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VII. The Bush Profiteers:
100 Donors Who Enjoy Hands-off, Handout Government
In identifying the economic and ideological interests of Bush’s donors, researchers kept coming across large contributors who became known as the “Bush Profiteers.” Many of these Bush Profiteers are:In fact, many large Bush donors straddle both camps, seeming to want the government off their backs—except when it is giving them taxpayers’ money. The ranks of the Bush Profiteers include corporate welfare kings, snake oil salesmen, money launderers, tax evaders, tort dodgers, tobacco hacks and toxic waste dumpers.
Corporate welfare kings who derived a portion of their personal wealth from the taxpayers; or Donors who appear to have an interest in taking the regulatory cops off the beat.
The following Bush Profiteer profiles cite the total amount of money that the Profiteers contributed to Bush’s two gubernatorial campaigns (some totals include the contributions of nuclear family members).
GWB—Governor George W. Bush;
GHWB—Ex-President George Herbert Walker Bush;
*—GWB “Pioneer,” who has raised at least $100,000
for GWB’s presidential race.
1. *Charles & Sam Wyly (Dallas): $210,273
These brothers own diverse companies, including Maverick Capital Fund, which received a lucrative University of Texas Investment Management Co. contract to invest UT funds in ’98. Both were members of GHWB’s Team 100, a precursor of Bush’s fundraising “Pioneers.”
2. *Louis Beecherl, Jr & III (Dallas): $154,000
Louis Beecherl, Jr., was a top cheerleader for a record $380 million Dallas bond initiative to dam the Trinity River. Critics call it a boondoggle that will line the pockets of Beecherl and the other project boosters who own adjacent lands.
3. *Tom & R. Steven Hicks (Dallas): $146,000
Tom Hicks is a corporate raider at Hicks Muse Tate & Furst (other name partners gave GWB $58,000). He made GWB’s fortune when he bought the Texas Rangers for $250 million in ’99. After GWB’s election, UT Regents set up the University of Texas Investment Management Co. and made Hicks chair; lucrative UT investment contracts then flowed to firms tied to Hicks and his brother, who headed Capstar Broadcasting.
4. *Tom Loeffler (San Antonio): $141,000
This Arter & Hadden lobbyist co-chaired GHWB’s Team 100, a Pioneers precursor. A University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO) director, Loeffler voted for the UTIMCO contract for Maverick Capital (see the Wylies above) at a UTIMCO meeting that Tom Hicks hosted on symbolic ground: the Rangers’ Ballpark. To see what GWB’s administration did for an Arter & Hadden client, see W. James Jonas, No. 50.
5. Peter O’Donnell, Jr. (Dallas): $141,000
A retired banker who once chaired the Texas GOP, O’Donnell has acknowledged that the CIA used his O’Donnell Foundation as a secret funding conduit.
6. Lonnie ‘Bo’ Pilgrim (Pittsburg, TX): $125,000
This poultry king doled out $10,000 checks to state senators on the Senate floor in ’89 to gut workers’ compensation laws. His company has attracted more than $500,000 in pollution fines in the last decade. Now Pilgrim wants to inject 500 gallons of chicken waste a minute into underground wells. Critics say it will endanger local water quality.
7. *Kenneth & Linda Lay (Houston): $122,500
Lay’s Enron gas hired two GHWB cabinet members as they left office (see James Baker, No. 56, and Robert Mosbacher, No. 30). After GHWB’s ’93 Gulf War victory tour of Kuwait, several members of his entourage, including Baker, stayed on to hustle Enron contracts. The Clinton administration also threatened to cut Mozambique’s aid in ’95 if it did not give Enron a contract. Former Enron president Richard Kinder also gave GWB $119,409.
8. Ray L. Hunt (Dallas): $105,000
Oil heir Hunt and Dallas’ city manager secretly planned the $210 million Reunion development for a year before briefing the city council. Hunt was the sole bidder for this private-public deal that appeared to be written by Hunt’s lawyers. Hunt hired John Scovell ($1,000 to GWB) to head his development company. Scovell’s father sat on Dallas committees that selected Reunion as the site of a new sports arena.
9. David H. Dewhurst III (Houston): $105,000
An ex-CIA operative, Dewhurst made a fortune at Falcon Seaboard oil, where he paid $1 million to settle fraud and embezzlement charges by business partners. Dewhurst personally guaranteed $4 million in loans to his successful ’98 Texas General Land Commissioner campaign. His primary opponent said Dewhurst offered to bankroll his campaign, too—if he would run for another office.
