Giuliani Warchested To OutBush Bush
Rudy Giuliani wants to be president, and is bankrolling himself on the coattails of
George Bush and his Texas confederates.
I was very dismayed, to say the least, when I recently read
about Rudolph Giuliani’s obscene political generation of money
and where he is attaching himself to get it. He wants that
Texas Republican moolah and is willing to prostrate him before
the same greedy forces that our current president Bush has aligned
himself with. Except, Rudy has some brains. Which could
make things very very bad if this turkey gets into the White
House in January of 2009.
Of course, Mitt Romney is no better. He wants to double the
size of Guantanamo Bay’s torture center. And ravenously increase
the nuclear power industry and our number of nuclear plants.
These Republicans need a reality check badly. But instead, they are receiving
BIG campaign checks to butter up the corporations who bankroll
the power-intoxicated policies that are leading us to try to control
the planet, threaten to bomb Iran, and up the nuclear power
ecstacy forgetting about the ultimate toxicity of radioactive
waste and the next Chernobyl.
Get this, all quotes henceforth from the latest Nation issue of October 29, 2007, and
an article in it by Ari Berman called ‘Rudy’s Dirty Money:’ Rudy has signed up with Bracewell & Patterson, “a midsize Texas law firm with a client list as long as the plume from a smokestack.
…Its clients have included massive coal-burning power plants like the Atlanta-based Southern Company; more than 450 oil companies represented by the National Petrochemical
and Refiners Association; and Texas heavy hitters like Enron,
ChevronTexaco and Valero Energy. All these interests had a major stake
in persuading George W. Bush to abandon his campaign pledge to regulate
carbon dioxide, the leading source of greenhouse-gas emissions. Two weeks
after receiving a Haley Barbour memo, Bush reversed his position and decided
against naming CO2 as a pollutant, leading to more than six years of inaction
in combating global warming.”
The deal was not a cheapie. “Bracewell paid Giuliani Partners $10 million for
his services and Giuliani a base salary of $1 million a year, plus 7.5 percent
of the firm’s New York revenues. (Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once said,
“You can get rich, or you can get elected.” Giuliani is trying to do both.) In
return, Rudy performed a variety of tasks. He spearheaded the opening of the
New York office, bringing over talent like Michael Hess, New York City’s chief
lawyer under Giuliani, and Marc Mukasey, the son of US Attorney
General-designate Michael Mukasey, to head the firm’s white-collar defense
practice. In more than two years, the firm has grown to roughly forty lawyers,
with annual revenues estimated at $27 million.
Giuliani says he’s never lobbied in Washington. But he has helped in other ways.
He traveled to London to meet with executives from Shell Oil. He recruits new
associates. As of last year he worked on “three or four cases” a year, he
told Bloomberg News.”
What is so bad about this association? Be nauseated by the following:
“The arrival of the second Bush Administration and the ascent of Bracewell
went hand in hand. After persuading the Administration to abandon its CO2 pledge,
Bracewell launched a full-court press on behalf of another industry priority: relaxing
restrictions on coal-fired power plants. In 1999 the Clinton Administration had sued
nine companies for failing to add new pollution controls when updating or expanding
more than fifty of their plants. The companies wanted the EPA rule, known as
“new source review,” changed and the lawsuits dismissed.
Enlisted in the cause were key GOP lobbyists, including Barbour; C. Boyden Gray,
White House counsel for Bush Sr.; and Marc Racicot, former governor of Montana,
a Bracewell partner who was a top lobbyist for Enron and head of the Republican
In May 2001, two weeks before the Administration unveiled its energy plan, Barbour
and Racicot met with Cheney and urged him to abandon the Clinton-era rules. Over
the intense objections of career EPA attorneys, the Administration decided to torpedo
the Clinton lawsuits and granted the power plants the huge loopholes they sought. Senior
EPA officials resigned in protest, and fourteen states sued to block the rules changes.
Eliot Spitzer, New York Attorney General at the time, accused the Administration of
“gutting” the Clean Air Act and “putting the financial interests of the oil, gas and
coal companies above the public’s right to breathe clean air.”
Days after the changes were announced, Ed Krenik, the EPA’s chief liaison to Capitol Hill,
took a job in Bracewell’s Washington office. It was the beginning of an EPA exodus–especially
to Bracewell. The EPA’s acting general counsel, Lisa Jaeger, joined Bracewell in March 2004,
and the agency’s top political appointee for clean air, Jeffrey Holmstead, was hired last
October. These hires solidified Bracewell’s reputation as a “strike force for industry,” says
Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch.
