culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Dwight Meredith at PLA deserves some kind of vigilance award for his detailed post on how a group called the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) is staging a strategic legal battle over lawyer's trust accounts to
deny legal aid to poor people. In the WLF's own words:
We are finally in a position we've fought more than a decade to reach -- a position where we can deal a death blow to the single most important source of income for radical legal groups all across the country," wrote WLF Chairman Daniel Popeo. Among the foundation's adversaries in the litigation, Popeo continues, are "groups dedicated to the homeless, to minorities, to gay and lesbian causes, and any other group that has drawn money from hard-working Americans like you and me to support its radical cause!
A death blow to the homeless! Yet another example of compassionate conservatism in action.

The topic of lawyer's trust accounts undoubtedly makes people's eyes glaze, but it contains real power to change the country. Dwight cuts through the clutter to expose the WLF's radical and hateful agenda. Thinking people, like the readers of this blog and others like it, should go read Dwight's post.

Postscript. More about the mysterious Popeo: Here's a 1988 letter from Daniel Popeo to Philip Morris, begging for $10,000 to support the WLF's continuing efforts in support of tobacco ads (scroll down).

Some of the WLF's more recent handouts came from Exxon Mobil, Schering-Plough, Kimberly-Clark, Chase Manhattan, Bristol-Myers Squibb, General Mills, 3M, and Caterpillar.

The WLF also opposed any regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, arguing in 1999 that the "EPA has no authority under Section 202 of the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles or any other source, including utilities. The Working Group also argues that even if EPA does have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, there is no sound scientific basis for doing so...." according to this press release.

Popeo is also mentioned in Sidney Blumenthal's 1986 book, The Rise of the Counter Establishment, as part of a who's who of the extreme right:
Benchmark magazine, for instance, which deals with legal issues, is published by the Center for Judicial Studies, a think tank directed by James McClellan, a former aide to New Right Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. The Benchmark book review editor is Gary McDowell, a Justice Department public affairs aide who has castigated the Supreme Court for making the states adhere to the constitutional stipulations on religion, speech, and other rights. Senior editor Grover Rees oversaw judicial selection at the Justice Department, and was then appointed a federal judge. Another senior editor, William Kristol, denouncer of the "judicial activists," is the special assistant to Secretary of Education William Bennett. And contributor Daniel Popeo is the head of the Washington Legal Foundation, which files briefs for New Right causes.
Google "Daniel Popeo" and see just how profoundly unfriendly this man is to his fellow citizens, the environment, and just about anything else that doesn't come on the heels of a fat corporate donation for his radical ideology.

Daniel Popeo, who so despises the homeless, is himself just a beggar.

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