10. Richard E. Rainwater (Ft. Worth): $100,000
Rainwater was a key investor in the Texas Rangers and Columbia/HCA Healthcare, which the government is investigating on Medicare fraud charges (see Richard Scott, No. 65). GWB received $37,500 from executives of Rainwater’s Crescent Real Estate (see Gerald Haddock, No. 33), which bought two buildings from the state in ’96 at bargain-basement prices. GWB’s personal blind trust invested in Crescent during his first term.
11. William A. McMinn (Brenham): $100,000
McMinn works with Sterling Chemical and the Sterling Group, whose principals have contributed $251,000 to GWB. The Sterling Group buys and sells chemical companies. Sterling Chemical releases 11 million pounds of toxic chemicals a year, chiefly from its Texas City plant, which is in a neighborhood that is 88 percent African American.
12. William L. Hutchison (Dallas): $100,000
This head of Hutchison Energy conspired with ex-Governor Bill Clements (No. 23) and others in a scandal involving six-figure payments to Southern Methodist University athletes. The scandal triggered the toughest enforcement penalties in NCAA history.
13. Harold Simmons (Dallas): $90,000
This corporate raider is a recidivist violator of federal campaign contribution limits. His companies have a history of raiding worker pension funds and despoiling the environment. Simmons’ chemical arm, NL Industries, has been named as potentially responsible for three Superfund sites. His Waste Control Specialists wants to dump nuclear waste in West Texas (see Kent Hance, No. 18).
14. J. Virgil Waggoner (Houston): $85,000
Waggoner is vice chair of toxic polluter Sterling Chemical (see William McMinn, No. 11).
15. James Leininger (San Antonio): $82,750
A maker of oscillating hospital beds, Leininger became a “tort reformer” when plaintiffs said the beds dropped them, crushed them or sprayed them with silicone. A fundraising letter revealed in ’98 that his school voucher PAC was working with Texans for Lawsuit Reform to topple Texas’ House Speaker. Leininger’s Christian–right telemarketing firm got corporate welfare from Canton, Texas as a condition of locating there.
16. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr. (Ft. Worth): $75,927
IRS agents raided Moncrief Oil in ’94, seeking evidence of an alleged $100 million tax fraud. U.S. Senators made donor Moncrief a star witness in a ’98 hearing on IRS abuses. The senators failed to mention that Tex had agreed to one of the largest individual tax settlements in history.
17. S. Reed Morian (Houston): $56,050
Morian’s Dixie Chemical spewed 68,343 pounds of toxic waste into Texas skies in ‘97. The EPA sued Dixie—and Harold Simmons’ (No. 13) Baroid Corp and NL Industries—in ‘91 as “potentially responsible” for a 70-million-gallon toxic Superfund site.
18. *Kent Hance (Austin): $51,000
Hance is a lobbyist and ex-Congressman who invested in Waste Control Specialists (WCS). WCS lost a’95 battle for permission to dump nuclear waste in West Texas. After Harold Simmons (No. 13) bought a controlling interest, however, WCS won a victory. In ’99, GWB’s Natural Resource Conservation Commissioners nixed plans for a competing state-run nuclear dump.
19. Dan W. Cook, III (Dallas): $49,600
A Goldman Sachs partner, Cook was a top fundraiser for Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s ‘90 state treasurer race. When Hutchison became treasurer she gave Cook’s firm a $300 million contract to sell state bonds.
20. *J. Huffines, Jr. & Family (Dallas): $42,500
J.L. Huffines, Jr. and family own a string of Dallas-area car dealerships and part of the Dallas Cowboys. Huffines and Thomas A. O’Dwyer ($1,000 to GWB) were accused of meeting to organize a secret Texas A&M “slush fund” for football players. The men denied the accusations, but the NCAA severely punished the team for the scandal. James Huffines is a GWB Pioneer.
21. Paul J. Meyer, Sr. (Waco): $41,500
Meyer’s SMI/USA sells self-improvement tapes through franchises. Meyer and SMI paid $300,000 in ’95 to settle federal charges that they had misled their franchise salespeople for decades about how much they could earn hawking the tapes.
22. Gordon Cain (Houston): $41,000
Cain is the founder of the Sterling Group, which is associated with a string of polluting chemical companies (see William McMinn, No. 11).
23. William & Rita Clements (Dallas): $40,106
Ex-Governor Bill Clements founded SEDCO oil company and was Nixon’s Acting Secretary of Defense. Clements and others conspired in a scandal involving six-figure payments to Southern Methodist University athletes, prompting the only “death penalty” in NCAA history. Clements and his co-conspirators then covered up the scandal to protect his gubernatorial campaign. GWB appointed Clements’ wife as a UT Regent.
