Sunday, April 30, 2006

New Feature: GOP PrisonWatch....

Welcome, kind readers. This is to announce the launch of our newest feature GOP Prisonwatch, wherein we hope to keep you up-to-date with the latest happy news on the ever-growing number of Republican public figures bound for prison.

Be sure to check back regularly for exciting new installments on a weekly, if not daily basis.

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It's Sunday; which Republican is headed for the penitentiary?

Looks like it's Dr. Lester M. Crawford, former FDA commissioner, under criminal investigation by a federal grand jury. From the NY Times:

Dr. Crawford resigned in September, fewer than three months after the Senate confirmed him. He said then that it was time for someone else to lead the agency.

The next month, financial disclosure forms released by the Department of Health and Human Services showed that in 2004 either Dr. Crawford or his wife, Catherine, had sold shares in companies regulated by the agency when he was its deputy commissioner and acting commissioner. He has since joined a Washington lobbying firm, Policy Directions Inc.

The criminal investigation was disclosed at a court hearing in a lawsuit over the F.D.A.'s actions on the emergency contraceptive Plan B, a subject of bitter contention during Dr. Crawford's tenure as acting commissioner and commissioner. After the pill's maker, Barr Laboratories, applied three years ago to sell the pill over the counter, the agency repeatedly delayed making a decision on the application.

While many lawmakers, abortion rights advocates and former F.D.A. officials said the delays had resulted from politics, Dr. Crawford and other agency officials said their concerns were scientific and legal.

An advocacy group, the Center for Reproductive Rights, sued the agency in federal court in New York over the delays. Many such suits are quickly dismissed, but a federal judge allowed the case to proceed, giving the center the right to interview top F.D.A. officials, including Dr. Crawford.

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