The Education Department's Inspector General says top Bush administration offials wasted tax dollars and showed poor judgment when they hired commentator Armstrong Williams to push the "No Child Left Behind" law.
The administration paid the Ketchum public relations firm $1.3 million to promote the law. Part of that was to hire Mr Williams. The deal was part of a much wider policy of hiring commentators to promote the administration's agenda without telling readers or viewers they were working for the govenment.
When the "Pundit Payola" scandal broke, the White House claimed it was a single, isolated incident.
But the IG's report shows two Education Department officials warned the White House last summer about the "inherent conflict" of the Williams contract. But neither the White House nor the Department listened. (Philadelphia Inquirer)