Non-Partisan Watchdog?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

The nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste calls itself America's No. 1 taxpayer watchdog, and the group's annual "Pig Book" detailing the government's most wasteful spending programs has been praised by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain. But it turns out the group also acts as a lobbying firm with paying clients — including Mexican Avocado Growers, who paid $100,000 to lobby against restrictions on avocado imports and the tobacco companies, which paid at least $245,000 to urge the federal government not to regulate the industry.

The St. Petersburg Times reports that 22 percent of CAGW's funding comes from corporations, but the group's president refused to reveal who it represents, and argues that the lobbying campaigns are consistent with the group's anti-regulation mission.

Ads Refused

The liberal activist group has launched a million-dollar ad campaign against four Republican lawmakers, but NBC Stations in Columbus, Ohio, and Hartford, Connecticut, say the ads are misleading and they're refusing to run them.

MoveOn accuses Indiana's Chris Chocola, Virginia's Thelma Drake, Connecticut's Nancy Johnson and Ohio's Debra Pryce of taking money from energy companies, then voting against investigating those companies for price gouging — comparing all four to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

But on October 7, those lawmakers did vote for the Gasoline for America's Security Act, which ordered the FTC to investigate price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. MoveOn claims the stations' decision, "reflects the well-known right-wing leanings" of NBC parent company General Electric.

Coarse Correspondence

ABC News has suspended the producer who wrote that President Bush made him sick in an e-mail leaked to the press last month. This after reporters obtained yet another mail in which he bashed former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. John Green, the executive producer of Good Morning America's weekend edition, apologized to ABC and the White House after a 2004 e-mail saying the President made him want to "puke" appeared on the Drudge Report Web site.

Cynthia McKinney has been accused of hitting a Capitol Hill police officer with her cell phone after he stopped her at a congressional office building and she has not denied doing that, but you wouldn't know that from reading the account of the incident in The New York Times. In an article published this weekend, the Times referred to the dust-up as a "run-in with a Capitol police officer," an "encounter," and a "physical altercation" — and reported that the officer's attempts to stop McKinney from sidestepping metal detectors "[provoked] a physical response from Ms. McKinney."

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.