David N. Bossie

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David N. Bossie, the president of Citizens United and president and manager of The Presidential Coalition, "earned a reputation as a relentless sleuth -- or right-wing hit man, depending on one's political persuasion -- during his years as a high-profile Republican congressional investigator and conservative activist."[1]


Swiftboating Hillary

Hillary Clinton is "ahead in the polls and on course to become the Democrats' presidential candidate for 2008. So it is no surprise that a right-wing smear campaign is gathering speed to derail Senator Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House," Paul Harris wrote June 17, 2007, for the UK's The Observer. "Conservative groups and political figures are planning a film, books and a concerted media campaign to demonise Clinton, who is already one of the most polarising figures in American politics.

"Top of the list of projects is a planned movie, being filmed by veteran Republican operator David Bossie.[2] Bossie is raising money for the film through his conservative group Citizens United, which is appealing for video footage, stories about Clinton and money. It plans a release by the end of the year, just as the first primary elections are held in New Hampshire. Bossie is being helped in the project by Dick Morris, a former top Clinton aide who has become a leading Clinton critic," Harris wrote.[3]

"Citizens United and other Republican groups are set to model their anti-Clinton operation on the notorious Swift Boat campaign that derailed John Kerry's 2004 bid for the White House. That aggressive smear campaign focused on Kerry's Vietnam war record and was seen as critical in President George W Bush's election victory. 'The Swift Boat campaign is going to be a direct model. They have openly come out and said that,' said Terry Krepel, editor of Conwebwatch, a website that monitors the output of conservative news media," Harris wrote.

Hillary: The Movie

Bossie's film Hillary: The Movie became a subject of controversy during the 2008 presidential election when Bossie was barred from advertising it. A federal court ruled that "Citizens United could not run ads for its negative film on Hillary Rodham Clinton without disclosing the ad’s donors. The group wants to release and promote 'Hillary: The Movie' to coincide with the dates when many states will hold primary elections, but the court found that in order for the ads to adhere to current campaign finance law, Citizens United would have to disclose who paid for the ads."[4] The group has appealed this case all the way to the Supreme Court. For more information about the legal arguments in that case and its implications for individual rights in a democracy as compared with corporate rights, see Portal:Corporate_Rights

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

In January 2010, the case eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in a divided 5-4 vote, held that section 441b of the 2002 McCain-Feingold federal campaign finance law (Bipartisan Campaign Reform) was unconstitutional. The law prohibited corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for "electioneering communication," or for speech expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate.

The ruling effectively protected corporate speech the same as individual speech. The majority’s ruling about corporate electioneering marked a dramatic break from the past. In doing so, the Court rejected a century of previous court decisions that ruled corporate donations can, and should be regulated. In its ruling, the court never explained why corporate identity demands the same treatment as individual identity.[5]

Obsessed with the Clintons

"Through the 1990s, Bossie spent much of his time assembling caches of documents to push his admittedly ideological agenda. He was a ready promoter of stories about President Bill Clinton's sexual and ethical lapses, proved and otherwise."[6]

  • Note: According to an October 10, 2003, archived version of his Citizens United profile, "Bossie served as president and chief investigator for the Center for Government Integrity, a government watchdog group investigating the then-Clinton Administration."[7]
  • The Center for Government Integrity is a project of Citizens United and not a separate entity, as the profile indicates.
  • Note: The same profile states that "After Clinton's election, Bossie wrote investigative pieces for the monthly newsletter, Clinton Watch. It was at this time Bossie began investigating what is now known as 'Whitewater' and provided key information to the FBI and the national television and print media, which led to the appointment of an Independent Counsel."[8]

"Not long into the Clinton Presidency, Citizens United produced the video Clinton Chronicles, based largely on dirt Bossie had been digging in Arkansas. The video, filled with a plethora of factual errors and uncorroborated or disproven rumors, has been almost completely discredited," Dave Gonzo wrote in American Politics Journal May 7, 1998.[9]

Trudy Lieberman wrote in the May/June 1994 issue of Columbia Journalism Review:[10]

"Bossie, the twenty-eight-year-old political director for Citizens United, a conservative Republican operation, runs an information factory whose Whitewater production lines turn out a steady stream of tips, tidbits, documents, factoids, suspicions, and story ideas for the nation's press and for Republicans on Capitol Hill. Journalists and Hill Republicans have recycled much of the information provided by Citizens United into stories that have cast a shadow on the Clinton presidency,"
"Bossie, who says he works sixteen hours a day on Whitewater, earned his Republican stripes as the national youth director in Senator Robert Dole's 1988 presidential campaign, and then moved on during the 1992 Bush campaign to become executive director of the Presidential Victory Committee. His boss, Floyd Brown, worked as Dole's Midwest political director during the 1988 campaign, but is best known for producing the Willie Horton commercial that helped sink the presidential ambitions of Democrat Michael Dukakis."

