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reinhardt Donating Member (122 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-25-07 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. Soros is connected

Jan 20, 2005

Donors Seek Access to Politicians, Best Parties

By Keith Epstein and Guy Boulton

WASHINGTON -- Why would a Tampa company that manages health care for senior citizens and the poor contribute $100,000 to President Bush's glitzy inauguration today?

Could it be the political agenda ahead? Bush and many Republicans want more Medicare and Medicaid recipients enrolled in health-maintenance organizations, a core business of WellCare.

Or might the donation have less to do with profits than simple popularity among the company's executives for a president whose policies and views align with their own? They gave him tens of thousands of dollars during the campaign.

Who knows? It might even be someone's idea of healing wounds among Republicans irked by the company's affiliation with billionaire George Soros, who spent big bucks trying to defeat Bush.

Perhaps the company and its chief executive, Todd Farha, merely want to celebrate, schmooze or impress - just as legions of partying executives and lobbyists, including dozens from Florida, are doing in the nation's capital today.

Well Care, which gets all of its revenue from government dollars, won't say.

"We just do not, as a policy, comment on our government affairs activities," spokeswoman Donna Burtanger said this week.

Michael Sparer, a Columbia University professor who specializes in health policy, said the reason for such a company's contribution to inaugural bashes is obvious:

The politicians a business helps may very well help the business, in this case especially with the prospect of major changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

"That's going to be on the agenda in the next four years," Sparer said, "so it's certainly not surprising that large corporations that do a lot of work on Medicare or Medicaid with state and federal governments would have a huge interest in contributing.

"I'm sure they know it makes sense to keep their name out there and keep their visibility with friends in high places. That can help you at some point."

What's more, the inauguration is an opportunity to give as much money as a person or company wants. Unlike campaign contributions, there are no legal limits.

Money Well Spent?

Yet although $100,000 might seem princely to the common man, it doesn't buy much in modern Washington, especially when spent on an inauguration, lobbyists say.

"$100,000? Big whoop-de- doo," said Wright Andrews, former president of the American League of Lobbyists. "I've got clients and friends giving that much, and clients and friends giving a whole lot more, and it doesn't mean they're going to get great political clout for it.

"Dollar for dollar, if I was going to look at real political clout, I could spend $100,000 a whole lot better than for an inauguration."

Many Americans may view today's celebration on TV and think of it as a public event. The truth, however, is that most of the festivities are impossible for average Americans to attend. In fact, the most coveted parties are not even on the official agenda.

Some who are spending their way past security guards, barriers and throngs of commoners in the fortified First City today want only to gawk at the balls, mix with pols and hobnob with pals.

Or to impress the people they represent. Business types from Phoenix or bank managers from Peoria come to Washington and, thanks to their host at an association or law firm, feel as if they've gained entry into a rarified world.

"Part of it is to show you are a player," Andrews said. "If you're an association and a bunch of your members want to come to town, you'd better be able to get them tickets to the swearing-in and the balls.

"Many associations give money simply so they can be assured of tickets."

Vern Buchanan of Sarasota said he ponied up $100,000 simply for the social fun.

Buchanan, a major campaign donor to Bush, owns car dealerships, chairs the Florida Chamber of Commerce, managed finances for Mel Martinez' U.S. Senate campaign, and harbors political aspirations of his own.

This week, Buchanan sponsored a table for Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist at a private dinner in the Washington Hilton - one of three such dinners the president was to attend. Buchanan was entitled to 10 tickets.

On Friday, he'll attend a lunch with Vice President Dick Cheney.

The benefit of contributing is "being part of history; that's the biggest thing," he said. "You also get a chance to visit with a lot of friends. It's fun."

With Friends Like This...

Adding to the fun are stories such as WellCare's. The company's largest stockholder is Soros Private Equity Investors LP, an investment fund indirectly controlled by Soros, a fierce critic of Bush.

WellCare regularly points out that Soros Private Equity Investors consists of institutional investors, such as state pension funds and insurance companies.

But filings with the Security and Exchange Commission note Soros indirectly "may be deemed to have voting and dispositive power" over the fund's WellCare shares.