24. Scott A. Beck (Golden, CO): $40,000
Beck took Boston Chicken (BC) on a rapid-growth binge that ended in company bankruptcy in ’98. Investors were hoodwinked by strong BC revenue reports; most of this revenue came from repayments of loans BC made to franchises to keep them afloat.
25. Woody L. Hunt (El Paso): $39,000
GWB appointed the owner of Hunt Building as a UT Regent. The federal government sued the firm for Air Force housing that it said was 50 percent uninhabitable and could not withstand South Dakota winds. Hunt settled for $8.8 million in ‘99.
26. David/Charles Koch (Wichita, KS): $25,000
Koch Industries oil spills trigger repeated lawsuits; the State of Texas is suing the company. It paid $10.5 million in ’98 to settle a fishery lawsuit that followed its spill of crude into Nueces Bay. A federal jury ruled in ’99 that Koch should pay $553,504 for oil it pilfered from Indian lands.
27. A. Glenn Braswell (Miami, FL): $25,000
This “VITA Industries” donor appears to be the man who Quackwatch says, “probably set a record as the person against whom the Postal Service filed the largest number of health-related false representation claims.” A. Glenn Braswell pled guilty to faking before-and-after photos for baldness and bust-enhancement remedies.
28. Kenneth N. Bigham (Houston): $25,000
Bigham is president of Waste Control Specialists, which wants to dump nuclear waste in West Texas (see Kent Hance, No. 18).
29. William N. Lehrer (Garwood): $24,500
Lehrer’s Garwood Irrigation owns vast Colorado River water rights. To sell $16 million worth to Corpus Christi, Garwood required a “water-transfer” permit from GWB’s Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commissioners (TNRCC). The TNRCC granted the permit soon after Garwood lobbyist Neal Jones ($2,500 to GWB) hired the TNRCC’s director to lobby for him.
30. Robert Mosbacher Jr/Sr (Houston): $24,000
Robert Mosbacher, Sr. and James A. Baker, III (No. 56), became paid Enron consultants upon exiting the revolving door in GHWB’s cabinet.
31. Jim Bob Moffett (New Orleans, LA): $21,000
Moffett’s Freeport-McMoRan operates the world’s biggest gold mine in Indonesia, where it had cozy relations with Suharto’s dictatorship. Freeport lavished Suharto cronies with gifts and financed Indonesian troops, which have been implicated in the deaths of dozens of indigenous people who resisted expansion of the polluting mine.
32. Othal E. Brand (McAllen): $21,000
This Rio Grande Valley produce magnate made national news brandishing a gun against striking farm workers. Appointed to a state pesticide board by ex-Governor Clements (No. 23), he dismissed a proposed chlordane ban, saying, “Sure, it’s going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying of something else anyway.” As McAllen mayor, Brand solved the colonias problem with an ordinance prohibiting slum residents from complaining about bad housing or water.
33. Gerald W. Haddock (Ft. Worth): $21,000
GWB received $37,500 from four executives of Richard Rainwater’s (No. 10) Crescent Real Estate, led by CEO Haddock. GWB approved the sale of two state office buildings to Crescent in ’96 at a large loss to taxpayers.
34. Michael C. Mewhinney (Dallas): $20,000
A Texas Rangers investor, Mewhinney left Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, in ’99 to join GWB’s presidential campaign. Mewhinney’s firm got a lucrative ’97 contract to manage part of the state’s Permanent School Fund (partner James Barrow also gave GWB $10,000).
35. Vance C. Miller (Dallas): $20,000
Miller heads a huge real estate brokerage. Federal bill collectors have been seeking $23 million from him for a decade to cover his guarantees of bad real estate loans. “I take a dim view of people who do not pay their bills,” Federal District Judge Joe Fish told Miller in ‘98. “Especially when no effort seems to have been made to pay.”
36. William & George Hume (SF, CA): $20,000
The Humes founded Basic American Foods. They were big funders of California’s Prop 226, which would have required labor unions to get permission from each member before contributing their dues to political campaigns. Conservative school board candidates put the ’98 initiative on the ballot after teacher unions backed their opponents.
37. *Marshall B. Payne (Dallas): $20,000
Payne is a partner in Cardinal Investment Co. with Edward “Rusty” Rose ($40,805 to GWB). Their other business investments include: the Texas Rangers; defense contractor Sierra Technologies; and Ace Cash Express, which cashes checks for the working poor for 3% to 6% of face value.