"Bossie was fired from his job as an investigator working for Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee in 1998"[11] while "investigating Clinton-Gore campaign finances."[12] According to a May 7, 1998, front-page article published by the Washington Post,[13] Bossie was fired "after overseeing the release of recordings of Hillary Rodham Clinton's phone conversations with [imprisoned] Whitewater figure Webster L. Hubbell. The tapes were edited to create the impression that Clinton was involved in billing irregularities at the Arkansas law firm where she and Hubbell worked."[14]

  • Note: According to an October 10, 2003, archived version of his Citizens United profile, Bossie said that he "was recruited to this position by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and Chairman Burton to investigate then-President Clinton's illegal foreign money entering the United States to influence the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections. Bossie managed Burton's transition into the Chairmanship; managed a $10 million annual budget; directed personnel matters; and, supervised a 40-plus person investigative staff."[15]
  • Note: In their June 18, 2007, piece for Newsweek, Jonathan Darman and Mark Hosenball noted that "All the digging didn't amount to much: six years after the Clintons left the White House, Burton is a little-heard-from member of the minority party and Hillary Clinton is the front runner to be the Democrats' nominee for president in 2008."[16]

"Then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Burton, in response to the controversy, 'I'm embarrassed for you, I'm embarrassed for myself, and I'm embarrassed for the [House Republican] conference at the circus that went on at your committee.'"[17]

The archived October 2003 Citizens United profile also states that, "Prior to serving Chairman Burton, Bossie served in the United States Senate as an investigator for Senator Lauch Faircloth on the Special Committee to investigate Whitewater Development Corporation and related matters, chaired by Senator Alfonse D'Amato [sic]."[18]

"Bossie and his Citizens United gang also made a mark in the 1992 campaign, when it produced an ad featuring Gennifer Flowers and sent out a fund-raising letter that gave the impression it was tied to the official Bush campaign. (The Bush campaign asked the [Federal Election Commission] to shut down Bossie's political action committee.)," David Corn wrote May 7, 1998, for Salon.[19]

Bossie's October 13, 2005, archived version of his Citizens United profile has been substantially webscrubbed, with the greatest mention of his involvement investigating the Clinton administration stated as follows:[20]

"During Bill Clinton's two terms as president, Bossie led investigations ranging from the Whitewater land deal to the illegal foreign money schemes in the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign and the illegal transfer of dual-use technology to China."

More controversy

In a November 2002 Washington Times opinion piece[21], Bossie wrote:

"The Carter-Mondale administration is well-remembered as the most beleaguered period in the 20th century. Every American recalls the days of double-digit inflation, interest rates of 20 percent, double-digit unemployment and gas lines that stretched several city blocks."

According to published statistics, however, the unemployment rate during Carter's tenure never exceeded 7 1/2 percent, although inflation did reach 13 1/2 % in 1980.[22]

In a July 20, 2004, Salon profile of Bossie, Eric Boehlert calls him "a political hit man by trade" and a "renowned Republican dirty trickster" who spent the 1990s "often at the epicenter of churning out stories about President Clinton, deftly feeding the press and Capitol Hill investigators outlandish -- and usually unsubstantiated -- assertions about White House wrongdoing".[23]

The article notes that he returned during 2004 with books and actions aimed at John Kerry and Michael Moore.

According to a July 6, 2002, archived version of his Citizens United profile, Bossie was "State Youth Director for Linda Chavez for U.S. Senate (MD) in 1986; and, the Maryland State Deputy Youth Director for Reagan/Bush re-elect in 1984."[24]

The same 2002 profile states:[25]

"From 1988 to 1990, Bossie was the Director of Programs for the Leadership Institute which trains young men and women in campaign technology, student publications and the operations of Congress. Also, Bossie organized, managed and lectured at over 40 seminars per year. ...
"Bossie has also been the subject of many newspaper stories, columns, and editorials and made an impact in the Clinton Administration.
"Bob Novak wrote in the forward to Bossie's book, Prince Albert: the Life and Lies of Al Gore, 'the pattern of making maximum accusations that sound outrageous to many people but backing them up with fastidious documentation is Bossie's style.' And 'Bossie is an invariably accurate source' and '?accuracy is his watchword.'
"James Carville, President Clinton's top political operative, has said, 'Bossie is responsible for the greatest trick in American history, this entire Whitewater thing.'
"Don Baer, former Clinton White House Communications Director said, 'Bossie is the absolute epicenter of the obsession with bringing down Bill Clinton.'
"Bossie is also a central character in the national bestseller Bloodsport, written by Pullitzer Prize winning author James Stewart. Stewart wrote that Bossie 'was the tireless conservative operative who became a one-man army against the Clintons and even penetrated a network news operation.'
"Bossie attended Towson State University and the University of Maryland where he studied Government and Politics."
  • Note: Bossie's most recent Citizens United profile, accessed June 28, 2007, states the following regarding his education: "Born in Boston, Bossie attended the University of Maryland." There is no longer any mention of Towson State University.[26]

"accidental filmmaker"