Soros Private Equity Investors bought WellCare in 2003, and its investment proved wildly profitable. The fund, which put little money down to buy the company, netted about $169.5 million in a recent stock sale.

WellCare's largest single source of revenue: Florida, where the president's brother Jeb is governor. For the nine months ending Sept. 30, the Sunshine State's Medicaid program accounted for 56 percent of WellCare's revenue from premiums.

In a state dominated by Republicans, contributing to the president's bash probably doesn't hurt. Given the profits, maybe even Soros himself wouldn't begrudge WellCare spending a little money on today's celebration.

Jeb is on the Tenet board now
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  -You all do know that DU's robertpaulsen nailed AMERICAN JUDAS Dick CheneyTHREE YEARS AGO!! seemslikeadream  Oct-21-07 07:34 PM   #0 
  - K&R...I helped do the research and  shraby   Oct-21-07 08:45 PM   #1 
  - Many of us helped dig up those links. If WE knew, how could our leaders NOT have known?  SoCalDem   Oct-21-07 09:04 PM   #3 
     - That's the 60 million dollar answer.  The Backlash Cometh   Oct-22-07 09:35 AM   #25 
  - Awesome Cheney is the biggest criminal in the world  lovuian   Oct-21-07 08:55 PM   #2 
  - K&R  Lars39   Oct-21-07 09:22 PM   #4 
  - Bookmarking, K&R!  bonito   Oct-21-07 09:38 PM   #5 
  - Good idea!  Roland99   Oct-22-07 11:33 AM   #28 
  - Not only that, but they didn't even mention Iran like they did in the promo clips!  hootinholler   Oct-21-07 09:43 PM   #6 
  - seemslikeadream is no slouch, either.  Octafish   Oct-21-07 09:48 PM   #7 
  - Hear, hear!  BushDespiser12   Oct-21-07 09:56 PM   #8 
  - Correct! And neither are you Octafish!  robertpaulsen   Oct-22-07 05:44 PM   #48 
     - It's a shame  Holly_Hobby   Oct-22-07 08:38 PM   #50 
  - k&r -- and kudos to seemslikeadream -- one of the hardest working DUers ever!  scarletwoman   Oct-21-07 10:06 PM   #9 
  - I remember this great thread!  JackRiddler   Oct-21-07 10:11 PM   #10 
  - I remember it very well. (Can I type in all caps here?) SEND IT TO K.O.  Amonester   Oct-21-07 10:11 PM   #11 
  - American Judas series is the best info on the internets, IMHO.  Usrename   Oct-21-07 11:30 PM   #12 
  - spread the word  Swamp Rat   Oct-21-07 11:33 PM   #13 
  - K&R  nadinbrzezinski   Oct-22-07 02:38 AM   #14 
  - Must read!  Andre II   Oct-22-07 02:39 AM   #15 
  - Don't forget Part II and N313P  DrDebug   Oct-22-07 02:58 AM   #16 
  - Errata: 6 planes flew to Camp Atom before N313P headed to Pakistan  DrDebug   Oct-22-07 04:56 AM   #18 
  - Bookmarked for re-reading and thanks for the reminder!  BelgianMadCow   Oct-22-07 03:04 AM   #17 
  - morning kick  DemReadingDU   Oct-22-07 05:40 AM   #19 
  - Kicking and rec'ing  w8liftinglady   Oct-22-07 05:43 AM   #20 
  - K&R  dicksteele   Oct-22-07 06:04 AM   #21 
  - Yes, I do.  mmonk   Oct-22-07 06:05 AM   #22 
  - Pleased to give Robert a big rec  leveymg   Oct-22-07 06:46 AM   #23 
  - Great post  malaise   Oct-22-07 08:10 AM   #24 
  - GREAT article  rockybelt   Oct-22-07 10:57 AM   #26 
  - One of the truly greatest DU posts ever  NewJeffCT   Oct-22-07 11:05 AM   #27 
  - K&R. (nt)  Kurovski   Oct-22-07 12:00 PM   #29 
  - Thank you very much! I sure had a lot of help from you & others here!  robertpaulsen   Oct-22-07 12:17 PM   #30 
  - It takes them a while  reinhardt   Oct-22-07 01:26 PM   #34 
     - Absolutely!  robertpaulsen   Oct-22-07 01:51 PM   #35 
     - Then you will probably recognize the writting style here  reinhardt   Oct-22-07 02:02 PM   #36 
        - You better believe I've bookmarked this.  robertpaulsen   Oct-22-07 02:37 PM   #43 
           - WellCare & California Arson?  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 01:28 PM   #52 
              - As an LA resident, this concerns me.  robertpaulsen   Oct-25-07 01:35 PM   #53 
