Second Columnist Got Money from Bush Administration

By: E&P Staff Following on the heels of the Armstrong Williams controversy, reports emerged last night that syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher received a $21,500 contract from the Bush administration to a promote the president's push to encourage marriage as a way of strengthening families.

"Did I violate journalistic ethics by not disclosing it?" Gallagher asked The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, who disclosed the arrangement. "I don't know. You tell me." She said her snafu was ?not really anything near? the $240,000 deal with fellow conservative columnist Armstrong Williams.

But later in the day, Gallagher filed a column in which she said: "I should have disclosed a government contract when I later wrote about the Bush marriage initiative. I would have, if I had remembered it. My apologies to my readers."

Under her contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president's proposal, which ran through most of 2002, she was to draft a magazine article for a HHS, write brochures, and conduct a briefing for department officials.

She received an additional $20,000 from the Bush administration in 2002 and 2003, Kurtz reported, for writing a report titled "Can Government Strengthen Marriage?" for a private organization called the National Fatherhood Initiative.

?In columns, television appearances and interviews with such newspapers as The Washington Post, Gallagher last year defended Bush's proposal for a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage,? Kurtz wrote, citing some examples.

Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Gallagher's work, said there were no plans to drop her column.


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