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December 18, 2005


If nothing else, we ought to shine a whole lot of scruntiny on them to demonstrate what a nasty crowd being big Bush supporters puts them in.

How come Ken Lay isn't on the list?

charlie black is involved with the Lincoln Group propaganda scandal in iraq. perhaps we should start a 'soon-to-be-indicted' list as well.

In the last month, I've been looking over several specific congressmen's records on Open Secret, and something I have noticed -- which probably is not illegal, but just interesting, is that some of the PAC contributions from those vaguely named outfits -- you know "Americans for Everything" seem to be run through funds in Northern VA, that charge a monthly fee to the campaign fund of the congressperson. In other words it is much like a checking account -- income comes in, checks are written, and then there is a "fee for service" every month tacked on to the Congressman's account. In other words a fee for receiving a PAC contribution.

It just seems odd. I've been around enough campaigns to know that when PAC money arrives, it gets vetted and banked in the campaign account, usually with a copy of the check to the campaign attorney so as to make certain of both the legality and the actual identity of the donor. These "committees" which seem to have no identity also seem to be the sole donors to the accounts I am trying to track that charge a fee to the campaigns.

Has anyone else encountered this, and what is it all about? In fact you can't really track them, because they are buried in what seems to be a Fee for service fund raising operation.

Well, it's not exactly the same thing, but Virginia blogger Waldo Jaquith has been tracking an news about an organization with connections to the GOP attorney general candidate in the recent VA election, which by admission of one official who has since been convicted on unrelated charges, was basically a money-laundering operation (additional info from the Washington Post here.)

It wouldn't surprise me if all these organizations are in VA because it's an extremely business-friendly state (meaning low regulation and few disclosure requirements, including no limits on corporate campaign contributions) next door to DC.

emptywheel: with respect to Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, for alleged stock manipulation, I have little to add. I am not sure what you mean by "stock manipulation." Lately, Hank's handling of AIG's founder's will 35 years ago has come under really intense scrutiny, because Hank sold assets to off shore companies that he controlled for a fraction of their real value. Evidently, the statute of limitations has not run out on some of these, because everyone is reporting it pretty much as a fact. Prior to this revelation Hank had received a lot of notoriety, because AIG was using similar accounting practices as that pyramid scheme genius, Andy Fastow,had used at Enron except he and "Hank" called them special purpose entities. Hank and Andy never met, so far as I know, but Hank does know Warren Buffet and Spitzer did interview some of Warren's people about "Hank." Warren has been quick to point out that he is in no way involved, and so far everyone seems in agreement about that and Spitzer did praise Buffet for his cooperation.(I have always thought this a prudent course when dealing with billionaires) From what I can gather by the number of financial restatements that AIG has had to issue, "Hank" made even greater use of spe's than Enron did, which I guess is why Hank hired the same big time, David Boise (sp?) as Fastow hired.
I hope not all of this is a complete waste of your time. Btw, imo I think the Democrats were smart not to speak after Bush tonite. Just give George more rope.

ew, i see that georgia10 at dailykos also has something up on the Toledo Blade article, and a further link to a series that began Sunday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the "Presidential Pipeline". It seems to focus on what these folks get back in kind, which of course still leaves open the back-end question about the money itself. Still, as somebody somewhere just said, those aspens really are beginning to turn. As my words are beginning to line up for the ark, I will now desist.

(In case those urls go south, the titles are
Sunday, "Bush's top fund-raisers see spoils of victory"
Monday, "Bush's backers gain contracts, policy changes")

Didn't want to say it in the base of the post. But Laura Rozen has raised some interesting questions about national security and vetting. And we know that Wilkes, at least, has ties to CIA. I'm wondering if this money is going into covert ops (either domestic or foreign), and if this money is basically funding a shadow government with its own foreign policy.

Yahoo and AP has a piece today on Fritz, and his AIDS fund. It is a fairly substantial operation with most of the donors heavy hitters in Health Care, Health Insurance, etc. The donations are all large -- between 100 thousand and a quarter million generally.

Of interest, all connected with the effort are past and present Frist Fundraisers or Campaign workers, and all the funds go to Fundamentalist Christian Groups in Sub-Saraha Africa, but with total administrative and overhead expenses eating up nearly half the donations. (By way of contrast, Bill Clinton delivers his AIDS money at two cents on the dollar.)

What this actually looks like is a re-run of the Ralph Reed game in 2000, when the Bush people made him a "kept man" for a couple of years prior to the 2000 election. With Friest it looks like it is Franklin Graham (billy's son and Heir) who is getting the favors. I also believe one or both of Bush's daughters has a job in Africa with the Graham AIDS efforts. I don't know if it is volunteer or paid.

If this is just a political pass-through, the information ought to be developed by the AIDS community activists, as they certainly have an interest in not having their issue used in this way.

"if this money is basically funding a shadow government with its own foreign policy?" Paying younger versions of G. Gordon Liddy and his ilk to operate in Iraq under the cover of "security contractors" would be easy and relatively inexpensive. Cheney's Haliburton would have a lot of connections with security contractors. These kind of people could have "helped" the Shiia set up secret prisons for Sunni's. (Oh what a surprise when they learn that suddenly we are concerned about Iran and now may want to ask the Sunni for support. "oops.")

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