Party machines, lobbyists and special interests: Part three

George W. Bush: Pragmatic, with ties to corporate America

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The goal of Texas Governor George W. Bush's advisers in the early days of the campaign was to make him the man to beat. Like Robert Dole in 1996, Bush locked up the lion's share of major endorsements in the Republican Party. His financial apparatus, run by a network of 200 business friends known as the "Pioneers," raised such a huge war chest in the first three quarters of 1999 that Bush decided to forgo federal matching funds. For many Republicans, coalescing around Bush was a way to vindicate his fathers humiliating loss to Bill Clinton eight years earlier.

Bush’s aura of inevitability has abated somewhat with the growing popularity of Senator John McCain of Arizona. Still, despite some setbacks, his campaign team showed in its earliest days a remarkable discipline on issues and message. On the political front, Bush was determined that his campaign would not be a rerun of his fathers and refused to surround himself with the former president’s political advisers. “I’m not interested in the people who lost my dad’s campaign,” he told one friend. Instead, the campaign is in the grip of three loyal Texas operatives who have worked with Bush since his 1994 gubernatorial campaign.

Still, he often turns to many of his fathers advisers for his policy prescriptions, including Condoleeza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz on foreign affairs and Lawrence Lindsey on the economy. Beyond the “Iron Triangle” and his campaign staff, Bush has assembled a policy team of more than 100 conservative thinkers. Many of them, though, have served in government and are considered pragmatists—current governors, key members of Congress, and former administration appointees. Their goal: to come up with substantive positions on a range of policy issues and overcome the perception that Bush is an intellectual lightweight.

Many of his political and policy mavens have close connections to business, either serving on boards of directors or working as lobbyists. And some of his closest friends represent or work for some of the biggest names in Corporate America. That comes as no surprise. During his long business career, as an oil executive and co-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, he has relied on sweetheart deals and family connections with tycoons to build a fortune. As a governor, he’s run a pro-business administration, widening his business-friend network and returning favors.

The Iron Triangle

Three Texas aides — Karl Rove, Joe Allbaugh and Karen Hughes — have formed Bush’s inner circle since he ran for governor in 1994. Despite their lack of experience in presidential campaigns, Bush has shown no doubts about their place in the campaign.

Karl Rove, the campaign’s chief political strategist, is probably the best-known Republican consultant in Texas. After years in the political wilderness, Republicans now hold all statewide offices, and Rove was responsible for engineering many of those wins. He also masterminded the high-visibility “yellow garden campaign” in 1998 when many national Republican figures traveled to Austin to meet with Bush as he considered a presidential run. As Bush media adviser Mark McKinnon once put it, “Karl Rove is the Republican Party in Texas.” He’s also consulted with GOP candidates in more than 20 states.

Rove has had long ties to the Bush family, working for the father at the Republican National Committee in the 1970s and helping him in his unsuccessful race for Congress in 1978. He helped the son in his two gubernatorial campaigns. He is said to dominate Bush’s presidential race, having a say over everything from advertisements to fund raising. He also has set up a direct-mail and phone-banking operation in all states.

At Bush’s request, Rove sold his firm, Rove & Company, and his direct mailing outfit, Praxis. Bush had reason to be wary after Rove admitted in a 1999 deposition that he had worked for the tobacco industry at the same time he was advising the governor. The deposition was part of former Texas Attorney General Dan Morales lawsuit against the tobacco industry to win reimbursement for state Medicaid money spent on smoking-related illnesses. According to the deposition, Philip Morris paid Rove $3,000 a month between 1991 and 1996 “to basically advise them on elections, to give them my best feelings about what was going to happen in elections, what was shaping up in terms of candidates, political gossip [about] who was likely to get elected.” He was not registered as a lobbyist. He claimed he didnt discuss tobacco-related issues with Bush “unless I’m asked.” However, Rove did play a major role in crafting a tort reform proposal to limit consumers’ access to the court system — which was supported by tobacco companies.

Joe Allbaugh is campaign manager in charge of the day-to-day operations, including a staff of about 180 and the campaign’s purse strings. He is one of a handful of aides who speak with Bush several times a day. “There isn’t anything more important than protecting him and the first lady,” he told The Washington Post. “I’m the heavy, in the literal sense of the word.” He has described his role as “the enforcer of the governors will and mediator of staff egos.”

