Linda Edwards acknowledges that Bush and Waltrip had a 'brief verbal exchange' but said 'they did not discuss the case.'"

Since there are now two versions of Waltrip's conversation with Bush, May's lawyers would like to ask Bush, himself, what he said to Waltrip. Obviously, the recollections of an SCI lawyer and a Bush spinner are not the same as hearing from Bush, himself, particularly since the only two statements made under oath are contradictory. In an attempt to head off the subpoena, Bush provided a one-page sworn affidavit to the court last week, but failed to specifically address the meeting in question. It says he has "had no conversations with Texas Funeral Services [sic] Commission officials, agents or representatives concerning the investigation of SCI by the Texas Funeral Services Commission or any dispute arising from it. I have had no conversations with SCI officials, agents or representatives concerning the investigation or any dispute arising from it." However, according to a 5/16/99 Austin American Satessman story, state funeral commission chairman Charles McNeil apparently believes that he did have a conversation with Bush about the controversy: "McNeil, chairman of the nine-member funeral service commission, said Bush has never tried to interfere in the agency's investigation of SCI's embalming practices," writes Statesman reporter Ken Herman. " McNeil, a Fort Worth funeral home executive, said neither the governor nor his aides ever asked him to back off the SCI investigation. McNeil said his only conversation about the controversy came at a Bush campaign stop in Fort Worth last fall. McNeil said he shook the governor's hand and said, 'I sure hope we haven't embarrassed you.' He said Bush told him, 'I will be embarrassed if you have not done your job.' "

Bush has been fighting the subpoena, now, for nearly a month, and one wonders why, since the political fall-out reporting Bush's unwillingness to honor the subpoena has become far worse than the effect of spending a few minutes in court swearing to the account in the SCI supplemental interrogatory and disagreeing with the account in the previous interrogatory. Given Isikoff's summary of previous connections between The Bush family and SCI, perhaps Dubya is fearful that May's lawyers might want to expand questioning to cover that subject: "Waltrip has been close to the Bush family for years. He is a trustee of George Bush's presidential library, and Waltrip's company, SCI, donated more than $100,000 toward its construction. Last March, Waltrip got the elder Bush to speak at a funeral association convention; SCI paid the former president's $70,000 honorarium. The mortician has also been generous to the younger Bush: Waltrip gave $10,000 to Bush's 1994 run for governor, and SCI's political-action committee chipped in $35,000 for his 1998 re-election."

At any rate, it appears that Bush may choose to allow this "flap" to fester into a possible full-fledged campaign crisis, so where do we go from here? According to Robert Bryce in Salon last week, "A hearing on the matter has been set for August 30 in the Travis County Courthouse in Austin. An elected state district court judge will decide if the facts in the case merit Bush's testimony. All but one of the judges who could be assigned the case are Democrats. If the judge decides that Bush must testify, the case will almost certainly be appealed directly to the Texas Supreme Court, where Bush has a decided advantage. All nine justices on the Texas high court are Republicans and four of them were appointed to the bench by Bush. A fifth justice was appointed by Bush to a lower court and recently won election to the Texas Supreme Court. Political observers in Austin are already speculating that if the case goes before the justices, they could simply sit on the case for a year or more, thereby preventing the matter from becoming an issue in Bush's bid for the presidency."

Note: Prior to posting this story we learned that Salon reporters Robert Bryce and Anthony York have also updated in light of Isikoff's Newsweek piece. Their update is titled "Did Bush Lie Under Oath in Funeral Home Case?" They write that 60 Minutes is interested in the story and they believe York's description of the Bush/Waltrip meeting as reported by Isikoff (above) contradicts Bush's affidavit: "A sworn affidavit by Texas Gov. George W. Bush insisting he had no discussions about a state investigation into a political contributor's funeral home business has been contradicted by the company's own lawyer." Accordingly, we wonder what Bryce and York would think about the reported Bush/McNeil interchange (above). 8/10-12/99


BRASIN'S BEAT: HERE'S HOW FUNERALGATE IS PLAYING IN PITTSBURGH. Now that news of the Bush funeral-home flap has reached the three rivers area, folks there have something to talk about other than the latest wing nut activities of local gazillionaire Richard "Mellon" Scaife. It all began a couple of weeks ago, before the Bush Cocaine Crisis, when Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Gene Collier heard a Fox News TV reporter say he didn't think Bush could lose the GOP nomination "unless he does something extremely bad." Yeh, thought Collier, "you know, like saying something substantive about his vision for America....I mean, if you're the front-runner without having said anything deeper than what appears in the published ponderings of Millie Bush, the late former first dog, then why dare get down to cases? What is meant by 'extremely bad' would be more likely some kind of political mess or sprung-from-the-closet social skeleton that will have the media jackals gnawing ravenously on Bush's ill-defined character. On Monday, the first potential mess got wheels. A Texas auditing body dispatched an overseer to look into the workings of the Texas Funeral Service Commission after its director claimed she was fired for investigating a funeral home chain that contributed to Bush and his father. Not exactly a semen-stained blue dress, admittedly, but it has some interesting threads."