38. Roy Huffington family (Houston): $18,000
Huffington’s Huffco made a huge Indonesian gas strike in ’72. Huffco sent the Suharto dictatorship illegal shipments of billy clubs and shock batons in the ‘80s, which spoiled Reagan’s plans to make Roy’s son an assistant secretary of Commerce. Michael Huffington then shattered campaign-spending records trying to be a California Senator.
39. Robert McDermott (San Antonio): $18,000
McDermott owned the San Antonio Spurs and was CEO of insurer United Services Automobile Association (USAA). USAA got exempted from a ’95 state law to discourage insurers from racial discrimination. A legislator also credited USAA for getting GWB to veto a ‘97 insurance bill.
40. Steven D. Bedowitz (Irving): $17,000
Bedowitz headed Amre aluminum siding company, which produced what the New York Times called, “one of the great accounting frauds of the 1980s.” In ‘92, Bedowitz settled federal charges that Amre inflated financial reports to investors.
41. Charles Cawley (Wilmington, DE) $16,215
Cawley is CEO of a huge credit card company. He and 55 other MBNA executives and managers gave GWB $115,556. Half this money moved in ’98, when the industry that distributes credit cards like candy urged Congress to punish “irresponsible” consumers who declare bankruptcy.
42. *Wayne Berman (Washington, DC): $16,000
Berman is a lobbyist and ex-GHWB assistant secretary of commerce. An ex-Connecticut state treasurer recently pled guilty to corruption charges involving politicians and lobbyists who took “finder’s fees” from firms to which he gave contracts to manage state pension funds. Berman reportedly landed a $900,000 fee and hired the corrupt ex-treasurer as a lobbyist. After reports of this scandal, Berman has reportedly suspended Pioneer fundraising, but the GWB campaign has not returned the $100,000 or more he raised.
43. D. Andrew Beal (Dallas): $16,000
Beal founded Beal Bank of Dallas and Beal Aerospace Technologies, which wants to build a private satellite launch pad on the Caribbean’s Sombrero Island. Critics say this endangers the island’s brown booby nesting population and a lizard species found nowhere else on the planet.
44. Robert Dedman, Jr. & Sr. (Dallas): $15,591
The Dedmans’ Club Corp. is the world's biggest resort chain. In ‘97, Dedman, Sr., gave $3 million to UT for stadium improvements. In a rare move, UT did not publicize the gift, which came at a time when Club Corp. was the sole bidder for a $10 million contract to run a private club at UT’s football stadium. Club Corp. got the contract.
45. *Teel Bivins & Family (Amarillo): $15,500
State Senator Teel Bivins is an overzealous GWB Pioneer. In ’99, he wrote state legislators in 50 states telling them they could legally transfer $1,000 from their war chests to GWB’s. Such diversions are illegal in at least four states.
46. James R. Lightner (Dallas): $15,000
Lightner founded defense contractor Electrospace Systems. He funds Texans for Lawsuit Reform and ex-Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.
47. *Jim/Charles Francis (DC/Dallas): $14,000
Charles Francis of State Affairs public relations recruited Ken Hoagland as a Texas spinmeister for Big Tobacco. When State Affairs formed the National Smokers Alliance (NSA), it tried to recruit Francis’ brother, Jim, to its Texas board. Jim oversees GWB’s Pioneers and is the GWB- appointed chair of the Texas Department of Public Service.
48. William & Mary Ceverha (Dallas): $14,000
Revolving-door lobbyist William Ceverha championed the biggest taxpayer boondoggle in Dallas history (see Louis Beecherl, Jr., No. 2). His wife is vice chair of the Texas Board of Health, which sold out consumers to the diet supplement industry in ‘99 (see W. James Jonas, No. 50).
49. John C. Goff (Ft. Worth): $13,500
GWB received $37,500 from four executives of Rainwater’s Crescent Real Estate, led by President Goff (a Texas Rangers investor) and CEO Gerald W. Haddock (No. 33). GWB approved the sale of two state office buildings to Crescent in ’96 at a large taxpayer loss.
50. W. James Jonas, III: (San Antonio): $12,700
As Texas prepared to regulate the weight-loss supplement ephedrine (linked to eight Texas deaths), vendor Metabolife hired Arter & Hadden lobbyist Jonas and his partner Jeff Wentworth ($5,500 to GWB), who is a state Senator with influence over the health agency’s budget. These lawyers and Metabolife President Michael J. Ellis No. 82) all moved same-day “bundled” contributions of $2,500 or more to GWB in October ‘98. In early ’99, GWB’s Health Commissioner, Reyn Archer, and the Texas Board of Health approved indulgent ephedrine rules that mirrored a draft supplied by the industry.