Allbaugh has been with Bush since he managed Bush’s first race for governor in 1994. After Bush won, Allbaugh became chief of staff. He left that post in 1999 to run Bush’s White House bid. Allbaugh met Bush in the mid-1980s while working for former Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon as his Cabinet and legislative director. In 1994, Bush asked him to take over his gubernatorial campaign. Allbaugh had some prior Texas experience, working for Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas re-election bid after he quit the Democratic Party in 1983, and then serving as deputy regional director for the 1984 Reagan-Bush ticket.

Playing the heavy has thrust Allbaugh into the spotlight. In a 1999 lawsuit, Eliza May, the former executive director of the Texas Funeral Service Commission, accused Bush and Allbaugh of trying to squash her agencys investigation of Houston-based Service Corporation International, the worlds largest death-care services provider. The suit accused the company of conducting unlicensed embalmings at some of its facilities. May alleged that Bush did so at the behest of SCI founder and CEO Robert Waltrip, a longtime financial supporter of Bush’s father. After the commission raided several funeral homes, Waltrip met with Allbaugh and gave him a letter complaining about the agencys probe. Several weeks later, May claimed she was called to the governors office. The governor was not present, though Allbaugh, Waltrip and state Senator John Whitmire were among those who were. May claims that Allbaugh stood by while Whitmire grilled her about her agencys investigation of SCI. Allbaugh denies he did anything more than try to get both sides of the story. The commission eventually recommended that the company be fined $445,000, but SCI appealed, got the legislature to intervene, and has not paid.

Karen Parfitt Hughes is communications director. Few people can anticipate George W. Bush’s reactions better than Hughes, a one-time television news reporter and former executive director of the Texas GOP. Bush consults “the High Prophet,” his nickname for Hughes, on just about every policy issue. On the windowsill in her at campaign headquarters in Austin are two photos of Hughes and Bush together: On one, Bush signed, “Without you, it could not happen,” and on the other, “By my side—always right.”

Hughes is responsible for shaping the Bush message, and choosing the handful of themes that he has focused on during his gubernatorial bids and his presidential campaign. Hughes keeps a tight rein on the governors contact with the press and has been known to cut Bush off to make sure he doesnt get off message. Jay Root, Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, once described Hughes as “surgically attached to message.”

Hughes began as a television news reporter and anchor for NBC affiliate KXAS in Fort Worth. She covered the 1980 presidential campaign. In 1984, she left journalism to become Texas press coordinator for the 1984 Reagan-Bush campaign. In 1991, Texas GOP chairman Fred Meyer tapped her to be the partys executive director. She quickly became an oft-quoted thorn in the side of then-Gov. Ann Richards, a Democrat. She was a natural fit for the job of communications director for Richards 1994 opponent, George W. Bush.

Pols and K Street

Though the Texas trio is in clear control of the campaign, Bush has a Washington strategy that depends on close Beltway connections. His care and feeding of Capitol Hill insiders has paid off: He racked up a record number of early endorsements of House members and senators, and that helped the Bush campaign achieve an aura of inevitability from the start. These Hill Republicans — plus a coterie of K Street lobbyists and fellow governors — also are helping Bush develop a 2000 policy agenda and raise money. The Bush campaign and lawmakers have spoken regularly on policy issues, from education to foreign affairs. In particular, the Bush campaign is pushing its “compassionate conservative” agenda, with the hope that a coordinated policy plan between the Hill GOPers and Bush will unify the Republican Party. Of course, the candidate also gets advice from his dad, and it doesnt hurt to have a string of endorsements from a nationwide network of politically connected big names, such as his fathers White House chief of staff, John Sununu.

Many of his political advisers have spent years at the nexus of money and politics. His political director, Maria Cino, and former New York Rep. Bill Paxon were formerly at the National Republican Congressional Committee where they raised huge amounts of money from lobbyists to engineer the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress. Haley Barbour, while chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993 to 1997, raised money for the GOP from many clients at his lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith and Rodgers. In the year after Barbours term at the RNC ended in 1997, the firm had boosted its revenues by 42%, according to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics. Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. John Engler and Rep. Jennifer Dunn of Washington state are among Bush’s “Pioneers,” more than 100 friends who have each raised at least $100,000 for his campaign. Indeed, prominent on the list of Pioneers are some of the most plugged-in lobbyists in Washington, including heads of associations representing the chemical and food industries — all with long wish lists before Congress and the White House.

