June 2, 2010

Ed Schultz talked to environmental lawyer Mike Papantonio about whether it's likely we'll see any criminal prosecutions of anyone at BP or the other companies that caused the disaster in the Gulf. Pap pointed out that our laws are structured where those convicted of having three ounces of marijuana can wind up thrown in jail, but if you run a large corporation and your decisions kill people nothing happens.

Now that BP has decided to hire former Dick Cheney campaign press secretary Anne Womack-Kolton to run their PR for them (What in the hell were they thinking?), Papantonio said he's going to file a RICO case next week. He still wants some answers about who was in that secret Dick Cheney energy task force meeting now that it looks like the old players are coming back. Here's more on Womak-Kolton.

BP Hires Former Dick Cheney Spox To Run PR Ops:

BP, struggling to maintain its image while taking responsibility for the worst oil disaster in U.S. history, has hired someone new to head its American public relations operation: Anne Womack-Kolton, the former campaign press secretary for Vice President Dick Cheney.

Womack-Kolton ran Cheney's press shop during the 2004 campaign, and worked as an assistant press secretary in 2000. She was also an assistant in the White House press office.

She begins today, the BP press office tells TPM.

In the private sector, she's worked for the Brunswick Group and APCO Worldwide.

BP, in announcing the hire to Reuters, only mentioned that she was the director of public affairs for the Department of Energy under President George W. Bush. A 2005 press release from the DOE mentions that she worked for Cheney, and a slew of articles from 2004 cite her as Cheney's spokeswoman.

Womack-Kolton has also been the director of public affairs for the U.S. Treasury and a senior adviser to an SEC chair, according to the DOE press release, and was the Washington liaison for Sen. John Cornyn when he was the Texas attorney general.

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