By the time Giuliani joined Bracewell in 2005, the firm was regarded as “the most well-known
face of aggressive energy-industry lobbying in DC,” says John Walke, head of the clean air
division at the Natural Resources Defense Council. The DC contingent has done little to
tone down its advocacy since Rudy’s arrival. In the wake of record oil industry profits,
they lobbied against a tax on windfall revenue. At a recent EPA hearing in Philadelphia,
physicians, state officials, environmentalists and even an asthmatic family testified
about the need to reduce smog levels. But Holmstead, now Bracewell’s star expert, brushed
aside such concerns. “If you change the standard, it’s not going to have any impact
whatsoever,” he said.”
The collection of these very important and powerful people going for the money, with no
morals whatsoever is what is so troubling. And Rudy is right at the top of the rat pack
right now. He pretends that an association with a law firm has no connection with what he
does and believes in, and what they do and whom they lobby and twist around their fingers
with the influence they have.
Look further at what Bracewell & Patterson do, and what Rudy is recruiting for:
“Operatives from rival GOP campaigns were quick to exploit the fact that the firm
represented Citgo, the state oil company of Venezuela, one of the current bÍtes
noires of the right wing. Bracewell helped Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. block “indecency”
laws on television, thwarting a pet issue of Christian conservatives. The firm provided
counsel to the defense fund of disgraced former House majority leader Tom DeLay–at the
same time that it was lobbying DeLay and Congress to grant immunity to the makers of the
toxic gasoline additive MTBE, which faces hundreds of lawsuits for contaminating drinking
water. Clients abroad have included repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and
Kazakhstan (Bracewell has two offices representing American oil companies in Kazakhstan;
Rudy’s Bracewell supporters recently held a campaign fundraiser there). A few years ago
its biggest client was Enron.
Giuliani has accepted more money from the energy industry–$477,208 through the
first half of 2007–than any other presidential candidate. These ties likely won’t
hurt him with GOP primary voters, who welcomed Bush and Cheney with open arms. But
it could arouse the suspicions of moderate and independent voters in a general election,
many of whom don’t look forward to the idea of Halliburton clones dictating policy in the
next White House.”
OK, big deal that they represent Citgo, but look who they fight for. Tom Delay! Rupert
Murdoch, perhaps the most powerful single man in the world if you think media is the
most influential entity on planet Earth in this technological age. Be aware that right
now the FCC is trying to deregulate media ownership a la Rupert so the big media
corporations can own more and more newspapers and radio stations and television stations
in your city so you’ll never hear the important stories you need to know to keep what is
remaining of our democracy and free press intact. That is the front page story in today’s
New York Times newspaper, in fact.
But let us get back to Texas, where Rudy is ruminating through the millionaires and billionaires
not caring about polluting the planet, or thinking about the repercussions of what they
want and get done because of their influence and monetary investing.
Pat Oxford happens to be the managing partner of Bracewell and Patterson.
“Oxford himself is a player in Texas Republican politics. He met George W. Bush in the
1970s, worked on his campaigns and became a Pioneer in 2000 for Bush/Cheney. Through
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a law school classmate, Oxford met Karl Rove;
they became “fast friends,” Oxford told The American Lawyer. In 2000 Oxford formed
the Mighty Texas Strike Force, dispatching volunteers from Texas to battleground
During the 2000 recount in Florida, Oxford said he “ran Broward County” and managed
the Bush/Cheney legal defense team, talking with Bush frequently in Texas. In 2004
his twenty-five-person “strike force” in Ohio became a source of contention when
hotel workers in Columbus, according to a report compiled by the Democratic staff
of the House Judiciary Committee, claimed that the strike team used “payphones to make
intimidating calls to likely voters, targeting people recently in the prison system”
and alleging that the FBI would send them back to jail if they voted.”
Just a wonderful man to help lead the country and the planet into some dark dirty holes
in our energy policies, Pat Oxford.
