Hillary and Aqua Dots

Last month, former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, assailed Mark Penn -- the chief campaign strategist for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY -- comparing him to Bush strategist (and Democratic boogieman) Karl Rove. (LINK)

"We don't want to replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats," Edwards said, referring to the fact that Penn, worldwide president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, had connections to controversial military contractor Blackwater.

Burson's lobbying subsidiary BKSH helped Blackwater's top executive, Erik Prince, prepare for his congressional testimony.

Now comes news -- first reported by our friend Marc Ambinder (LINK) -- that Clinton's chief strategist is now going to make some money off the Aqua Dots tragedy (LINK).

Burson's new client is Spin Master Toys, which distributes the toy beads, coated with a chemical that when ingested metabolizes into gamma hydroxy butyrate, better known as the "date rape" drug.

Two kids in the US who swallowed Aqua Dots went into non-responsive comas, though both have since emerged. Aqua Dots have been pulled from the shelves.

A Burson official tells me that "Mark has never had any contact with this client. We have thousands of clients around the world and this is one of them."

The Clinton campaign hasn't yet responded to requests for comment.

-- jt

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