Four days after President Obama signed into law the Zadroga bill providing no-cost health care to people who were near ground zero on September 11, 2001, or afterward, a law firm is already advertising for clients. The Web site sept11-zadroga-act.com, maintained by the law firm Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, advises visitors: "The assistance of a lawyer is not required, but it is recommended." I got to the site via a paid Google text ad.
Federal Election Commission records show that a lawyer at the firm, James P. Kreindler, contributed a total of $4,800 in September of 2010 to the campaign of the senator who championed the September 11 health bill, Kirsten Gillibrand. In the same month, Mr. Kreindler gave $2,400 to the campaign of Senator Harry Reid.
Other Kreindler & Kreindler lawyers donating to Senator Gillibrand in September 2010:
Michel Baumeister, $1,000 on September 2.
Andrew J. Maloney III, $500 on September 13.
Steven Pounian, $1,000 on September 2 (In addition to a $250 contribution earlier in the year).
The total to Ms. Gillibrand's campaign in September 2010 from Kreindler & Kreindler lawyers, then, was $7,300.
Ms. Gillibrand surely has other reasons to support the bill than the campaign contributions from the lawyers. And the lawyers have every right under the First Amendment to support politicians who are good for their business. But given the amount of press attention devoted to the bill and her role in it — the New York Times ran a valentine under the headline "Gillibrand Emerges as Senate Force With 9/11 Aid Victory," and Jon Stewart was likened to Edward R. Murrow for championing the legislation — it's strange that this all has until now not attracted any coverage.