“Giuliani’s business partners and Texas allies have come to play a prominent role
in his presidential campaign. Oxford is the campaign’s national chairman, marshaling
operations and squiring Giuliani throughout the state. A fellow Houstonian, Jim Lee,
a close ally of Governor Rick Perry and a Pioneer for Bush/Cheney in ’04, is the campaign’s
new finance chief. The day-trading company Lee co-founded, Momentum Securities, was censured
and fined $75,000 by the National Association of Security Dealers in 2001 for producing
misleading advertising material, downplaying financial risks to investors and overstating
its capital. After Lee raised $200,000 for Perry’s re-election campaign, the governor
appointed him last year to the board overseeing Texas’s $96 billion public school
employee pension fund.” Now, that really scares me. Think Enron here and how Enron
screwed and povertized those union workers in California who lost their pension money
when Enron haughtily went under, and that Ken Lay died before he could pay his Earthly
dues for the terrible things he has done to wreck and deregulate this country’s energy
and other industries. $96 BILLION public school employee pension fund. No child left
behind. Education policies by our decider, dim lights on inside the bulldog skull, ready
to probably nuclear bomb Iran because they want to participate in nuclear power and
process their own nuclear fuel. Anybody with nuclear power can make a nuclear bomb, George.
The original nuclear reactor was used to produce plutonium for our first nuclear bombs.
Remember? Each nuclear reactor produces 400-1000 pounds of plutonium each year. 20 pounds
is enough for a nuclear bomb. Yes, let us make the world a safer place! Nuclear is green!
Let’s push nuclear power all around the globe. But only the G-8 nations can process the
Back to Giuliani in Texas. The next Bush, and potentially much much worse.
“Giuliani Partners’s Roy Bailey introduced the candidate to GOP billionaires and
major Bush supporters like T. Boone Pickens and Tom Hicks. Pickens got to know Rudy
after dinner one night at Bailey’s house. Hicks had committed to McCain’s campaign,
but after Bailey “went to see him and rib him about it,” he changed his mind and became
Giuliani’s Texas chairman. The three hosted a fundraiser for Rudy last March in Dallas.
Pickens is a legendary corporate raider from West Texas who terrorized Wall Street by
threatening to take over oil companies and grew filthy rich in the process. Since launching
a hedge fund specializing in energy investments in 1996, Pickens has become even richer,
making more than $1.5 billion in 2005. That same year he gave $165 million to Cowboy Golf,
a small charity connected to his alma mater, Oklahoma State, and on whose board Pickens sits.
Within an hour, the tax-deductible donation was invested back into the Pickens hedge fund,
BP Capital. Critics who objected to the transaction, and Pickens’s influence at OSU, began
calling the school “Boone State.”
More recently, Pickens has been prospecting in Texas’s new oil: water. His company,
Mesa Water, owns groundwater rights to 200,000 acres of land north of Amarillo (in Texas,
unlike other Western states, groundwater is considered private by virtue of a “right to
capture” law), which he’s said he plans to sell to cities like El Paso, San Antonio and
Dallas, potentially netting him $1 billion over the next thirty years. Pickens claims to
be the “number-one steward of the land,” but locals are wary of what Fortune magazine
dubbed a Chinatown-esque scheme to divert water from the Panhandle, earning Pickens
the status of “regional reprobate,” as Salon put it. For a born-and-bred Texan,
Pickens is more like Giuliani than you’d think, especially when it comes to his
personal life: four wives, semi-estranged from his children, reviled in his hometown.
His political profile is no less turbulent. When the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
needed seed money for an ad campaign smearing John Kerry’s service record in Vietnam,
Pickens ponied up an initial $500,000. He eventually gave $3 million to the group.
Pickens has raised more than $500,000 for Giuliani, including $50,000 from employees
of his hedge fund.
Tom Hicks isn’t far behind Pickens financially, and his ties to the Bush family go
even deeper. In 1994 under then-Governor Bush Hicks joined the University of Texas
Board of Regents, one of the plushest appointments in the state, and was put in
charge of investing the university’s multibillion-dollar endowment. Hicks
formed a private entity using UT money, called the University of Texas Investment
Management Company, which invested millions with Bush family supporters and Hicks
allies like The Carlyle Group, Bass Brothers of Fort Worth–who bailed out Bush’s
previous company, Harken Energy–and Dallas’s Wyly family, all major patrons of the
Bushes. News reports detailing the close family connections led to a major public
controversy. Hicks stepped down at the end of his term, but the ties to Bush didn’t
end there. In 1998 Hicks bought the Texas Rangers for $250 million, three times what
Bush and his partners paid for the team in 1989, and granted Bush six times his
original share, making the failed businessman an overnight multimillionaire.
