Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Obama backer James Hoffa calling on Clinton to cut all ties to Mark Penn. Also calls on Obama advisor Goolsbee to come clean on NAFTA meeting. UPDATED


WASHINGTON--Teamsters chief James Hoffa is making an issue of Mark Penn staying on with the Clinton campaign even though he was demoted from chief strategist. In a conference call focusing on Indiana, Hoffa said Clinton should "end his services with the campaign completely." While the call is taking place, the Clinton team is announcing they will have an Indiana call.

Hoffa is also saying that there is no comparison between Penn and Obama advisor Austan Goolsbee, the University of Chicago economics prof who is an Obama top advisor. Goolsbee met with a Canadian official at the consultate in Chicago and may--or may not have said that Obama's call to revisit NAFTA was merely campaign rhetoric. Since, then, the Obama campaign has muzzled Goolsbee but did not throw him out.

"No comparison," said Hoffa. Penn was paid to lobby.

But he did get off message. Hoffa called for Goolsbee to "make a statement" and "end this mystery about what happened."

This comes in the context of organized labor protesting the Colombia Free Trade Agreement President Bush is sending to Congress. Clinton and Obama oppose the deal. But Penn, in his role as honcho at the public affairs firm of Burson Marstellar, had a contract with the Columbians promoting the pact. After the Wall Street Journal exposed the contract, the Columbians fired Penn and Clinton knocked him down a few pegs. But it turns out he is still advising the campaign.


There is no comparison. Hillary Clinton know before she hired M. Penn that he was involved in another adventure. It was her resonsibility to make sure he resigned from his position. Worse than that,Hill/Bill have known this man for years. They knew what he was involved in.How dare she to threw the blame on Barack. Reminds me Ohio. I only hope the people in Pa. are not hoodwinked like the people in Ohio.
Penn is/was involved with countrywide-the subprime lenders. Maggie Willams another one in her campaign was also involved with countrywide. Maggie Willaims said she was not involv4ed in the day to day issues,however it was reported she sat in on 70% of the meetings'
Hill's Bosnia story is just to much. She did not have any influence with opening the borders. The Northern Ireland story was also another lie. Clinton was not all that involved . Bottom line she never had security clearance to sit in on high level talks. Her healthcare proposal fell flat. Is this the kind of leader we want in the white house? I hope not. If she does get the nomination,expect politics according to Hillary.

I don't claim to have all of the answers but I do know that all of the free trade agreements have put our country in a position of COMPROMISE if you want an answer to this ---delimia all you have to do is ask me! Larry Canada

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 8, 2008 12:02 PM.

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