Talk:Stephen Payne (lobbyist)

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"The Real Story"[edit]

It seems that the truly fascinating thing about this whole affair is not about Library donations -- it's about how much influence "hired gun" lobbyists have over our foreign policy...go into the external links and onto the "Photo gallery of Payne with world leaders" and not only are those pictures telling but one of them is a letter from Pakistan's President (on his letterhead) where Musharraf says Payne "played a pivotal role" in US Pak relations -- this is our foreign policy being conducted by non govt officials -- that's why I felt it was important to specifically list the Pakistan activities that were aided by Payne and his team. -- I'm going to look further to try to verify some of these other claims as well, because if even half are true it means alot of things happening in many places are being coordinated by outside influences. -- fascinating...Polticaltexan (talk) 17:44, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Response to Waxman's letter[edit]

Did Payne respond to Waxman's letter and, if so, what is the source stating that Payne did respond? Badagnani (talk) 05:22, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

The committee acknowledged to this reporter they had received a response and were studying it: http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2008/08/houston-money-man-had-deep-connections-to-bush/

If there's a source, it would be fine to add this info to the article, with the source directly afterward. But "texaswatchdog" sounds more like a blog than a newsmedia source. Badagnani (talk) 05:38, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

It's not important that Payne responded at this point -- there will most likely be more definitive information on the response in the coming weeksPolticaltexan (talk) 13:53, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

It does seem important, as apparently Waxman had asked for a response within a week, and there has been no follow-up on this. Badagnani (talk) 22:18, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Congress has adjourned for the year -- according to "The Texas Watchdog" blog (written 5 weeks after the deadline in Waxman's letter and sited above), Payne responded and it now appears that Waxman choose not to proceed with further inquiries or a hearing.Polticaltexan (talk) 14:15, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

It turns out Payne did respond to Waxman's letter -- it was just buried deep in the Houston Chronicle (but reported on the 10th day of Waxman's deadline) http://blogs.chron.com/txpotomac/2008/07/payne_responds_to_waxman_commi.html Polticaltexan (talk) 19:15, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Is the Sunday Times backing away from their story?[edit]

Another interesting tidbit to this story is that if you go onto the London Times website (http://www.timesonline.co.uk) and search in the Times search engine for "Stephen Payne", "Yerzhan Dosmukhamedov", "Timur Kulibayev" or "Askar Akayev" (all key players in this story) -- none of the 3 articles about Payne appear (Stephen Payne Hotshot Lobbyist , Bush Lobbyist in 'cash for access row' , or Bush Lobbyist Quits) -- The articles seem to have been pulled from the London Times website search engine even though the website claims to have all of their articles still online back to 1985. Additionally, The Times seems reluctant to release the entire videotape which is the centerpiece of their story.Polticaltexan (talk) 05:28, 31 August 2008 (UTC) Insert non-formatted text here

Is the status of how much of the tape has been released given in any sources? Has the paper been requested to release more of it (either in video or transcript form) and they have refused? If yes to any of the above, if sourced, it would be of interest. Badagnani (talk) 05:35, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

On the video, I have seen no source that has anything other than the 4 min 31 secs of tape from The London Times. Payne is quoted in the Houston Chronicle and in his own statement (both sourced in the article) that the meeting lasted for "over an hour". Perhaps the Times lawyers decided not to release any more of the tape and pull down all 3 stories for whatever reason? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 07:34, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

In this light, it could (and probably should) be clarified in the article that only this excerpt has been released, of a meeting that lasted for "over an hour." Badagnani (talk) 07:37, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

