Benjamin Ginsberg

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Benjamin L. "Ben" Ginsberg, an elections and campaign finance lawyer, is a partner in the law firm of Patton Boggs, a well-connected DC lobbying firm.

Ginsburg represents the campaigns and leadership political action committees of numerous members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee and serves as counsel to the Republican Governors Association. Ginsburg also "played a central role in the 2000 Florida recount." [1]

Controversy

Swift Boat-Bush Conflict of Interest

Ginsberg was chief outside counsel to both the 2000 and 2004 Bush-Cheney campaigns. He resigned in August 2004 [2] from the campaign when the media publicized the fact that he was simultaneously representing the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who were attacking Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). [3]

In his resignation letter to President Bush he wrote "I have decided to resign as national counsel to your campaign to ensure that the giving of legal advice to decorated military veterans, which was entirely within the boundaries of the law, doesn't distract from the real issues upon which you and the country should be focusing." [4] [5]

In February 2004 Ginsburg had told the Associated Press that it "would be irresponsible for an attorney to counsel a 527 group"—such as the Swift Boat Vets for Truth—"that it could spend soft money on messages the FEC has historically considered federal election activity, or that mentions the name of a federal candidate, without putting the group and their donors at considerable risk." [6]

However, on May 17, 2004, Roll Call reported that "Republican activists" Craig Shirley, Frank Donatelli and George Terwilliger were meeting "to determine the best way for the GOP to run a shadow campaign countering the well-oiled effort that Democrats" had begun in 2003 and other "pro-Republican groups" would begin discussions later that week. Ginsberg, then "national counsel to the Bush-Cheney campaign," was to "help advise the group or groups."

Donatelli's Donatelli Group, which produced the RNC's website, also registered and produced the Swift Boat Vets website.

Representing Corporate-Funded Front Groups

Ginsberg has also worked for the corporate-funded, Republican-friendly front groups Americans for Job Security and Progress for America [7], a pro-Bush 527 committee run by staff from the DCI Group.

Katherine Harris' Campaign Finance Scandals

He was retained in 2006 by Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) to help her deal with campaign finance scandals related to her 2006 U.S. Senate bid. [8]

Pushing T. Boone Pickens Energy Plan

In support of his "energy independence" plan for the United States, T. Boone Pickens launched a $60 million marketing campaign in support of his PickensPlan and, O'Dwyers PR Daily reported in September 2008, had hired Benjamin Ginsberg and Joshua Greene.[2]

Profiles

"Before entering law school, he spent five years as a newspaper reporter on The Boston Globe, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, and The Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise. He has been adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center lecturing on law and the political process." [9]

External links

Profiles

Articles & Commentary


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