Sen. Arlen Specter presents himself as an independent, moderate Republican. On the other hand, his staff was supposedly responsible for the provision in the PATRIOT act revision allowing the appointment of US Attorneys without Senate confirmation. He has even claimed that this was done without his knowledge and that one of his new staffers sneaked the provision in without his knowledge. (Rather implausible deniability, in my opinion).
The email below from the recent document dump (as reported on this TPMuckraker thread) suggests that he was and remains the Bush Administration’s tool. (The email was written immediately after the Democrats took power; I’m not sure what bill is being discussed.)
From Rebecca Seidel, January 25, 2007, 5:10 PM
Just got off the phone with Matt Miner on Specter’s staff who called to discuss the hearing….[Miner asked for various sorts of information]….Re the bill: he is organizing a Republican amendment so that they have one strategy and the Democrats don’t divide and conquer. He asked if we have any amendments to please draft and get to him.
I re-sent him the talking points (as he had given his copy away – he realized we had a lot of info in there.)
It isn’t news to most Democrats that Specter is a Bush tool, but he’s been fairly successful at presenting himself to the public as an open-minded free agent. Maybe the new information will convince a few people that he’s something quite different.