How is it known that the tape is an hour long (or over an hour long)? Which source states this? Badagnani (talk) 03:06, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I made an attempt at showing that The Sunday times has only released 4 mins of the one hour tape...the difficulty is that what they released is of course all that can be sourced so there is no source for the whole tape -- we only have Payne's statement and 2 quotes (Houston Chronicle and Dallas Morning News)Polticaltexan (talk) 03:14, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, of course Payne would know the total length of the meeting itself, but necessarily wouldn't know the length of a secret tape he never physically saw. If it was on "record" the entire time, presumably a lot of it included generalities or discussion about what to order, etc. Badagnani (talk) 03:17, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I changed the source to the Dallas Morning news (which directly quotes Payne saying it was an hour long conversation) -- The DMN is probably better than The Chicago Tribune's posting of Payne's statement on their Blog as a reference -- but I still think it's good to keep the entire statement as an external linkPolticaltexan (talk) 03:25, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I just watched the tape again -- this time not paying attention to what was being said but to how many times it was edited -- in 4 mins 31 secs there are 4 seperate conversations -- so it starts and there are 3 hard stop edit skips in between -- The Times didn't try to hide the edits -- it stops goes to a blank white screen for a moment and then starts up again -- so again, without dwelling on it in the article, a mention of the significantly shortened and edited tape is noteworthy -- and even more noteworthy now that The Times has pulled all 3 stories from their internal search engine.Polticaltexan (talk) 03:55, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

One assumes that, as in the release of any such tapes, the other portions include dialogue not relevant to the story the Times was doing. Badagnani (talk) 04:04, 1 September 2008 (UTC)


Is there a "scandal" here?[edit]

The US House Committee investigated the matter and took no action before adjourning. The London Times has removed all 4 stories involving Payne from their website search engine (the articles can now only be accessed vie this article and some blogs). The Times has never released more than 4 mins of a one hour meeting that Payne described as a "legitimate solicitation of a lobbying client". And CREWs appeals to the DOJ have seemed to gone nowhere. If no investigative body has found any wrongdoing -- then is the whole matter a "scandal"? Although DOJ and other entities could still take action in the future, at this point it all seems like a "hyped-up" news story.Polticaltexan (talk) 15:14, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps "controversy" is a more unbiased word to describe the incident unless further action is taken by the DOJ or the House committee.Polticaltexan (talk) 15:21, 30 October 2008 (UTC)


"Pivotal role" in U.S.-Pakistan relations[edit]

"Played a pivotal role in U.S.-Pakistan relations" (see this edit) sounds like ad copy for a brochure promoting Payne. Is this claim of a "pivotal role" sourced from a source not connected to Payne? Badagnani (talk) 22:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

"Pivitol role" is straight from Musharaff's letter (on the external link slideshow from london times) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 03:24, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

The slideshow came directly from a Payne company brochure, did it not? If so, adding such text would have to be qualified--if the letter is genuine (it doesn't seem to be reproduced in that brochure, just quoted from), the text in the article should state that it was a quote by Musharraf. Badagnani (talk) 05:12, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

not sure where Times got the pics in the slide show -- the letter is quoted in Payne's brochure but the entire signed letter on Pakistan Presidential letterhead is on the Times slideshow of pictures -- as to the letter's authenticity, perhaps the combination of the pictures and the letter strongly suggest that it is but there is no way to 100% verify it —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 05:25, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I believe the article states that it obtained and scanned a brochure from one of Payne's lobbying firms. Badagnani (talk) 05:28, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

If the quote is qualified by stating that it was a quote of Musharraf, that should solve things. Our encyclopedia can't pronounce that someone played a "pivotal role" if that was one person's opinion, though we can quote that person as having said that. Badagnani (talk) 05:29, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Joe Biden[edit]

The times tape has Payne mentioning that he thinks he can get Joe Biden to say something positive about Akayev when Akayev visits DC -- the reference is clearly on the tape -- the blogs have made the conection (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/18/14421/2378/676/569863) -- I think in this article it needs not be dweled upon other than to say his name was mentioned for whatever reason -- so I simply added his name next to Rice and Cheney with no additional comentaryPolticaltexan (talk) 02:41, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

No kidding! Certainly, if accurate and properly sourced, this would be of interest in light of current events. Badagnani (talk) 03:39, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Harper's Magazine links Biden to the videotaped mtg.Polticaltexan (talk) 07:15, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Purpose of mtg?[edit]

all of the stories state that Payne was there to discuss bringing the Central asian leader back to Kygrz --why do you stick to the "access for donations" line when several credible sources state otherwise (particularly the Houston Chronicle -- which you already sourced) this link (from your article) shows that there is a great deal of question as to what Payne was there to do -- I think the middle ground is to say he was there to discuss a 750,000 lobbying contract with a library donation as a part of it... --—Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

Kindly sign all posts with four tildes, thanks. With things such as this, we typically go with what the available sources state, keeping a neutral point of view. If reliable sources state more than one thing, we can provide two or more versions. I believe it would help to have access to the entire tape or transcript rather than just a portion. Badagnani (talk) 06:14, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

The small expansion states that Payne says he was there to get a client (sourced to Chronicle) and that Dos raised the donation issue first (before the mtg in his original e-mail to Payne). After a fairly extensive search, it seems that although Payne issued a written statement and responded to specific questions from the UPI and Dallas Morning News -- it seems he only gave an interview to his hometown paper The Houston Chronicle. (there are several stories by Roth and Mason including Payne's positive quotes so it makes sense he would give them the exclusive) -- you correctly used the Chronicle as a source and I feel that it is perhaps the most credible on this story.Polticaltexan (talk) 19:45, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

more changes further clarifies the nature of the mtg in multiple sources like The Houston Chronicle, Payne's numerous written statements to specific reporter questions, and Payne's statement from the Chicago Tribune -- even the times discusses a larger amount than $250,000

To be truly "neutral" we should still discuss the fact that Payne suggested a $250,000 donation but it is very unclear (based on the first e-mail from Dos to Payne) as to whether there was a quid pro quo...all sources (including the times) indicate that the library donation was part of a larger budget and therefore it is appropriate to mention that fact and the $750,000 amount.Polticaltexan (talk) 20:08, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Whatever the sources say (and if it's a claim by Payne from a Texas newspaper as to what happened off the portions of the tape that have been publicized, it should be presented as such rather than presented as fact). If it's properly sourced from reliable sources, feel free to add to the text regarding the meeting. Badagnani (talk) 22:22, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Good additions. Article is looking good. Badagnani (talk) 23:19, 30 August 2008 (UTC)


Education[edit]

Missing from biography: high school and college information. Badagnani (talk) 06:56, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

finally found the information on a "pay to see" site...--Polticaltexan (talk) 07:15, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

It would need to be properly cited. Badagnani (talk) 00:28, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Statement[edit]

How can we be sure that this statement is actually by Payne? It isn't signed and is not on letterhead. Badagnani (talk) 05:21, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva is claiming that the statement is Payne's and is the originating source http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/07/lobbyist_200k_gift_to_bush_lib.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 05:31, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

So this is a blog of a Chicago Tribune journalist? If the statement is to be added, it should be qualified by stating something like, "In an email from Payne received by Mark Silva on X date, Payne claims..." Badagnani (talk) 05:39, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

the e-mails attached to the article (also an external source) are from the exact same blog -- why delete the statement and not the e-mails? —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

If the blog is that of a reputable journalist, and he believes that the letter (which is not signed nor on letterhead) is real, it can be added, with the proper links provided and with the statements or quotes in proper context. Badagnani (talk) 06:00, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Payne's Statement added as an external link and sourced to Mark Silva of the TribunePolticaltexan (talk) 17:58, 29 August 2008 (UTC)


Order of the 3 stars[edit]

obviously, Latvia thought that Payne had done something right and awarded him with their state award -- it was properly sited to the foreign ministry press release -- why was it removed? --—Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

All edits were reversed because several went counter to the sources in the article, and available to us. If this item is verifiable and properly sourced (it seems for about 40% of the material in the article, we rely solely on Payne's own publicity, from various of his companies' websites and brochures), it can be re-added, with source(s). Badagnani (talk) 06:10, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Latvian award edit and sourced to LFM websitePolticaltexan (talk) 17:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Azerbaijan Pres[edit]

MSNBC specifically stated on air (and I had provided the youtube link) that payne had got Pres of Azerbj his mtg w/Bush -- yet you reverted back to the "brochure states it" why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 06:07, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

This "infotainment" program (that of Keith Olberman, I presume) is the only source verifying this? Badagnani (talk) 06:11, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Kindly sign all posts by adding four tildes after your post, thanks. Badagnani (talk) 06:12, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

It now has both sources (the Payne created brochure and a top 3 news network) double sourcing the claim...the fact that it is in the WSP brochure weakens the claim that it is 100% Payne's doing but the MSNBC link does give some credence to itPolticaltexan (talk) 17:48, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Didn't MSNBC get the info from the brochure or some blog or newspaper article mentioning the brochure? If not, then from where? Badagnani (talk) 22:20, 29 August 2008 (UTC)


Dubya ranch hand?[edit]

The article refers to a "Dubya ranch hand" yet is un-sourced -- what is a dubya ranch hand? NNDB has Payne listed as such (that he visited the President's ranch in 2003) -- but it seems more clear to simply say Payne visited the President's ranch on multiple occasions (two confirmed -- the 2003 event in NNDB, and the other unknown date (depicted in the pics of Payne and bush clearing brush from the Times slideshow pics)Polticaltexan (talk) 13:42, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's sourced and the source is given following the text. Badagnani (talk) 22:22, 29 August 2008 (UTC)


Lanesborough[edit]

All the sources state that the meeting took place in the restaurant of the Lanesborough, but it was just changed earlier this evening to the "Library Bar" of the Lanesborough. What is the source stating that this was the actual location of the meeting? Badagnani (talk) 05:49, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

The images of the newly redecorated Library Bar at the Lanesborough don't seem to match the decor seen in the background of the photo of the meeting. See [1]. Badagnani (talk) 06:02, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

The images of the newly redecorated Library Bar at the Lanesborough don't seem to match the decor seen in the background of the photo of the meeting. See [2]. Strangely, it also doesn't seem to match images of the Lanesborough's restaurant. See [3]. Badagnani (talk) 06:02, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Resignation[edit]

Sources state he was "asked to" resign and the article states as much. Please do not change this to "resigned," as this is different. Badagnani (talk) 21:55, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Need source[edit]

This edit needs a source. Badagnani (talk) 21:50, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

New text[edit]

This new text needs to be sourced. It reads exactly like ad copy for Payne. Where did it come from? Badagnani (talk) 23:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The new text is from the WSP website which is referenced several times. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 03:27, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
also ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Afghanistan_Pipeline mentions timeline dormancy under taliban —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 03:57, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

It would need to be properly sourced in the article, then. Also, text in Wikipedia articles may not be copied from the subject's promotional material, or sound like PR/ad copy. Badagnani (talk) 05:13, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Additionally, MSNBC specifically stated on air (and I had provided the youtube link) that payne had got Pres of Azerbj his mtg w/Bush -- yet you reverted back to the "brochure states it" why? and further, all of the stories state that Payne was there to discuss bringing the Central asian leader back to Kygrz --why do you stick to the "access for donations" line when several credible sources state otherwise (particularly the Houston Chronicle -- which you already sourced) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 05:55, 29 August 2008 (UTC)


Added Photo[edit]

I added the NATO photo but kept the "scandal" photo but moved it down to the scandal section where it is more fittingPolticaltexan (talk) 20:09, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

References are missing ??[edit]

These are missing -- both are common statements found in several sources (but I'm not familiar with where the original author found them?) -- I can't adjust them. can they be corrected?Polticaltexan (talk) 23:22, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I think you may need to tell me; the references have become very messed up since you began editing this article. Doing references takes skill and time to learn before actually going in and putting them in, and I see that the spacing and some other aspects of the references are now in serious need of attention. Badagnani (talk) 03:28, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Ref #23 is still unlinked -- The Payne-Scheuneman connection is all over the web (which ref #23 is tryinmg to site) here are 2 good links either of which could be used for ref# 23 AP Story on the relationship or TPM's version of the relationship. Polticaltexan (talk) 18:05, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


References Need Cleaning-up[edit]

There are LOTS of redundant references in the article but I don’t have access to clean them up – so here are my suggestions to consolidate and clarify the references…Ref # 17 is not needed where it is as ref #5 fully sources the statement (also #17 IS #11) -- # 18 needs to be re-titled as “3 Star Order Recipients (2004) – Latvian Foreign Ministry” -- #19 should be re-titled as “Riga Summit (NATO) Website” -- #22 and 23 are both #11 -- #24 and # 25 are both included in #2 and #2 is a better source -- #26 is # 5 -- #27 is not needed as #10 fully sources the statement -- #28 and 29 are #11 -- #32 is #30 -- #34 is a better source than #33 and should be used in both places -- #35 is not necessary as #36 fully covers the statement and is a better source AND #36 is #1…so #1 can replace both 35 and 36Polticaltexan (talk) 18:57, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