51. Robert Brittingham Family (Dallas): $12,500
Robert and Jack Brittingham sold one of the nation’s largest ceramic tile companies
for $650 million in ‘90. Robert Brittingham was convicted in ’93 for illegally dumping Dal-Tile lead wastes. A federal judge fined him $4 million dollars—then the largest environmental fine ever levied on an individual.
52. Robert & W. B. Waltrip (Houston): $11,100
Waltrip owns SCI, the world’s largest funeral company. State regulators recommended a record $445,000 fine against SCI in ’98 for reportedly sending corpses to unlicensed embalmers. Politically connected SCI (which gave GWB $35,000 and has ethics-challenged Democratic fundraiser Tony Coelho on its board) called its chits. GWB’s office held two meetings to dress down funeral regulators and the agency fired the director who led the investigation.
53. *Erle A. Nye (Dallas): $11,000
A GWB-appointed Texas A&M regent, Nye heads Texas Utilities, the state’s top “grandfathered” air polluter. The ‘71 state Clean Air Act exempted existing industrial plants from new pollution rules. Rather than closing this loophole, GWB got Exxon and Marathon to devise a program that invites these polluters to volunteer to comply with modern pollution standards. In ’99 utility deregulation legislation, the Legislature closed the grandfather loophole—but only for utilities.
54. Charles E. Hurwitz (Houston): $11,000
An S&L controlled by corporate raider Hurwitz failed in ‘88, costing taxpayers $548 million. After Hurwitz bought Pacific Lumber in ’85, he raided its pension fund and doubled its redwood harvest. Government officials saved some redwoods by paying Hurwitz a $480 million ransom.
55. *Howard Leach (SF, CA): $11,000
Cypress Farms President Leach was a member of GHWB’s Team 100. Leach complained to President Bush in ‘92 that California growers needed a gulp of subsidized Central Valley water. When they got it just 10 days later, Common Cause complained about a big donor getting special perks.
56. James A. Baker, III (Houston): $11,000
Baker and Robert Mosbacher, Sr., (No. 30) became paid consultants of oil giant Enron after exiting GHWB’s cabinet through the revolving door. Baker and Gulf War Joint Chiefs operations director Lt. General Thomas Kelly joined GHWB on a ‘93 victory tour of Kuwait, staying on to lobby the government for Enron contracts.
57. Tom Schieffer (Arlington): $10,000
After becoming Governor, GWB put his assets in a blind trust—except for the goose that laid his golden egg. Texas Rangers President Schieffer kept GWB informed of the play-by-play negotiations to sell the team to Tom Hicks for a huge profit in ‘99.
58. Fred V. Malek (McLean, VA): $10,000
Thayer Capital Partners chief Malek managed GHWB’s ‘92 election campaign and had a hand in a Connecticut Treasurer’s Office kickback scandal (see Wayne Berman, No. 42). When an ex-state senator complained to Treasurer Paul Silvester that a securities firm failed to pay his “finder’s fee,” Silvester called Malek (whose company got a $75 million state investment contract) and Thayer paid $349,500 to a firm linked to the ex-senator.
59. Jack Y. Wu (Port Lavaca): $10,000
As vice president of a Port Lavaca Formosa Plastics plant in ‘95, Wu said, “I feel very, very proud of what we’ve done here—our air quality, water quality.” This plant was fined $247,000 for wastewater violations, settled hazardous waste dumping charges for $3 million, admitted that an employee took kickbacks from contractors and found two workers floating in a chemical vat. The plant hired Joe Wyatt ($1,000 to GWB) to do its PR after a sex scandal removed him from Congress. At the time, Wyatt’s wife sat on the state board that granted pollution permits to this plant.
60. Keith Rupert Murdoch (LA, CA): $10,000
The union-busting tabloid trash king, Murdoch built a shock-entertainment media empire by investing in politicians who regulate him. His tabloids endlessly endorse sympathetic politicos. His HarperCollins publishes fawning books about such despots as Deng Xiaoping and offers huge advances to such politicians as Margaret Thatcher and Newt Gringrich (to whom Harper offered a $4.5 million advance). His empire exploits off-shore tax havens and dubious accounting methods.
61. Roger Staubach (Dallas): $10,000
This ex-Dallas Cowboys star wants to build 1,060 homes in Dallas. Staubach Co. tried a quarterback sneak in ’99, asking the city for $7.6 million to finance infrastructure in the private development. Competitors complained that the city had always reserved such corporate welfare for retail and industrial developments. In response, Staubach Co. withdrew its request—until the city sets a policy for non-celebrity homebuilders.