                 - The Iraq War was a cover-up for Medicare fraud at HealthSouth and..  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 01:58 PM   #54 
                 - Here is more  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 02:56 PM   #57 
                 - Look at the insider trading at WellCare just prior to the 2007 Legatus Pilgrimage  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 02:23 PM   #56 
                 - Soros is connected  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 03:35 PM   #58 
                 - This just got paid for  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 03:40 PM   #59 
                    - Gotta Love The "Executive Shuffle"  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 03:43 PM   #60 
                       - A few more links.. while they are still around  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 04:22 PM   #61 
                          - Here is an early whistle-blower sorta like Michael Vines and HealthSouth  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 04:43 PM   #62 
                             - sweetie I'm reading every word but we need to post all this in a seperate thread  seemslikeadream   Oct-25-07 04:48 PM   #63 
                                - haven't posted enough to start my own threads feel free2doso  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 04:55 PM   #64 
                                - These two links should be read and re-read  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 05:06 PM   #66 
                                   - This person knows something; (i see dead people; dead Medicare customers?)  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 05:23 PM   #67 
                                   - It is not when he sold - it is when he filed to sell  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 05:28 PM   #68 
                                   - BAD LINK  seemslikeadream   Oct-26-07 04:32 PM   #75 
                                   - n/t  reinhardt   Oct-25-07 05:56 PM   #69 
                 - Could you or seamslike.. post this for me  reinhardt   Oct-26-07 10:44 AM   #72 
                    - Good News.. it made it to WRH  reinhardt   Oct-26-07 03:03 PM   #73 
                    - here ya go sweets  seemslikeadream   Oct-26-07 03:43 PM   #74 
                       - tks! n/t  reinhardt   Oct-26-07 09:02 PM   #76 
     - I remember a lot  seemslikeadream   Oct-22-07 02:03 PM   #37 
        - Here is an updated version  reinhardt   Oct-22-07 02:10 PM   #39 
           - would someone be able to contact you there?  seemslikeadream   Oct-22-07 02:12 PM   #40 
              - I wanted to..  reinhardt   Oct-22-07 02:24 PM   #41 
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  - If only people had heeded Kerry's warnings in his final BCCI report  beachmom   Oct-22-07 02:04 PM   #38 
  - I see a lot of friends in this thread that have consistently provided nails  bobthedrummer   Oct-22-07 02:26 PM   #42 
  - Kick  bobthedrummer   Oct-22-07 04:25 PM   #44 
  - Everything anyone would ever need for an impeachment case, treason included. eom  sicksicksick_N_tired   Oct-22-07 04:30 PM   #45 
  - Rec and Kick to the moon.  Truth2Tell   Oct-22-07 04:56 PM   #46 
  - The hypocrisy of Cheney and preventing Nuclear Iran...He should go straight to prison.  bjobotts   Oct-22-07 05:26 PM   #47 
  - K&R.  dickbearton   Oct-22-07 07:54 PM   #49 
  - Great work  Indi Guy   Oct-23-07 11:55 PM   #51 
  - Impeach  T.Ruth2power   Oct-25-07 02:01 PM   #55 
  - K&R  KansDem   Oct-25-07 04:57 PM   #65 
  - kick  lovuian   Oct-25-07 09:07 PM   #70 
  - -  Indi Guy   Oct-30-07 04:29 AM   #77 
  - Thanks for these incredible articles. No shock and awe here though.  goforit   Oct-25-07 09:15 PM   #71 

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