Both Bush and his political benefactors have a lot to gain from this symbiotic relationship. Though Bush the younger didnt need any introductions to Washington, his Beltway friends have opened the door to the endorsements, policy advice and money that could help win him the presidency. If he wins, his friends in the statehouses and Congress will have a friend in the White House who is likely to push their policy agenda. And his benefactors in the special-interests community are not likely to be forgotten by a new administration when they come to seek their own favors.

Maria Cino is the paid political director. As former executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, veteran Washington insider Maria Cino helped orchestrate the GOP sweep of Congress in 1994. Her knowledge of key congressional districts is instrumental to a Bush victory. Even more important, her close relations with so many members of Congress — many believe they owe their majority status in Congress to her — was important in nailing down early support from Hill Republicans. Having nurtured a close relationship with House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois, shes helped coordinate a policy agenda between the Bush campaign and congressional Republicans.

Cino has had a long friendship with former Rep. Bill Paxon of New York, who also is a close Bush adviser. When Paxon became chairman of the NRCC, he tapped her for the top staff job. She developed relationships with Washington lobbyists as the committee raised money for congressional campaigns. In the wake of tighter rules banning gifts from lobbyists, the NRCC began offering lobbyists the chance to go on skiing and golfing getaways with members — in return for hefty contributions, according to The New York Times in 1997. When Paxon resigned from Congress in 1998, she joined the Washington law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding as a legislative consultant. At Wiley, her clients included CBS Inc., which retained her after its announced merger with Viacom. She left the firm to work on Bush’s campaign.

Haley Barbour is a political adviser, fund raiser, and member of Bush’s exploratory committee. Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee who spearheaded the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994, is one of the most politically connected lobbyists in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi regularly turns to Barbour for advice, and Barbour has raised substantial sums for Lott and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. With such close relationships with Hill leaders, Barbour has become an important liaison between them and the Bush campaign. According to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Barbour is in regular contact with top campaign strategists. In his jack-of-all-trades political position, he’s also gone on television to defend Bush against rumors that he used cocaine.

The tobacco industry is among the top money-makers for Barbours lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith and Rogers. During the deliberations on the 1998 tobacco settlement with Congress and the state attorneys general, he was a registered lobbyist for Brown & Williamson Tobacco, Philip Morris, U.S. Tobacco Co., Lorillard and RJR Nabisco (or their parent companies). Barbour has admitted to the Center that it was after a conversation between Barbour and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich that Lott and Gingrich quietly inserted a $50 billion tax break for the tobacco companies in a budget bill in 1997. After its discovery created a firestorm, Congress repealed the provision.

When Microsoft Corp. decided to increase its Washington presence in the wake of a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit, it turned to Barbour for help. In 1998, Microsoft paid Barbours firm $600,000 to try to build political support for Microsoft on Capitol Hill, according to his lobbying disclosure forms. He has met regularly with lawmakers with the goal of building a groundswell of opposition to aggressive sanctions by the government. He escorted Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates into a private meeting with Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.

Barbour also is a registered lobbyist for Bell South Corp., Amgen, CBS Corp., Glaxo Wellcome, Charles Schwab, American Financial Services, American Trucking Association, and U S West, among others.

Bill Paxon is a political adviser who, as a former congressman from western New York, has maintained close ties to both House members and the K Street lobbying crowd. In 1994, Paxon, who was known for his free-market views while on Capitol Hill, took over the chairmanship of the debt-ridden National Republican Congressional Committee in 1994, and was credited with turning it into a money machine, raising records amounts of cash for House candidates. After the GOP landslide, he pressed companies and trade associations to pony up more money for the GOP and to hire Republican lobbyists. He stays in regular touch with the Bush campaign through Maria Cino, who used to work for him at the NRCC. He resigned from Congress in 1998. He is considered one of House Speaker Dennis Hasterts closest advisers.

A year ago, Paxon joined the lobbying-legal powerhouse, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld. The firms press release said Paxon would “help the firms global clients better prepare and respond to the growing involvement of government in the private sector.” He works in the public law and policy area, helping clients with specific policy needs in education, defense, insurance, and gaming. Paxon has helped raise more than $100,000 for Bush’s campaign and has lined up Hill endorsements.

Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri., is a political adviser, a member of Bush’s exploratory committee, and chief campaign liaison with the House. He is reported to have regular contact with Bush, Rove and Cino. He was a key player in securing early Hill endorsements. He told the Christian Science Monitor that as part of the coordinated policy strategy, lawmakers will increasingly adopt elements of the Bush message, such as ending the educational practice of social promotion.

Sen. Paul Coverdell of Georgia is a political and policy adviser, and the Bush campaign’s conduit to the Senate. Last year, he helped push through legislation that would allow local schools to seek waivers from certain federal education regulations. He served as director of the Peace Corps under President Bush.

GOP Reps. Henry Bonilla of Texas, J.C. Watts of Oklahoma and Jennifer Dunn of Washington have made public appearances on his behalf, promoting Bush among Hispanics, blacks and women. Dunn also is a member of the elite Pioneer fund-raising group.

Ralph Reed is a political adviser. The former executive director of the Christian Coalition is the head of Century Strategies, a political consulting group based in Atlanta. He told the Center that his firm is being paid by the Bush campaign for help with voter identification in various states. He said he is personally advising Bush for free on campaign strategy, though he declined to elaborate on the kind of advice he was offering. As head of the Christian Coalition between 1989 and 1997, he mobilized conservative Christians and their agenda into an effective political force. Reed spoke out to conservative Christians who suspected that the Texas governor, despite his professed deep religious beliefs, was too moderate for them.

Tom Tauke, a former congressman from Iowa and a long-time friend of the governor. Bush had offered him the job as campaign manager, but he decided to stay on as senior vice president for governmental affairs of Bell Atlantic Corp. As the companys chief lobbyist in Washington, he had been pushing government regulators to allow the company into the long-distance business and to allow it to expand its high-speed broadband networks. Broadband is the next generation of high speed telecommunications services.

Doug Wead is an unpaid political adviser. While Bush has shunned many of his fathers old political advisers, Wead is one exception. During the Bush administration, Wead, ordained as an Assemblies of God minister, served as a liaison to various groups, including the evangelical community. He is now reaching out to gather evangelical support for the younger Bush. In an interview with the Center, Wead acknowledged that Bush turned to him during the intense media scrutiny over rumors of cocaine use. “I’m a friend, and he did call me that week. I’m not in his inner circle,” Wead said.

Wead is a motivational speaker, an author and business consultant based in Irving, Texas, near Dallas. In the past he’s been viewed as a religious extremist. When he ran for Congress in Arizona calling himself a “Goldwater Republican,” Barry Goldwater, objecting to his views, endorsed the Democrat, who won. He lost his job at the White House when he objected that the Bush staff had invited a number of gay groups to the signing of hate crime bill, according to the Arizona Republic. His popularity with the evangelical community is a valuable asset to Bush, who is said to call him regularly. Wead is credited with Bush’s strong showing in the Iowa straw poll last August.

According to The New Republic, Wead helped George W. Bush’s brother, Neil, after the government investigation of the Denver-based Silverado Savings and Loan. Neil had sat on the thrifts board, but he was not prosecuted. Wead, according to the newspaper, offered him a share of his lecture-circuit business.

John Engler, governor of Michigan, and Tom Ridge, governor of Pennsylvania, are unpaid political and policy advisers. Both names come up in political circles as possible running mates. Engler, a Pioneer and the only governor on Bush’s exploratory committee, is considered Bush’s point man with the governors, drumming up numerous endorsements. He also secured early support among Michigan GOP officeholders. Ridge was credited with locking up Pennsylvania’s political establishment and raising $1.4 million for the campaign.

Engler talks with Bush or the campaign staff regularly. He helped craft Bush’s education plan calling for the use of vouchers. Low-income parents in poor-performing school districts would be able to use public funds for private education. If he is not Bush’s running mate, he’s scheduled to take over as chairman of the National Governors Association around Inauguration Day. Ridge has counseled Bush on how to make the environment a favorable issue for the GOP.

Timothy Hammonds is a Pioneer and president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute in Washington. FMI is an association that represents 21,000 grocery stores and chains. Hammonds previously had not done much fund raising, but he agreed to help Bush after meeting with him in Austin last March. He recruited six other industry CEOs, who agreed to raise money for the campaign. Among the institutes top Washington agenda items are elimination of the estate tax and tort reform. Bush was a big booster of a bill in the Texas legislature that has made it more difficult for consumers to sue businesses for selling defective products.

