Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal

Ad blasting Cheney's ties to company timed to visit

Republicans depict the TV spot concerning Halliburton as misleading one day before the vice president arrives in Oregon

Friday, September 17, 2004

When Vice President Dick Cheney arrives today in Oregon, he will be greeted by a new television commercial suggesting that he has profited from work done in Iraq by Halliburton Inc., the giant Texas oil services and construction company he headed before President Bush chose him as his running mate.

Titled "Cheney Halliburton," the 30-second commercial is being broadcast first in Oregon to coincide with the Cheney visit. It marks the first time that the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry has directly attacked Cheney on his ties to his former company.

The commercial begins with Cheney saying, "I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had now for over three years," according to a transcript that was made available to The Oregonian on Thursday.

A narrator then adds: "The truth: As vice president, Dick Cheney received $2 million from Halliburton. Halliburton got billions in no bid contracts in Iraq. Dick Cheney got $2 million, What did we get? A $200 billion bill for Iraq. Lost jobs. Rising health care costs. It's time for a new direction."

Republicans on Thursday denounced the new Kerry ad, calling it "completely baseless" and "incredibly misleading."

Steve Schmidt, a national spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, said Cheney has received deferred compensation payments from Halliburton, part of a retirement package that was negotiated when he left the firm to run for vice president in 2000. He said the payments are "insured," meaning that Cheney gets them regardless of Halliburton's financial condition.

Schmidt also said that Halliburton received no-bid government contracts for overseas work during the Clinton administration, and that several high ranking Clinton administration officials had similar deferred compensation arrangements with their former companies.

"The vice president has no financial interest in Halliburton," Schmidt said. "Because John Kerry can't run on his 20-year record in the Senate and is behind in the polls, he has resorted to a campaign strategy to try to tear down the president and vice president."

Lisa Sohn, a spokeswoman for the Kerry campaign in Oregon, said the televised attack linking Cheney to the government contracts that Halliburton has been awarded in Iraq will also coincide with a speech Kerry is scheduled to make today in Albuquerque, N.M., calling for an overhaul of the government procurement process.

Sohn said the ad will begin running in other closely contested states next week.

"We think it's important to highlight the fact that Halliburton has profited from no-bid contracts, and it's well-documented that they've overcharged the government," Sohn said. "It's egregious that the vice president's office is still connected with it."

Cheney, chief executive officer of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, has consistently denied any role in the award of government contracts to the company. Halliburton has come under fire and been the subject of critical government audits for some of the work it has done in Iraq and elsewhere.

Cheney is scheduled to speak at a town hall meeting in Oregon City this morning and at a rally at the Eugene Airport later in the day.

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