Hicks, who became vice chairman of the radio behemoth Clear Channel in 2000, helped
Bush in whatever way he could. According to Salon, “Hicks announced on a conference
call among Clear Channel’s senior radio executives that the company was supporting
Bush’s presidential run, that everyone was encouraged to make donations, and that
the legal department would be in contact with donors in order to maintain a proper
roster.” After 9/11 Clear Channel banned “potentially offensive” songs from its
stations, and in the run-up to the war in Iraq, bankrolled supposedly grassroots
pro-war “Rallies for America” across the country. The company gave nearly
$470,000 to Republican candidates in 2006, roughly the same as in ’04.
Ironically, Hicks’s investment fund sold its stake in Clear Channel last year
to the private equity firm Bain Capital Partners–the longtime employer of
Mitt Romney. Today, though, Hicks says, “I’m more closely aligned to Rudy
than I am to Bush.” As state chair for Giuliani, Hicks was given the task
last January, according to the leaked strategy memo, of raising $30 million
for the campaign in Texas, a figure that has thus far proven wildly optimistic.
The benefits of Giuliani’s association with Bracewell are evident when it
comes to hauling in money and supporters. “If people in Texas want a
presidential candidate with Texas connections, I think I have the
strongest one,” he told donors at a private golf club in Dallas in
March. “I’m here a lot on business. I’ve got to know Texas really well.”
Bracewell gave Giuliani a foothold in Texas that other candidates don’t have.
“It helped considerably,” says Robert Stein, a professor of political science
at Rice University in Houston whose daughter recently accepted a job with the
In between stops on the campaign trail, Giuliani always found time to swing by the
Houston office. “This summer, it was quite a thing to watch,” Stein says. “He was
there a lot, to be seen and to create press.” At gatherings of prospects whom
Bracewell wanted to lure to the firm, Giuliani was a star attraction. “It was as
much a fundraising attempt as an attempt to get people to sign with Bracewell,”
Stein says. (The Giuliani campaign never responded to repeated requests for
interviews with the candidate’s business partners and key fundraisers.)
Giuliani was back in Houston in early September, enjoying a Houston Texans
football game with Oxford and Texans owner Bob McNair, who in 2004 had given
more than $500,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans and another right-wing 527,
Progress for America. Rudy had been in Arlington the day before taking
batting practice with the Texas Rangers, courtesy of owner Tom Hicks,
who was hosting a fundraiser at the park. That night, Hizzoner threw
out the first pitch.”
How about a microcosm of so many of the things wrong, being perpetrated by these
very people who are supporting Rudy, who Rudy will favor when the time
is right? How about Giuliani’s energy policy? Any chance it could jive
or be influenced by Bracewell & Patterson’s vibrations?
“When it comes to energy policy, Giuliani’s record as mayor won’t present a
roadblock to his industry supporters. He put ten new power plants in New York
neighborhoods over the objection of community groups and allowed utility giant
Consolidated Edison to expand along the East River. Unlike other New York Republicans,
such as former Governor George Pataki, “environmental issues were not a big category
At a speech last year at the Manhattan Institute, the conservative think tank
that generated many of Rudy’s mayoral policies, Giuliani called the idea of
energy independence “the wrong paradigm.” He dismissed energy conservation
as “helpful but not really very, very effective.” He was most animated,
according to press reports, about the need to build new nuclear power plants
and expand oil drilling. “We haven’t drilled in Alaska,” he said.
“We haven’t built oil refineries. We haven’t ordered a nuclear power plant
since 1978.” He also plugged ethanol, a favorite in Midwest corn states like
Iowa, and so-called clean coal technologies.
On the campaign trail, Rudy now includes the requisite language about curbing
global warming and weaning America from its dependence on foreign oil. One of
his campaign’s “twelve commitments” is to “lead America towards energy independence.””
If you want to read more, check the Nation October 29, 2007 issue. The last
paragraph ends the article like this:
“In a newsletter last March, [hedge fund tycoon, and one of Giuliani’s most
important fundraisers, Paul] Singer added his name to the
list of Giuliani advisers who have advocated bombing Iran. “We think that it is
necessary to do so,” he wrote, “and soon.” Check the Nation. It is also
available online, besides being on certain newstands.
C 2007 Conrad Miller M.D.