[Been a while since I posted; Ms Blood is away on her Fulbright in Maryland, which has left me in charge of small dog, broken heating, and so forth and moderately distracted.]
The SCMP has an excellent series on Wang Lijun, excerpted from Southern Metropolis. His Bo-backed antics range from amusing (team of 20 blue-clad PR guys known as "the Smurfs") to terrifying (arrest and torture of businessmen to extort money from them.)
Two points here. The first is that the really unusual part is the PR management, not the brutal regime. There are many small cities and towns that operate under an equally thuggish and extortionate rule by the local bosses; what was different about Chongqing was that it happened in such a prominate city rather than in the boondocks, and that it was being done by a team of sweeping newcomers rather than entrenched locals. That's why it went so far; normally the local millionaires would have standing arrangements with the city's leadership to pay them off, relationships not worth disturbing for the sake of a cash grab.
The second is that an awful lot of Chinese journalists and academics published brownnosing articles, gave talks praising Chongqing (particularly hilarious quote from Li "Hamsterface" Xiguang midway down this article), and so on, usually after either soft benefits (all-expenses paid trips, etc) or hard ones (outright bribes.) There were also some prominent Americans, but the really entertaining fallout will be among Chinese institutions, where a lot of photocopied articles and web links are being passed around by various people's professional rivals. It's not a purge, but it's been enough, I hear, to stall some previously promising careers in sycophancy.