The Bush-Cheney Gazillions Tour

Get Out Your Checkbooks. It's a Bundle of Fun

President Bush's re-election campaign has coupled the time-honored tradition of the chicken-dinner whistle-stop tour with the 21st-century technology of electronic check-tracking and a bit of Texas terminology to produce a monster of political fundraising.

"Soft money" has been outlawed. And individual contributions are limited to $2,000 each. Now the key word is "bundling."

Bush has three levels of bundlers who woo friends and allies to high-ticket (usually $1,000-a-plate) campaign lunches and dinners. Rangers are those committed to raising at least $200,000 each for the campaign; Pioneers have a goal of $100,000; and Mavericks are the under-40 crowd aiming at $50,000 each. (During the 2000 campaign, Bush had only the Pioneer category, of which Enron's Ken Lay was a member.)

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Donors at the rallies put special tracking numbers on their campaign checks so that Dubya's workers can credit bundlers as they try to meet their goals. Scores of top Republicans, including elected and appointed officials, are already Rangers and Pioneers, of course, and their loyalty is still tallied. Donors get the thrill of hearing either George W. Bush or Dick Cheney at the event. Bundlers get hang time with party and business celebrities, perhaps even with Dubya or Dick.

Bush-Cheney 04 Inc., the official name of the president's campaign, has hauled in more than $70 million of its total $84.7 million war chest from the nationwide Dubya-Dick tour alone. And that's just through September 30. The president may top $200 million, twice what he spent in 2000, when he had primary opponents.

"Ohhhh, I think we'll raise about a gazillion dollars. Maybe three or four gazillion," Al Hoffman, finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, said of an upcoming stop by Bush at Hoffman's Florida home.

Following is the Bush campaign's official list of 100 Rangers, 185 Pioneers, and 20 Mavericks. Watchdog groups suspect that there are hundreds more. But who's counting?


MAVERICKS

Bush-Cheney 04 Inc. is breeding another generation of Al Hoffman- type fundraisers, the under-40 Mavericks. Here are the 20 that the campaign lists "as of September 30":

Tony Antone, Michigan: A top aide to a developer, and already a Pioneer. (The Bush campaign's data on who's a Pioneer, Maverick, or Ranger contains other such inconsistencies.) He's a former aide to fellow Arab American Michigan pol Spencer Abraham, now secretary of energy.

Jeff Ballabon, New York: Rising star among what The Forward calls "a cadre of Generation X Republican Jewish activists, many of them Orthodox." A hawk on Israel—even The Forward refers to him as a right-winger in that sense. "The president will give the Palestinians as much slack as they need to have a fair shot at success, or to hang themselves," Ballabon has said. Co-chaired a June 23 fundraising dinner starring Bush in Manhattan that raked in $4 million. Heads the public-policy department at magazine and Web behemoth Primedia. As a Court TV executive, was a key figure early on in negotiating with states to allow cameras in their courtrooms.

David Catania, District of Columbia: One of the most visible openly gay politicians in D.C., the Republican member of the D.C. Council was first elected in 1997. Supports school vouchers.

Marshall Cooper, New Hampshire: Executive at Kennedy Information. Was the original publisher, a few years ago, of Consulting magazine, now a bible of the industry. The magazine's Top 25 consultants of 2002 included Rudy Giuliani, ex-New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, and current Iraq pasha, L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer.

Husein Cumber, Florida: Listed by the campaign as both a Pioneer and a Ranger. Assistant vice president for public affairs for Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), a key branch of Florida's largest private landholder, the St. Joe Co. Former campaign aide to Governor Jeb Bush. "What you're seeing," Cumber has said of his fundraising for Dubya, "is a group of people that all have distinct Rolodexes as well as the ability to reach out into their communities." This past July, a Miami/Dade County environmental agency reached into the low-income Hialeah community to begin investigating whether FECI, which is facing whistle-blower lawsuits, has covered up hazardous-materials spills at its rail yard there since the mid 1990s.

Paul Dickerson, Texas: Houston tax, contracts, and business-planning lawyer. Already a Pioneer. Appointed in 2001 to the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Told Texas Lawyer magazine in December 2002 that one of his five favorite Web-surfing sites was appointee.brookings.org. Why? "This nonpartisan site helps presidential nominees during their political appointment process. It is an amazing resource for those interested in presidential appointments." Six months later, Dickerson, only five years out of law school and just an associate at Houston firm Haynes and Boone, was appointed to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative's Industry Sector Advisory Committee on Services for Trade Policy Matters, where he rubs elbows with such fellow members as Donald A. Deline, director of government affairs for Halliburton, and Laura Lane, Time Warner Inc.'s vice president for international public policy.

Christopher Egan, Massachusetts: Son of Richard Egan, founder of Massachusetts computer database firm EMC and appointed by Bush as ambassador to Ireland after being fined by the FEC for exceeding contribution limits. Richard Egan, who had no diplomatic experience, served for two years before retiring. Chris, brother Mike, and Pop are all Rangers—the only such family trio in the country. Since 1999, the Egans have given almost $900,000 to federal candidates and party committees, 91 percent of it to Republicans.

Lisa Gable, Virginia: Expert in "brand consultancy" for financial and high-tech firms. Strong fundraiser for Bush in California during the 2000 campaign, when she was Silicon Valley "e-chair" for the ticket. Member of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, which (in an e-mail sent out far and wide, naturally) she calls "America's most prestigious program for leadership and public service" and notes that they are are handed out on a "strictly non-partisan basis." Also raises funds for other fundraisers: She hosted a fundraising event late last month for Virginia house speaker William J. Howell, the most prolific GOP fundraiser in her adopted state.

Todd Huston, Indiana: Already a Pioneer, he's got the pedigree—his uncle Tom was a counsel in the Nixon White House; his sister, Julie Huston Thomas, works for Dubya. Class of '94 at Indiana University, Todd, director of business operations at Komputrol, unsuccessfully tried to bring Pat Buchanan to campus to counter appearances by the likes of Spike Lee and Angela Davis. Unbowed, back in 2001 he refused to donate to his alma mater because an IU branch in Fort Wayne was putting on a production of Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi. "If they want to have a play like this," Huston told The Indianapolis Star, "they should next put on a play with a true biblical representation of Christ."

Mary Kate Johnson, Maryland: Finance director of Bush's Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2001.

John Kelly, Washington: Treasurer of Microsoft's political action committee. Personally donated $100,000 to Bush's 2001 Presidential Inaugural Committee, which raised a total of $28.8 million. Member of Washington state's "magnificent seven" cadre of young GOP strategists.

John Kern, Ohio: Business partner of Mercer Reynolds and (St. Louis Cardinals owner) Bill DeWitt Jr., the Cincinnati duo who helped Dubya get started in the oil business. Reynolds isn't listed as a Ranger, but he's a better fundraiser than any of them, having been termed in the press as Dubya's "$170 million man." Cincy donors have given Bush's 2004 campaign $814,600 so far. Kern's zip code, 45243, has given the most money to Bush outside of New York City.

Craig Kunkle, Indiana: Operations and finance director for the Indiana Republican Party.

Rob Leebern, Georgia: Already a Pioneer, Leebern managed Saxby Chambliss's successful U.S. Senate bid in 2002. (He had been Chambliss's chief of staff when the pol was in the U.S. House.) A year ago, Leebern was hired as a D.C. lobbyist for the Atlanta powerhouse law firm Troutman Sanders, which represents, among many other corporations, energy giant Southern Co. The 500-person law firm has 54 attorneys in D.C., many of them dealing with Southern's numerous regulatory issues. Troutman Sanders was cited as one of Southern Co.'s primary litigators in the National Law Journal's annual listing "Who Defends Corporate America." Troutman Sanders also defended Georgia Power Co. against what the Fulton County Daily Report called "a potential class action by African American workers who claimed that hangman's nooses were hung in their workplaces and that they were harassed and systematically shortchanged in promotions and pay." The suit was dismissed.

Paul Maynard, Minnesota: A Deloitte & Touche executive in the Twin Cities who moved over from Arthur Andersen in the summer of 2002.

Stephen Payne, Texas: A Houston business consultant who already made Pioneer and, as a result, got invited to an August 9 barbecue in Crawford, where he and 350 other bundlers mingled with Bush and his top aides and were herded to the Broken Spoke Ranch, just down the road from Bush's spread.

Don Peay, Utah: Known as the person who "dictates wildlife policy in Utah," Peay heads the politically active, 10,000-member Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. "Our focus is to grow more critters and have a fair way to divvy them up," he said. A Western Wildlife Conservancy spokesman told The Salt Lake Tribune that Peay bullies his opponents as "wild-eyed environmentalists and extremists." But pro-basketball star Karl Malone, a hunting buddy of Peay's, said, "The day I met him is the day I said, 'He's a leader.' So am I." Malone, a longtime Utah Jazz player now with the Los Angeles Lakers (and a contributor to the Utah GOP), is pondering a run for Utah governor; he's discussed it with Peay. "Governor Ventura— he was a wrestler, and he won it," Malone told a reporter. "So why not?"

Bryan Pickens, Texas: Already a Pioneer.

Eric Tanenblatt, Georgia: Among the first 23 Rangers, along with Bill DeWitt Jr. and Chiquita banana boss and former S&L figure Charles Keating partner Carl Lindner. A transplant from Long Island, Tanenblatt is chief of staff for Governor Sonny Perdue, the first Republican to hold that office in more than a century. Raised a Republican, Tanenblatt found his ardor intensified when he ran into a president during a D.C. internship. "I met Ronald Reagan," he recalled for The Los Angeles Times, "and I don't know what it was, but something came over me." Tanenblatt co-chaired Bush's 2000 campaign in Georgia and then worked on Perdue's historic gubernatorial bid last year.

George H. Walker IV, New York: Dubya's second cousin and already a Pioneer, he lives on Greene Street in Soho and, still in his early 30s, is co-head of Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s Hedge Fund Strategies Group, which services wealthy investors. A Phi Beta Kappa grad of the Wharton School, he became a Goldman partner at age 29—one of the youngest ever. "I'm very proud of my family, but I don't talk about them," he says. "That's not something that is going to make our clients money."


RANGERS

Of the 100 listed by the Bush campaign, 14 are from Florida, 12 from Texas, 11 from California, and eight from New York.

Duane W. Acklie, Nebraska

W. Andrew Adams, Tennessee

Dawn and Roland E. Arnall, California

Alfred S. Austin, Florida

Cathy Bailey, Kentucky

Lawrence E. Bathgate II, New Jersey

Bruce D. Benson, Colorado

Teel Bivins, Texas

Michael M. Boone, Texas

Katherine E. Boyd, California

Elliott Broidy, California

Steve Burd, California

Marvin P. Bush, Virginia

James P. Cain, North Carolina

Joseph C. Canizaro, Louisiana

Charles Cawley, Delaware

John D. Collins, Florida

Peter R. Coneway, Texas

Dan Cook, Texas

Husein Cumber, Florida

Richard K. Davidson, Nebraska

William O. DeWitt Jr., Ohio

Jennifer Dunn, Washington

Buzz duPont, California

Christopher F. Egan, Massachusetts

Richard J. Egan, Massachusetts

Michael J. Egan, Massachusetts

Richard T. Farmer, Ohio

Robert Fee, New York

C. Edward Floyd, South Carolina

Frank E. Fowler, Tennessee

Sam Fox, Missouri

Bradford M. Freeman, California

Yousif B. Ghafari, Michigan

David F. Girard-di Carlo, Pennsylvania

Charles L. Glazer, Connecticut

Stephen Goldsmith, Indiana

Robert T. Grand, Indiana

Joseph Grano, New York

Hank Greenberg, New York

Jon D. Hammes, Wisconsin

J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois

Michael Hightower, Florida

Al Hoffman, Florida

Richard F. Hohlt, D.C.

Al Hubbard, Indiana

Kathy Hubbard, Indiana

Robert W. Johnson IV, New York

John C. Kern Jr., Ohio

Nancy G. Kinder, Texas

Mark Kirk, Illinois

Jim Kittle Jr., Indiana

James R. Klauser, Wisconsin

C. Michael Kojaian, Michigan

Fred W. Lazenby, Tennessee

Michael Lebovitz, Tennessee

Stephen Lessing, New York

Carl H. Lindner, Ohio

Carl H. Lindner III, Ohio

Tom and Nancy Loeffler, Texas

Bob and Mary Jane Martinez, Florida

Susan McCaw, Washington

Mayer Mitchell, Alabama

Allen Morgan Jr., Tennessee

Dennis E. Nixon, Texas

Stan O'Neal, New York

Bill Owens, Colorado

George E. Pataki, New York

Thomas F. Petway III, Florida

Sergio Pino, Florida

Van B. Poole, Florida

Ralph Reed Jr., Georgia

Jamie Reynolds, Georgia

Thomas M. Reynolds, New York

Dub Riter Jr., Texas

Raul R. Romero, Texas

John D. Rood, Florida

Larry Ruvo, Nevada

Patrick G. Ryan, Illinois

Kenneth R. Satterlee, California

Justin J. Sayfie, Florida

W. Richard Scarlett III, Wyoming

Dwight Schar, Virginia

William Scherer, Florida

Ned L. Siegel, Florida

Gregory W. Slayton, California

Gordon Smith, Oregon

Alex G. Spanos, California

Manuel Stamatakis, Pennsylvania

Shawn and Michelle Steel, California

John T. Steen Jr., Texas

Marc I. Stern, California

William H. Strong, Illinois

Eric Tanenblatt, Georgia

W.R. Timken Jr., Ohio

Ben Whitney, Minnesota

David H. Wilkins, South Carolina

J. Roger Williams, Texas

Zachariah P. Zachariah, M.D., Florida

Frederick Zeidman, Texas


PIONEERS

Bush's campaign has been lauded for releasing its bundler lists. But watchdogs such as Texans for Public Justice and The Nation contend that there are hundreds more Pioneers and have pressed the campaign to release a full list. TPJ's extensive website (tpj.org) on the campaign includes a spreadsheet tracking what it says are more than 500 Pioneer program participants.

Jack Abramoff, D.C.

Anthony Alexander, Ohio

Teresa Amend, Texas

Tony Antone, Michigan

Alexander Arshinkoff, Ohio

Robert H. Asher, Illinois

Bob Asher, Pennsylvania

Edward G. Atsinger III, California

Lee M. Bass, Texas

Frank Baxter, California

Louis A. Beecherl Jr., Texas

Dee Dee Benkie, Indiana

Robert T. Bennett, Ohio

Dennis R. Berman, Texas

Wayne Berman, D.C.

Ron Beshear, Ohio

Bruce L. Bialosky, California

Carole L. Bionda, California

Molly Bordonaro, Oregon

Rudy Boschwitz, Minnesota

David L. Brennan, Ohio

William O. Brisben, Ohio

Les Brorsen, Virginia

August Busch III, Missouri

Wendy Cantor Hales, California

Al Cardenas, Florida

John D. Carswell, Georgia

James Cayne, New York

James H. Click, Arizona

Norman Coleman, Minnesota

Robert J. Congel, New York

John Connors, Washington

Fred Cooper, Georgia

Douglas E. Corn, Ohio

Lucia Cottone, Florida

Jim Culbertson, North Carolina

Alfonse D'Amato, New York

John C. Danforth, Missouri

William Danhof, Michigan

Robert A. Day, California

Dwight W. Decker, California

Fred Decosimo, Tennessee

Betsy DeVos, Michigan

Paul Dickerson, Texas

Charles E. Dorkey III, New York

Craig J. Duchossois, Illinois

Patrick J. Durkin, New York

James C. Edenfield, Georgia

Lewis Eisenberg, New Jersey

John Etchart, