Lewis Fein

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Lewis Fein is the interim Executive Director of Public Interest Watch (PIW), a secretive industry funded group that has lobbied the Internal Revenue Service to investigate environmental and other non-profit groups.

In March 2004 Fein replaced the original Executive Director, Mike Hardiman. A media release announcing Fein as interim Executive Director director "until the board of directors selects a permanent replacement". [1]

The release describes Fein as "a writer and public activist, and consumer advocate". The release went on to cryptically refer to Lewis offering the organization "a bevy of service from the public sector - including research skills groomed on Capitol Hill - while enjoying a keen eye about the operation of private corporations".

A brief biogrpahical note appended to a column published in Jewish World Review stated he is "a writer and Internet entrepreneur in Los Angeles".

While one article in the L.A. Jewish press attributed Fein as having worked as a speechwriter and aide to Bob Dole and Newt Gringrich [2] he said in an interview that this was inaccurate and that he had worked on their re-election campaigns. "I have done some re-election work with Newt Gingrich in the state of George but I was not a speechwriter for him. I did do some speechwriting for the House Republican conference in Washington DC a number of years ago which at the time was headed by Congressmen Dick Armey ... and I worked on his (Bob Dole's) campaign in 96," he said in a June 2004 interview with SourceWatch editor Bob Burton.

What the media release didn't state, however, is that Fein works as media relations officer for CyberU, a Californian software company. In April and May 2004, Fein was listed as a contact on media releases issued by them.

In early 2006 the Wall Street Journal revealed that in 2003 Exxon Mobil almost entirely funded Public Interest Watch. (Of PIW's $124,094 in income between August 2003 and July 2004, $120,000 came from Exxon Mobil.)

Subsequently Fein sought to distance the oil company's funding from its lobbying campaign against Greenpeace. "I have never spoken with anyone from Exxon; nobody has ever called me from Exxon; I have never corresponded with anyone from Exxon," Fein told In These Times. [3]

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