William L. Schachte Jr.

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William L. Schachte Jr. is a retired rear admiral who has joined Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in claiming that U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry did not deserve the first Purple Heart that he received for his service in Vietnam.

Schachte claims that he was aboard the boat when the incident occurred for which Kerry received the medal. Kerry denies that Schachte was present. Two other sailors aboard Kerry's boat, Bill Zaladonis and another enlisted man, back up Kerry's story.

According to conservative columnist Robert Novak, who interviewed him, "Schachte said he never has been contacted by or talked to anybody in the Bush-Cheney campaign or any Republican organization. He said he has been a political independent who votes for candidates of both parties." [1]

Blogger-journalist Joshua Micah Marshall disputes this claim. "Apparently, he's the kind of independent who gave George W. Bush a thousand bucks in 2000 and in 2004," Marshall notes. "He's also the new law partner of one of the guys running the Republican National Convention." [2]

In September 2004, O'Dwyer's PR Daily revealed that Xenophon Strategies had been appointed to handle PR for Schachte and "shepherded Schachte through an interview" with Novak. Schachte, who is registerd with the U.S. Senate as a lobbysit for Fastship, which won a a $40 million federal contract this year. The lobbying for the contract was undertaken by the Washington D.C. lobbying company Blank Rome.

"BR's chairman is co-chair of President Bush's re-election campaign in Pennsylvania and a partner is chair of the Republican National Convention's arrangements committee," O'Dwyers reported.[3] A statement issued by Xenophon for Schachte denied that he has ever met the BR officials connected to Bush, had no role in the $40 million contract or that he had worked for BR in recent years.

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