The Obama Administration awarded a no-bid contract to an environmental group that has been attacking Sarah Palin, a potential opponent of the president in the 2012 presidential election. The government largess is just one of a number of federal contracts which include at least $6 million for studies to gauge the Gulf Oil Spill's effects on wildlife. The Associated Press surprisingly reports:
Contractors include a group whose political arm endorsed Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign and ran ads in several swing states against then-Republican vice presidential candidate Palin. The group, Defenders of Wildlife, received a $216,625 noncompetitive contract from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a seabird survey in the BP spill area.And if you believe that, then Bill Clinton never had sex with that Lewinski woman.
Both Defenders of Wildlife and its political arm, the Defenders Action Fund, have criticized Palin, a former Alaska governor, for supporting use of low-flying airplanes to hunt wolves and other wildlife in winter.
Defenders of Wildlife also has been urging Discovery Communications to drop plans for "Sarah Palin's Alaska," a reality TV series, and wants sponsors and viewers to boycott it. The Interior Department said the Fish and Wildlife Service hired the group to survey the effects of oil on ocean birds because its chief scientist, Chris Haney, is respected and experienced in bird research. It said BP approved the scientist's selection.
An executive for Defenders of Wildlife said politics played no role in the $216,625 contract.
"I just truly believe there are no dots to connect," said Jamie Rappaport Clark, the group's executive vice president and a former director of the Fish and Wildlife Service under former President Bill Clinton.
Update: Political analyst Clay Young opines that the Obama Administration giving nearly a quarter million dollars to an organization that endorsed Obama and has attacked Sarah Palin "makes it look a little fishy."