"David Bossie, a veteran conservative operative and self-described 'accidental filmmaker,' provided one of the event's most memorable offerings" at the November 10, 2006, weekend Liberty Film Festival in Hollywood, Max Blumenthal wrote November 16, 2006, in The Nation.[27]

In 1998, Bossie was "fired from his job as chief investigator for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight" after being "caught selectively editing tapes of former Clinton Administration official Webster Hubbell's prison conversations in a false effort to implicate Hillary Clinton for overbilling his law firm. ... Now Bossie has begun applying his tape-doctoring skills to film, installing editing equipment in the basement of Citizens United's offices and funneling millions of dollars from his group's coffers into producing full-length 'documentaries'," Blumenthal wrote.[28]

Books

While the author details on the Amazon listing for Prince Albert: the Life and Lies of Al Gore state Bossie "authored the best selling book, Slick Willie, Why America Cannot Trust Bill Clinton" the listing of that title only credits Floyd Brown as the author.[1]. A biographical note on the Young America's Foundation website states that Bossie "conducted the research and co-wrote, with Floyd Brown, Slick Willie: Why America Cannot Trust Bill Clinton."[29]

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Michael A. Fletcher, "Taking the Cause to the Big Screen. Conservative Advocate David Bossie Turns to Filmmaking After Looking to Counter 'Fahrenheit 9/11'," Washington Post, August 30, 2006.
  2. Hillary: The Movie at HillaryMovie.com.
  3. Paul Harris, "Anti-Hillary dirty tricks war hots up. Republicans use the internet, books and a film to try to derail Clinton's White House campaign," The Observer (UK), June 17, 2007.
  4. "Some Movie Ads Require Disclosure," CQ's MoneyLine, January 15, 2008.
  5. The Daily Star The court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Excerpts of the decision. January 28, 2010
  6. Michael A. Fletcher, "Taking the Cause to the Big Screen. Conservative Advocate David Bossie Turns to Filmmaking After Looking to Counter 'Fahrenheit 9/11'," Washington Post, August 30, 2006.
  7. About staff: David N. Bossie, Citizens United; archived version October 10, 2003. Note: This profile is available in its archived version at WayBackMachine.org.
  8. About staff: David N. Bossie, Citizens United; archived version October 10, 2003.
  9. Dave "Doctor" Gonzo, "David Bossie, Vast Right-Wing Conspirator of the Week," American Politics Journal, May 7, 1998.
  10. Trudy Lieberman, "Churning Whitewater," CJR (Columbia Journalism Review), May/June 1994. Also archived at FindArticles.com.
  11. "Washington Post, AP ignored Bossie's controversial past in articles about his new ad," Media Matters for America, May 11, 2004.
  12. David Corn, "One-man rumor mill bites the dust," Salon, May 7, 1998.
  13. "Washington Post, AP ignored Bossie's controversial past in articles about his new ad," Media Matters for America, May 11, 2004.
  14. Michael A. Fletcher, "Taking the Cause to the Big Screen. Conservative Advocate David Bossie Turns to Filmmaking After Looking to Counter 'Fahrenheit 9/11'," Washington Post, August 30, 2006.
  15. About staff: David N. Bossie, Citizens United; archived version October 10, 2003.
  16. Jonathan Darman and Mark Hosenball, "The New War on Hillary," Newsweek (MSNBC), June 18, 2007 (issue).
  17. "Washington Post, AP ignored Bossie's controversial past in articles about his new ad," Media Matters for America, May 11, 2004.
  18. About staff: David N. Bossie, Citizens United; archived version October 10, 2003.
  19. David Corn, "One-man rumor mill bites the dust," Salon, May 7, 1998.
  20. About staff: David N. Bossie, Citizens United; most recent archived version October 13, 2005. This profile is available in its archived version at WayBackMachine.org.
  21. No reference cited. However, the URL http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20021105-37509625.htm was blocked by the site owner. See the discussion on this entry in the Wikipedia.
  22. "Myth: Carter ruined the economy; Reagan saved it. Fact: The Federal Reserve Board was responsible for the events of the late 70s and 80s," Korpios.org, first archived October 29, 2000.
  23. Eric Boehlert, "You can't teach an old attack dog new tricks", Salon.com, July 20, 2004.
  24. About staff: David N. Bossie, Citizens United; archived version July 6, 2002. Note: This profile is available in its archived version at WayBackMachine.org.
  25. About staff: David N. Bossie, Citizens United; archived version July 6, 2002.
  26. David Bossie, Citizens United, accessed June 28, 2007.
  27. Max Blumenthal, "Hooray for Right-Wing Hollywood," The Nation, November 16, 2006.
  28. Max Blumenthal, "Hooray for Right-Wing Hollywood," The Nation, November 16, 2006.
  29. Featured Speakers: "David N. Bossie, President, Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation," Young America's Foundation event.

Profiles

Books about David Bossie

  • Gene Lyons, "Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater" (Paperback), Franklin Square Press; 1st ed edition July 1996, ISBN-10 1879957523 / ISBN-13 978-1879957527.

Articles by David Bossie

2008