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WP: Pioneers Fill Campaign War Chest, Then Capitalize

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:49 PM
Original message
WP: Pioneers Fill Campaign War Chest, Then Capitalize
Edited on Sat May-15-04 09:52 PM by kskiska
Sunday, May 16, 2004; Page A01

First of two articles

GREENSBORO, Ga. -- Joined by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and a host of celebrities, hundreds of wealthy Republicans gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge here in the first weekend in April, not for a fundraiser but for a celebration of fundraisers. It was billed as an "appreciation weekend," and there was much to appreciate.

As Bush "Pioneers" who had raised at least $100,000 each for the president's reelection campaign, or "Rangers" who had raised $200,000 each, the men and women who shot skeet with Cheney, played golf with pros Ben Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller and laughed at the jokes of comedian Dennis Miller are the heart of the most successful political money operation in the nation's history. Since 1998, Bush has raised a record $296.3 million in campaign funds, giving him an overwhelming advantage in running against Vice President Al Gore and now Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). At least a third of the total -- many sources believe more than half -- was raised by 631 people.

(snip)

For achieving their fundraising goals, Pioneers receive a relatively modest token, the right to buy a set of silver cuff links with an engraved Lone Star of Texas (Rangers can buy a more expensive belt buckle set). Their real reward is entree to the White House and the upper levels of the administration.

Of the 246 fundraisers identified by The Post as Pioneers in the 2000 campaign, 104 -- or slightly more than 40 percent -- ended up in a job or an appointment. A study by The Washington Post, partly using information compiled by Texans for Public Justice, which is planning to release a separate study of the Pioneers this week, found that 23 Pioneers were named as ambassadors and three were named to the Cabinet: Donald L. Evans at the Commerce Department, Elaine L. Chao at Labor and Tom Ridge at Homeland Security. At least 37 Pioneers were named to postelection transition teams, which helped place political appointees into key regulatory positions affecting industry.

(snip)

Pioneers interviewed for these articles were reluctant to discuss on the record their contacts with the administration. "That's dead man's talk," one said. The Bush campaign declined repeated requests to reveal the entire 2000 list of Pioneers, saying it is contained in computer files they can no longer access.

more
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29142-20...
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. This isn't political fundraising. It's a money for government contracts
scheme and naked wealth transfer to the 1% . Does anyone really believe that they've raised $300M because Republicans think their principles are worth this kind of money? Does anyone believe they've raised $300MM because they think George Bush is a great pResident?

No, it's because Bush is willing to look the other way while laws are enacted that have transferred the nation's wealth to the largest contributors of the Republican Party.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is this one of the freedoms they hate us for?
The freedom to buy and sell the American government?

This oughtta be a huge story.

Looking forward to the second part on Monday.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 05:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. Postively NAUSEATING. Here are a few precious outtakes.
Edited on Sun May-16-04 05:44 AM by VolcanoJen
Of Pioneers and Rangers... fascinating story about the quid pro quo in shilling for the Chimp.

My favorite passage:

Asked whether the president gives any special preference to campaign contributors in making decisions about policy, appointments or other matters, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said, "Absolutely not." The president, Duffy said, "bases his policy decisions on what's best for the American people."

Uh-huh. So I guess it's just a coinky-dink that 40% of the 2000 Election Year Pioneers now hold positions in the Bush Administration?

Oh, wait... here's another priceless paragraph:

Pioneers interviewed for these articles were reluctant to discuss on the record their contacts with the administration. "That's dead man's talk," one said. The Bush campaign declined repeated requests to reveal the entire 2000 list of Pioneers, saying it is contained in computer files they can no longer access.

Well, ok!! It must have been a bitch to start over from scratch for the 2004 Pioneers/Rangers list, eh? Do they really expect us to believe they "can no longer access" computer files that are less than four years old? Didn't anyone make a floppy? A printout? Instead of fabricating ridiculous untruths, why don't they just tell the reporter to bugger off?
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 05:49 AM
Response to Original message
4. link to interactive graphic
Edited on Sun May-16-04 05:50 AM by radfringe
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/pioneers/...

these donations are not donations - they are investments for cushy appointments and pork-stuffed-contracts

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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Those tricky Bushies! Pioneers/Rangers won't show up on OpenSecrets.
The only folks keeping track of these fundraising giants are Rove, Hughes, and their kind...

This from Rob Portman (R), Idiot, Ohio Congressman:

The Pioneer tracking system ensures that hard work gets noticed. That's why Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) signed up this year. He read that Dunn, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and others were Pioneers. Portman had already raised money, "but I didn't have a tracking number. I finally decided to get one. I wanted to be supportive, and be viewed as supportive."

Rob Portman's family owns the historic Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio. When Bush criss-crossed the battleground states during his recent Canadian Bus Tour, The Golden Lamb became the centerpiece of the tour. A beautiful, typical Main Street White America scene, complete with strategic patriotic bunting -- quite the backdrop for Bush's future "We love America more than you do" ads. Look for 'em.... and be sure to thank CongressIdiot Rob Portman, Pioneer.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. LOL, sounds like an unrealistic Frank Capra-Disney movie
A beautiful, typical Main Street White America scene, complete with strategic patriotic bunting -- quite the backdrop for Bush's future "We love America more than you do"

Fabrications R Us for the rich schemers.

Dupe the sleepy American public to line their already deep pockets.

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rebellious woman Donating Member (165 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. bush not worth $.01 of the 329 million.. prices gone up on gophers
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