James C. Langdon Jr. is a Pioneer and managing partner in the Washington office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, & Feld, one of the capitals most powerful lobbying firms. Langdon specializes in oil and gas and energy-related matters. The law firm is based in Texas. Though a Democrat, Langdon and his family have had long ties to the Bush family. Last June, he helped coordinate a $2.2 million fund-raiser for Bush in Washington, and he agreed to help recruit 100 lawyers and lobbyists in the capital to raise $25,000 each.

Tom Loeffler, former congressman from Texas, is an elite Pioneer and has long ties to Bush. The San Antonio native spends half of his time in Washington as a partner and lobbyist at Arter & Hadden, a Cleveland-based law firm. Loefflers client list includes Citigroup Inc., the Investment Company Institute, and the Americans for Fair Taxation. In 1998, Loeffler and his firm received $340,000 to represent Hicks, Muse Tate, and Furst, a Dallas-based investor partnership that is one of the largest in the country, according to his lobbying disclosure forms. In that same year, Bush and his co-investors sold the Texas Rangers to Thomas Hicks, an investment banker.

Peter Terpeluk, a Washington-based Pioneer, is a partner at the American Continental Group, a lobbying shop whose clients in 1998 included the government of India and the Uniform Standards Coalition, which successfully lobbied for legislation that would protect companies from shareholder lawsuits.

Frederick L. Webber, a Washington-based Pioneer, is president and CEO of the Chemical Manufacturers of America. According to National Journal, Webber helped round up about five industry CEOs who went to Austin to meet with Bush. A steering committee headed by executives from Dow Chemical Co. and Occidental Chemical Corp. tapped about 20 other industry executives. About one-third of the 200 chemical companies in his organization have big operations in Texas. “We have a strong presence in Texas and have dealt with the governor on a number of issues,” he told National Journal. An important point on the chemical industrys agenda is the voluntary reduction of industrial pollutants. Thats an approach Bush favors — according to his Web site, he opposes the Kyoto Protocol that would require reductions of greenhouse gases worldwide. In Texas, he has endorsed voluntary efforts to reduce industrial pollutants.

The fund-raisers

The Washington fund-raisers are just a fraction of well-heeled friends who have helped Bush raise a record-breaking $68 million. At the core is an elite group of more than 150 fund-raisers known as “Pioneers,” a number of state finance chairs, and a cadre of other well-connected corporate executives. The group represents a cross-section of Corporate America, including the oil, real estate, insurance, financial services, and pharmaceuticals industries. The campaign released a list of the Pioneers, who had committed to raise at least $100,000 by last June, in response to pressure from public interest groups and several news organizations. According to the Dallas Morning News, each Pioneer was assigned an identification number, which appears on each donors check.

A large share of the fund-raisers live in Texas, including Kenneth Lay, chairman of Enron Corp., and Erle Nye, chairman of TXU Electric and Gas Co., who were raising money for Bush while the legislature was deregulating the electric industry. Also on the list is Steve Hicks, an Austin radio-station chain executive, whose brother, Thomas Hicks, bought the Texas Rangers from Bush. A number of the Texas money men have been appointed by Bush to state boards and commissions. Several of the fund-raisers were members of President Bush’s Team 100, including Heinz Prechter of Michigan, whose company American Sunroof Co., won a lucrative contract after traveling with President Bush to Japan as a member of his Export Council, according to Common Cause. “Bush has to sell his soul to do this,” Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice told the Dallas Morning News. “He’s going to be the leading candidate in history with special-interest money. If he’s elected, well need to put bunk beds in the Lincoln Bedroom.”

The following are just a few of the fund-raisers:

Donald Evans is chairman of the campaign’s finance committee, overseeing the campaign’s astounding fund-raising operation. Evans is chief executive officer of Tom Brown Inc., an oil and gas company based in Midland, Texas. As reported in the Center’s The Buying of the President 2000, Bush joined the companys board as an outside director in 1989, receiving $12,000 a year, plus stock options, for attending several meetings and participating in conference calls. He also raised Evans salary while he sat on the companys compensation board. After Bush was elected governor, he sold his Tom Brown holdings for a profit of $297,550. He appointed Evans to a seat on the prestigious University of Texas Board of Regents.

