In PA, Big-Time GOP Donors Show True Colors: Green


A Halliburton lobbyist giving money to the Green Party?

That’s right, folks, you have now officially heard everything: A $1,000 donation to a local Pennsyslvania Green Party chapter came from Bill Wichterman, a senior lobbyist at Washington, D.C.’s Covington & Burling. Wichterman, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), now lobbies for such corporate behemoths as Halliburton, Chevron and Unisys.

A Green Party candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race can’t win — even if he’s well-funded. In fact, it might even throw the race to the Republican incumbent, Sen. Rick Santorum. But that hasn’t deterred Wichterman and other GOP power players from quietly supporting their secret dream: to see a Green Party senator emerge from the Pennyslvania hills.Standing beside Wichterman (metaphorically) is Steven Taylor, the onetime prepared salad king of Salinas, Calif. He gave $1,000 to the movement. His wife did, too. Taylor, now retired, ran the Fresh Express empire, a major player in the “bagged produce” world. Though now it appears he secretly longed for that produce to be free.

Steven apparently inspired younger Taylors with his dreaming: Students Kyle and Christian Taylor, who share an address with Steven, gave $4,000 apiece to the Greens. They’re no fools, of course: to hide their innocent idealism, they conspired with young Meghan — their sister, I believe — to spread around roughly $180,000 to conservative causes over the past five years.

In covering her tracks, Meghan’s outdone the other two: in 2004 she parlayed a spot on the Bush/Cheney ’04 campaign into a job as a White House scheduler, FEC reports show. Clearly deep undercover to destroy the Man, she didn’t dare blow her story with a donation to the Pennsylvania Greens.

And then there’s Mark Pasquerilla, a self-described “big Republican” and the scion of Pennsylvania’s Crown American family, which made hundreds of millions of dollars off of shopping malls, department stores, and other weapons of the consumerist, anti-human machine. Overwhelmed with guilt at what he and his forebears have wrought, Pasquerilla ponied up $5,000 for the Pennsylvania Greens. From each according to his means, to each according to his needs, right?

But most striking to me is the support the Greens got from even a member of the old guard: an earnest $1,000 donation to the Greens from Gary Andres, a lobbyist for Dutko Worldwide, one of the biggest players in Washington’s K Street crowd. By day, Andres shills for the drug company group PhRMA and the New York Stock Exchange, among other clients. He’s an official “GOP insider” according to National Journal, and contributes articles to the conservative Washington Times and National Review in his spare time. But in the late evenings, we now know, he convenes in dank basements with angry bicycle messengers and struggling beat revival poets to plot a people’s revolution.

Who knew these guys secretly hum “The People Have the Power” in the tub? That they covertly stick “hugs not bombs” stickers on lampposts on their way to important meetings? That, even as they grease the wheels of the giant money machine we call Washington, they’re secretly scoping out where to shove a monkey wrench in the works?

Update: Will Bunch has a full rundown of characters at attytood.

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