Friday, February 18, 2005

Former Georgia Senator Zell Miller will present an award to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. From the CSPAN website:
Zell Miller at CPAC Dinner 
Fmr. Georgia Senator Zell Miller (D) presents the "Courage Under Fire Award" to the Swift Boat Veterans during the Conservative Political Action Conference's 2005 dinner. Following a speech by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Ronald Reagan Award will also be presented.
The Swift Boat Veterans authored and funded ads attacking Sen. John Kerry during his Presidential Campaign. The ads accused Kerry of a variety of actions including lying about his actions commanding a swift boat in Vietnam. Kerry's own crewmates disputed the organizations attacks and Kerry received the silver and bronze stars and three purple hearts for his service in Vietnam.

The group was heavily funded by a wealthy Texas businessman with connections to the Bush family. The same businessman funded a group during the 2000 Republican primaries that attacked Sen. John McCain (himself a POW during the Vietnam war) of ignoring the interests of U.S. military veterans.

From the Washington Post's Terry Neal:
public records show that two-thirds of the organization's initial funding, as of its June 30 financial report came from one man, Texas businessman Robert J. Perry, who, according to an Aug. 6 report in the Los Angeles Times, "is the most prolific political donor in Texas. A homebuilder who lives lakeside in [a] Houston suburb, Perry has helped bankroll the widespread success of Republican candidates here, has long-standing ties to many close associates of President Bush and has contributed to Bush's last four campaigns. According to interviews and campaign documents, he has given a total of more than $5 million to scores of political candidates."

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