62. Howard L. Hills (Washington, DC): $10,000
This Stroock & Lavan attorney is an ex-vice president of the federal Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC). OPIC is a huge source of corporate welfare, providing loans, loan guarantees and political risk insurance to U.S. firms investing in developing countries. Big corporations that can afford to buy these services in the private sector are the main recipients of these taxpayer subsidies.
63. José Fanjul (Palm Beach, FL): $10,000
The “First Family of Corporate Welfare,” the Fanjuls control a third of Florida sugar production, collecting $60 million a year in federal subsidies. Their Everglades land was drained at public expense, an environmental nightmare that costs taxpayers $63 million a year to maintain. The Fanjuls invest heavily in politicians; President Clinton even took a call from José’s brother Alfonso while being serviced by Monica Lewinsky.
64. Randolph L. DeLay (Richmond): $10,000
Randy DeLay declared bankruptcy in ’92 after failing a string of businesses. But when his brother Tom became House majority whip in ’95, Randy opened his own lobby shop with corporate clients and a six-figure salary. These clients seemed to get two DeLay brothers for the price of one, with Tom carrying a lot of water for Randy’s clients.
65. Richard L. Scott (Ft. Worth): $10,000
With start up capital from Richard Rainwater (No. 10), Scott started Columbia/HCA Healthcare chain. The HMO’s 10-year, hospital-buying binge ended in ’97 with federal investigators raiding Columbia facilities for evidence of Medicare fraud.
66. Randy Best (Dallas): $10,000
Best’s Voyager Expanded Learning runs for-profit, after-school classes. Dallas’ school superintendent abruptly resigned in ‘97 to work for Voyager. His hand-picked successor gave Voyager a $500,000 contract without seeking competing bids. GWB urged the Legislature to spend $25 million on such after-school programs in ’97; his education commissioner opposed efforts to regulate Voyager.
67. C. Boyden Gray (Washington, DC): $10,000
White House Counsel to President Bush, Gray became a revolving-door lobbyist at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Gray has led the corporate denial of global warming and heads the corporate front group Citizens for a Sound Economy.
68. Robert J. Santoski (Houston): $10,000
Santoski is a big Sterling Group investor. It is associated with a string of polluting chemical companies (see donor William McMinn, No. 11).
69. B. M. Rankin, Jr. (Dallas): $10,000
Rankin is a director of Freeport-McMoRan, a mining firm with an atrocious environmental and human rights record (see Jim Bob Moffett, No. 31).
70. Dan Shelley (Austin): $9,000
Shelley was GWB’s legislative director in ’95, when Texas overhauled its welfare system. When he hit the revolving door to make up to $675,000 as a lobbyist for Lockheed (which was bidding to run the Texas welfare system), GWB adopted a belated staff ethics policy. (GWB also got $5,000 from DC Lockheed lobbyist David Metzner.)
71. Heinz C. Prechter (Southgate, MI): $9,000
The chair of American Sunroof Corp., Prechter was an elite GHWB “Team 100” fundraiser. GHWB put him on the President’s Export Council and took him on a state visit to Japan that netted Prechter a sweet deal to sell sunroofs to Honda.
72. *Allan Shivers, Jr. (Austin): $8,000
The son of an ex-governor, Shivers is president of Texans for Quality Health Care. This HMO trade group opposed a ’97 Texas law that makes HMOs liable for harm that patients suffer when an HMO denies doctor-prescribed care. This law took effect after GWB failed to veto it (which would have angered doctors and patients) or sign it (which would have angered a powerful industry).
73. J. Patrick Rooney (Indianapolis, IN): $7,700
Rooney quit a ‘95 Indiana gubernatorial race after media found that his Golden Rule Insurance does not practice that religious principle. Golden Rule has an alarming rate of not paying customers’ claims and denying coverage to senior citizens. Rooney was a top donor to Newt Gingrich, who plugged Golden Rule in televised lectures.
74. Billy Meyer (Waco): $7,500
Meyer operates a car racetrack in Ennis, Texas. He wanted Grand Prairie voters to buy him another one in ’99. But cooler heads prevailed; 54 percent of the voters put the brakes on this public financing of private profits.
75. Richard M. Plato (Baytown): $7,000
Plato will never contribute to GWB as a lawyer again. He was disbarred in ’98 after pleading guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
76. Edgar Cullman, Jr. (New York, NY): $7,000
Although GWB pledged not to take money from tobacco PACs or executives for his gubernatorial races, this CEO of General Cigar Holdings contributed to both GWB gubernatorial races. GWB has backpedaled in his presidential run, forswearing tobacco PAC money but openly taking money from top tobacco executives.
77. George P. Mitchell (Woodlands): $6,750
Mitchell is a developer and oil tycoon. People in Wise County say they can ignite their well water because Mitchell Energy failed to cap area gas wells. Jurors awarded them $204 million, but Texas Supreme Court justices overturned the award. Mitchell was to settle related charges before the Texas Railroad Commission for a record $2.2 million, but commissioners cut the fine in half. The commissioners and justices took thousands of campaign dollars from Mitchell Energy.
78. Herbert F. Collins (Boston, MA): $6,000
Collins headed GHWB’s ’92 New England campaign. He is chair of Boston Capital Partners, which makes housing loans under a federal tax credit program. Collins urged Rep. Bill Archer to retain a pet tax break in ’96, when he was hosting fundraisers for Archer's son-in-law.
79. Lewis M. Eisenberg (Rumsan, NJ): $6,000
Eisenberg founded Granite Capital Corp. He chairs the Republican Leadership Council (RLC), which opposes ultra-conservative influences in the GOP. Eisenberg raised RLC funds to run ads attacking Steve Forbes for any attack ad he might run in the future. Forbes filed a complaint arguing that the RLC is a front for the GWB campaign.
80. George/Richard Wackenhut (FL): $6,000
The largest U.S. prison company, Wackenhut Corrections has tens of millions of dollars in contracts with Texas. The state had to take over a Wackenhut-run facility in Austin in ’99 following criminal charges that Wackenhut understaffed the jail, falsified its records and employed guards that beat and had sex with inmates.
81. *Lee & Ed Bass (Ft. Worth): $5,427
GWB got $210,000 from PACs of the oil-rich Bass family. When GWB’s ailing Harken Oil suspiciously won Bahrain’s offshore drilling rights in ‘90, the Basses financed the venture. When GWB appointed a legislative committee to reduce property taxes, lobbyist Neal Jones ($2,500 to GWB) went behind the scenes to defend Bass tax breaks. The committee chair broke lobby protocol by demanding that they explain publicly why other Texans should underwrite tax breaks for billionaires. GWB appointed Lee Bass chair of the Department of Parks and Wildlife. He and Robert Bass were part of GHWB’s Team 100.
82. Michael J. Ellis (San Diego, CA): $5,000
Metabolife President Ellis got GWB’s administration to bury tough rules for ephedrine weight-loss supplements (see W. James Jonas, No. 50). After media reports in May ’99 that Ellis and coworker Michael J. Blevins were convicted of producing the illegal drug methamphetamine in ‘91, GWB’s campaign returned the $10,000 that they contributed seven months earlier. The timing suggested that the campaign objected to their “young-and-irresponsible” drug peddling rather than to big donors peddling influence inside the GWB administration.
83. Michael J. Blevins (San Diego, CA): $5,000
Convicted methamphetamine dealer who worked for Metabolife, which buried tough ephedrine rules in Texas (see Michael J. Ellis, No. 82, and W. James Jonas, No. 50).
84. H. Ross Perot, Jr., (Dallas): $5,000
Voters narrowly approved a $125 million new arena for Perot’s Mavericks and Tom Hicks’ (No. 3) Stars in ‘98. The public did not know the conflicts of two top stadium backers until after the vote: Mayor Ron Kirk stood to make $500,000 from options in a Hicks company and City Manager John Ware went on Hick’s payroll. Perot also split tiny Westlake, Texas in half. Residents feared that they would be forced to finance infrastructure for a big Perot development. Most town leaders embraced the plan, however, after Perot began offering to buy their properties. Pro-Perot aldermen fired the mayor (a Perot critic) and voted to remove land that they and Perot owned from Westlake.
85. Chris B. Burnham: (Stamford, CT): $5,000
Burnham resigned as Connecticut Treasurer in ’97 to become the CEO of Columbus Circle Investors. The year before, he granted Columbus a contract to manage $150 million in state pension funds.
86. Mark Stiles (Beaumont): $5,000
When Stiles chaired the Texas state House committee that determines which bills get voted on, Texas spent $1.5 billion to double its prison capacity. Stiles cement company then got contracts to pour cement for new state prisons. One of the new slammers is the Mark Stiles State Prison.
87. Earl M. Gilbert (Houston): $5,000
The state of Texas sued Gilbert and his development companies for selling flood-plain homes to Spanish-speaking buyers without adequate disclosure. After a Gilbert subdivision flooded in ’92, he got some flood victims to sign insurance checks over to him for repairs, which the state called “shoddy and incomplete.” Gilbert settled the charges in ’95 by agreeing to pay restitution to the flooded homeowners as well as paying $15,000 in state legal costs.
88. Peter Huntsman (Salt Lake City) $5,000
An uncontrolled chemical flare at Huntsman Petrochemical’s Odessa, Texas plant in ’98 disgorged a black cloud of toxic chemicals for three weeks. The Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission downplayed the seriousness of the accident until the NAACP presented it with more than 3,000 health complaints from nearby African-American residents. CEO Peter Huntsman, Sr., disavowed links between these complaints and his plant’s toxic plume. “Do I believe it’s directly related to what we are doing at this facility?” he asked. “No, I personally do not believe that.”
89. Evan G. Greenberg (New York, NY): $5,000
Evan is president of American Insurance Group (AIG), where his dad, GWB Pioneer Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg, is Chair and CEO. Maurice Greenberg accompanied President Bush on his business tour of China in ’92, becoming the first foreign company allowed to sell insurance there.
90. Kenneth L. Berry (Corpus Christi): $5,000
Berry Construction President Ed Martin sits on the Corpus Christi City Council. In that capacity, he cast a tie-breaking vote in ’99 to appoint his boss, Ken Berry, to the Port of Corpus Christi’s board. This convinced the city to tighten its ethics policies.
91. Hunter Nelson (Houston): $5,000
Nelson is an executive at the Sterling Group, which is associated with a string of polluting chemical companies (see William McMinn, No. 11).
92. Frank Hevrdejs (Houston): $4,000
Hevrdejs is president of the Sterling Group, which is associated with a string of polluting chemical companies in Texas (see William McMinn, No. 11).
93. Gene N. Fondren (Austin): $4,000
This head of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association never stops raising money for power brokers. Fondren threw a fundraiser for ethics-tainted ex-Texas Speaker Gib Lewis in ’92, hours after Lewis announced that he would not seek reelection.
94. Lee Goodman, Jr. (Ft. Worth): $4,000
Goodman founded Sensitive Care nursing homes and Creative Living group homes for the mentally ill. Regulators took over the group homes in the early ‘90s, charging Goodman with underfunding resident care. Goodman’s wife, Carolyn, was allowed to take over the business. But in ‘99, the state seized control of her nursing homes after the federal government stopped funding them following Medicare fraud allegations.
95. Gary L. Bradley (Austin): $3,500
Austin voters passed a ’92 initiative mandating strict environmental controls for development over an environmentally sensitive aquifer. Ever since, Bradley and other developers of that land have turned to the courts and the legislature to try to sidestep this ordinance.
96. Robert D. Rogers (Dallas): $3,000
Rogers heads cement giant Texas Industries (TXI), which burns hazardous wastes for power. Neighbors blame TXI fumes for a litany of health problems and animal deaths. Ex-TXI lobbyist Ralph Marquez killed a bill to impose tighter regulations on such emissions before GWB appointed him as a Texas Natural Resources
Conservation Commissioner. As a commissioner, Marquez voted to approve two pollution-related permits for TXI.
97. Jackson Stephens (Little Rock, AR): $3,000
Investment banker Stephens was a big GHWB fundraiser. He helped GWB’s Harken Oil raise money by selling its stock to buyers tied to the criminal Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). These BCCI associates were: Saudi Abdullah Bakhsh and Swiss Union Bank, which helped BCCI evade money-laundering laws in Panama.
98. Dwayne O. Andreas (Decatur, IL): $3,000
Andreas was chair of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the agricultural company that gives millions of dollars to Republicans and Democrats. ADM receives billions of dollars of corporate welfare, including price and export subsidies on sugar and ethanol. Andreas resigned in ’99 after ADM pled guilty to criminal price-fixing and paid the largest criminal antitrust fine in history.
99. Johnnie B. Rogers (Austin): $3,000
Rogers is a lobbyist who represents funeral industry giant Service Corp. International (see Robert Waltrip, No. 52). The Bush administration intervened on SCI’s behalf in a pending case in which funeral regulators recommended a record $445,000 fine against SCI for allegedly jobbing out corpses to unlicensed embalmers. The administration said GWB had no involvement in the case—until Rogers acknowledged seeing GWB and SCI’s owner briefly discuss the issue.
100. Prescott Bush, Jr. (Greenwich, CT): $3,000
When GHWB took his first presidential trip abroad in ’89, his brother made business trips to the same Asian countries. Prescott got a $250,000 consulting fee from investment firm Asset Management International, which had a contract to set up a satellite communications system for China’s government. Sanctions GHWB imposed on China after the Tienanmen Square massacre blocked exports of the requisite satellites. But GHWB fixed that by declaring an exception because these satellites were “in the national interest.”
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