Obviously, Collier is not rooting for our George to take the "big enchilada," or whatever's in the White House these days. In fact, he believes that one Bush family hanging out on the second floor is enough: "Though Bush is unabashedly over-financed and thus a worthy vote-getting machine, his squishy intellect will ultimately be exposed in direct comparison to either Al Gore or Bill Bradley. America, it says here 15 months ahead of time, will make do with the legacy of one Bush presidency. George was chuckly, Millie was an author, and Barbara did a fine job as the mascot of the Robert Morris Colonials." Collier not only seems to have it in for Dubya, but he doesn't think too much about that Iowa straw thing as well.: "The Iowa straw vote, once a quaint Republican publicity stunt but now a spasm of media burlesque that somehow fails to highlight the need for campaign finance reform, has triggered fitful analysis. Even though seven of every 10 participating Iowa Republicans voted for someone other than Bush last weekend, the front-runner's 31 percent showing got spun into 'a convincing victory' in a field fractured by various political pathologies like Pat Buchanan, the national smokestack, and Dan Quayle, the immutable archival evidence that Bush's president dad had a sense of humor."

While the straw thing is in the past, Collier doesn't see much good for the GOP in the future: "In just 11 long weeks, the election will be only a year away. It's practically history. Is Philadelphia still planning to host the Republican National Convention next August? Better (Philly's) First Union Center had been promised to the monster truck crowd for that week. At least they've got a clear message, specifically that the people's right to waste fuel and make noise in preposterous proportions shall not be abridged." Furthermore, Collier doesn't think Funeralgate will derail the Bush campaign train: "The so-called funeral-home flap has less sizzle than Whitewater, which couldn't do more than leak all over Ken Starr's pathetic hot plate and short-circuit the special prosecutor law. Unless the Dallas Morning News, for example, can show that Bush and (campaign manager) Albaugh sent (funeral-home head) Waltrip and his apprentices out into the Texas woods with instructions to embalm each other at the behest of a century-old witch, I think most of America will just continue to be force-fed the same old infotainment." 8/27-29/99



Bush Funeral News


Robert Bryce, The Texas Way of Death.7/21/99
Robert Bryce, Buried in Scandal.
Bryce and York, Did Bush Lie Under Oath?
Michael Isikoff, Bush and the Funeral Home Flap
Ropbert Bryce, Tex. Supreme Ct. Apointees Could Stall Scandal Suppoena
AP, Spinners for Bush, SCI Discount Bush/Waltrip Meeting.
BRYCE: TX. SUPREME CT. APPOINTEES COULD STALL SCANDAL SUBPOENA. 8/8/99
NEWSWEEK: BUSH AND THE FUNERAL HOME FLAP. 8/9/99
POLITEX: HOW TO TURN A "FLAP" INTO A CAMPAIGN CRISIS. 8/10-12/99
SALON: DID BUSH LIE UNDER OATH? 8/10/99
AC: TIMELINE OF THE CONTROVERSY. 8/11/99
AP: SPINNERS FOR BUSH, SCI DISCOUNT BUSH/WALTRIP MEETING. 8/12/99
IVINS: FUNERALGATE EXAMPLE OF "CORRUPTED POLITICAL SYSTEM." 8/12/99
AAS: FUNERAL COMISH DIRECTORS QUIT, COMPTROLLER CALLED IN. 8/17/99
DMN: GOV'S FUNERAL ROLE QUESTIONED. 8/18/99
AAS: COMPTROLLER, AT. GEN., BUSH ALL RECEIVED FUNERAL CASH. 8/18/99
LNN: BUSH AFFIDAVIT REFUTED. 8/18/99
BRYCE: CONTEMPT CHARGES SOUGHT AGAINST BUSH. 8/19/99
REUTERS: CONTEMPT MOTION BASED ON NEWSWEEK QUOTE. 8/19/99
AAS: BUSH SAYS HE DOESN'T REMEMBER WHAT HE SAID. 8/19/99
BRYCE: GEORGE'S "FORMALDEGATE" PROBLEM. 8/21/99
WP: TEXAS SUIT DISPUTES BUSH'S TRUTHFULNESS. 8/23/99
DMN: EXPERTS SAY BUSH MAKING FUNERALGATE BIGGER. 8/26/99
HC: BUSH LAWYERS WANT TO QUIZ MAY. 8/26/99
BRYCE: FUNERALGATE QUESTIONS LED TO BUSH BLOW-UP OVER DRUGS. 8/27/99
BRYCE: WHERE ARE MISSING FUNERALGATE DOCUMENTS? 8/27/99
WP: JUDGE RULES BUSH NEED NOT TESTIFY. 8/31/99
AAA: LAWYER, LIKE BUSH, "DIDN'T REMEMBER" TALK SPECIFICS. 8/31/99
DMN: BUSH COULD BE REQUIRED TO TESTIFY LATER. 8/31/99




Reprinted by permission of Bush Watch. Copyright 1999, Politex. All rights reserved. No transmission may be copied, downloaded, stored in a retrieval system, further transmitted or otherwise reproduced, stored, disseminated, transferred or used, in any form or by any means without prior written agreement.

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