Charles Cawley: One of Bush’s key fund-raisers has been Charles M. Cawley, the president of MBNA Corporation and CEO of its banking subsidiary, MBNA America Bank, N.A. MBNA is the third largest issuer of Visa and MasterCard credit cards, and is perhaps best well-known for its “affinity” cards that are related to some 4,600 professional, recreational and charitable organizations, including the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and the National Wildlife Federation.

While Cawley has been a successful businessman in propelling MBNA’s revenue upward (sales were up more than 14% in 1999), he’s also been a big-time fund-raiser for Gov. George W. Bush. The banking executive personally held two $1,000 fund-raisers for Bush in 1999, one at his house in Maine during the summer, and a second at his home in Delaware (where the company is headquartered) during the fall. On top of that, MBNA executives and the company PAC were the largest contributors to Bush’s campaign through the fourth quarter of 1999. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, company interests gave Bush $208,150.

Cawley, who is the finance chairman of Bush’s Delaware campaign, isn’t the only MBNA executive with an official role in the campaign. The Texas governor can also count on John McKernan, the former governor of Maine, who is now a consultant to MBNA. McKernan is Bush’s New England campaign director. Lance Weaver, chief administrative officer with the bank, is also a co-finance chair of the Delaware Bush campaign.

MBNA’s support of Bush didn’t start with the 2000 presidential campaign. Cawley has known Bush since 1993, and was reportedly introduced to the future presidential aspirant by his parents, George and Barbara. Cawley held a fund-raiser for Governor Bush in 1997, and two years ago, MBNA Corp. and the Cawley family were listed as donors to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, giving more than $1 million.

In Bush’s 1998 race for re-election, MBNA executives donated $50,000 to the Republican incumbent, including $16,000 from Cawley himself. Since 1994, when Bush took office in Texas, MBNA executives and the company PAC have contributed well over $250,000 to the governor and presidential hopeful.

MBNA, known by some in Delaware as “The Firm” for its secretive nature and cult-like executive brotherhood, has come under fire in the past for its campaign contributions. In 1995, the Wilmington News-Journal obtained internal MBNA documents showing that the company circulated a memo to top executives suggesting, depending on their seniority, how much to give to certain candidates in key 1994 elections. Among the identified candidates was Governor Bush of Texas. The company’s actions bordered on illegality, but since the memo was not written on company stationery and did not explicitly require the executives to donate, it managed to skirt federal elections laws that prohibit an employer from pressuring employees to give political donations.

Cawley’s and MBNA’s support of Bush continues into 2000. Bush was in Delaware campaigning on Jan. 12, and attended a Delaware State GOP fund-raiser at the ritzy Hotel DuPont in downtown Wilmington. A private reception before the main lunch featured the chance, for $1,000, to take one’s picture with the candidate. Besides the 60 or so people who paid for that private reception (Cawley and around 10 MBNA executives were among them), 400 more came for the $100-a-plate luncheon, bringing the afternoon’s take to at least $100,000. While the money ostensibly goes to the state Republican Party for “party building,” a spokesman for the Delaware GOP told the Center for Public Integrity that no other GOP candidates have participated in such fund-raisers, nor were there plans for future fundraisers with other candidates. Come the general election in the fall, assuming George W. Bush wins the Republican nomination, the Delaware State Republican Party will have plenty of cash on hand to help the governor out with grass roots mobilization and issue ads.

Later in the day, Bush visited a homeless facility to which Cawley has given more than $5 million, and the evening was capped by Cawley and his wife being awarded the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s annual award. The featured speaker at that event was none other than George W. Bush. In his remarks to the crowd of over 1,000, Bush said that, “the role of government is to create an environment in which the Cawley’s of the world can prosper.” Cawley is certainly betting on that.

Bob Malone is state campaign co-chair in Alaska. He is chief executive officer of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., a consortium owned by major oil companies active in the North Slope of Alaska and which manages the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline. A Texas native, Malone has faced numerous headaches at the company since he came on board in 1996 from BP Amoco. Environmentalists and a number of whistleblowers, who identify themselves as senior employees at the company, have warned about unsafe and environmentally hazardous conditions at the marine terminal in Valdez. The pipeline is under the scrutiny of several federal agencies. During a meeting with Malone, Bush asked him about the decades-long effort by oil companies, including BP Amoco, to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Bush made no commitments to Malone. The Clinton administration has opposed opening up the refuge.

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