If there are mistakes, it's fine to fix them, but it's not a problem to have more than one source for a single sentence. Badagnani (talk) 19:31, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Please don't continue to remove sources. As I mentioned, it's fine to have two or more sources per sentence. Badagnani (talk) 03:43, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

OK...I mostly got rid of truly redundant sources (ie we used the WSP website bio page 6 different times under 6 different reference numbers -- also there were 2 different versions of the exact same AP story -- one from a radio station and one from USA Today (I used USA today twice as it is much more credible) -- finally, Democratic Underground (a 100% partisan website was used twice -- and I was able to source one of it's sightings to a real news source) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Polticaltexan (talkcontribs) 05:31, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Recent revisions (reasons and sources)[edit]

On family life -- -- you had asked that I try to find something on education and other background -- an article from The Houston Chronicle from 1989 titled "Aide hopes for long Political Career" detailed Payne's parent's names and education background (This article is no longer accessable acept via a paid subscription) -- his children's names came from hids divorce papers...

In International -- Payne is the consul for several states (it is clearly stated in the link to his 3 star order reference verbatum -- "...Honorary Consul of Latvia in Texas, Arcansas, Luisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Stephen P.Payne...)...

Pakistan's "multibillion dollar aide package" is mentioned in both Payne's materials AND the TPM article, AND is common knowledge that they get such an aide package...

The remaining changes to International and political activities are not material changes -- they were all just reordering and putting all "Bush activities" into one section -- the reason for doing this is that even though it was The London Times story that brought Payne to the publ;ic view -- it's the possibly huge amount of influence "hired gun" lobbyists have over our foreign policy...go into the external links and onto the "Photo gallery of Payne with world leaders" and not only are those pictures telling but one of them is a letter from Pakistan's President (on his letterhead) where Musharraf says Payne "played a pivotal role" in US Pak relations -- this is our foreign policy being conducted by non govt officials -- that's why I felt it was important to specifically list the Pakistan activities that were aided by Payne and his team. -- I'm going to look further to try to verify some of these other claims as well, because if even half are true it means alot of things happening in many places are being coordinated by outside influences. -- fascinating...putting it all into a Bush section makes it easier to follow the logical path...

Finally, the changes to the Convroversy section are straight out of the references we have already used...Polticaltexan (talk) 07:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

also again, I did some of the research to make some of these changes because I had been asked to on this page (and at some actual expense)...so if you see individual edits you want to discuss, I will be happy to justify them further -- just please don't undo it all at once as each edit was done and explained individually -- thanks.Polticaltexan (talk) 07:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

"Conflict of Interest"[edit]

Obviously, I'm from Texas and I have read about Payne in my hometown paper many times -- my interest in this article is that major portions of our nations foreign policy are being run by "outside the govt interests" -- I believe that is the real story here and I am trying to guide the article so that pov is also seen (in a neutral way of course)Polticaltexan (talk) 01:27, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

In addition to the deletions, too many items that have been changed significantly were done without citing sources. In fact, the very first edit of this SPA involved a change in the spelling of a name against sources (in addition to other personal information about the subject of this article that is not generally found in the available sources), and this spelling change has been reimposed again and again, without source cited. In which source did the editor find that the meeting taped by the Times took place in a "Library Bar," as in this edit? Badagnani (talk) 07:02, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


"Library bar" was in Payne's statement (that both Chicago and Dallas papers acknowledged)...Polticaltexan (talk) 07:21, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Question -- how should I site a 1989 Chronicle article that gives the education and spelling things but is not on the web via any means other than "pay to see"? -- thanksPolticaltexan (talk) 07:47, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Polticaltexan, the problem is, that all but one of your many Wikipedia mainspace edits were to add information about Stephen Payne. To an experienced outsider, this looks like a WP:SPA, which is often a sign of WP:COI, or even WP:AUTO. Perhaps you could use your local knowledge to improve other articles related to Houston or Texas politics? That would help shield you from any potential accusations of SPA, and hence lessen suspicions of COI in the case of Payne. —Zalktis (talk) 08:23, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


Zalktis, I understand your point about my Stephen Payne and that my edits reflect a possible WP:SPA, but I've been pretty clear that I think that this isn't just some bumbling "caught on tape" mtg. -- that this is a fairly big issue of our nation's foreign policy being conducted by hired guns -- so I don't see how you could see my edits as a possible WP:AUTO-- I think that the edits that I have made (and sourced) reflect a drift toward that (still neutral) pov -- I am interested in this article because of the vast implications that it could lead to, but I welcome anyone else to work with me to add to it as well -- thanksPolticaltexan (talk) 14:50, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Badagnani -- if you still feel that you need to "mass revert" the changes from yesterday -- I will not undo your change -- instead, I will go back and reorder the sections into "International" "Bush White House" etc w/o any material changes to the text as I feel pretty strongly that the article needs to reflect the real story of a guy running around the world doing foreign policy and no one will ever know what authorization he ever had to do so -- again, all of my edits have steered the article in that direction (but are being done so citing sources and in a neutral way) -- I feel that I have enhanced what you put alot of time into and I certainly want to work with you to improve it...thanks...Polticaltexan (talk) 17:57, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


White House Advance[edit]

originally the article stated that it was Payne's brochure that stated he worked for the White House as a Sr. Advance Representative -- and the article sourced it as such...but consider the following:

1. At the July 16th White House briefing it was acknowledged from the Podium that payne had done several trips for the White House (at a time the White House was attempting to put some distance between themselves and Payne)

2. Payne's brochure claims he went to Kazakhstan, The Red Sea Summit, and Karzai's inauguration and it is in the article as such.

3. In The Times photo gallery (which is one of this article's external links) 2 of the pics are of Payne at Karzai's inauguration and at he Red Sea Summit -- which obviously proves he was there...

4. several of the sources already used in this article state that Payne did the advance for Cheney to KZ.

So based on all of the above, I added the White House daily briefing as a source and stated that the "White House link" was not just "brochure talk"

My edits to this article have been consistent in pushing one point (in a neutral way of course) -- this article shouldn't focus on an edited videotape asking for a library contribution -- it should focus on US foreign policy being conducted by "hired guns" with no or at least unknown authorization... which is a fascinating concept -- I'm sorry that some feel that I have an WP:SPA, but I'm new to Wikipedia and am fascinated by the implications of this storyPolticaltexan (talk) 18:46, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

COI Tag Should be removed[edit]

A WP:COI tag was added to this article over two weeks ago -- I have attempted to discuss this tag on this talk page and the talk pages of the editor who added the tag -- he has not responded to my inquiry. I understand their point about Stephen Payne and that my edits reflect a possible WP:SPA, I'm new to Wikipedia and am fascinated by the implications of this story but I've been pretty clear that I think that this isn't just some bumbling "caught on tape" mtg. -- that this is a fairly big issue of our nation's foreign policy being conducted by hired guns -- I have tried to push this "underground foreign policy" with all of my edits -- and now feel that the article does that -- I think that the edits that I have made (and properly sourced) reflect a drift toward that (still neutral) pov that Payne isn't just some powerless fly by night looking for a library contribution, which was the original drift of the article -- I am interested in this article because of the vast implications that it could lead to, but I welcome anyone else to work with me to add to it as well -- this article shouldn't focus on an edited videotape asking for a library contribution -- it should focus on US foreign policy being conducted by "hired guns" with no or at least unknown authorization... which is a fascinating concept -- I'm sorry that some feel that I have an WP:SPA, but I'm just interested in the concept. -- In my opinion, the article, as it stands right now, reflects both the viewpoint that Payne was caught on tape asking for library contributions AND that he has been doing alot of back room diplomacy as well (see the "see also" link on the Payne article to the Logan Act) -- there are alot of unanswered questions here that an autobiographer wouldn't be asking -- like what ever happened to the promised congressional investigations?

If there aren't strong objections within a reasonable amount of time -- I intend to remove the COI tag soon -- Thanks.Polticaltexan (talk) 06:01, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the tag. Please remember to also use your energies and abilities to improve other articles on Wikipedia as well (about other lobbyists, perhaps?), otherwise you may attract suspicions of WP:SPA again. —Zalktis (talk) 07:59, 24 November 2008 (UTC)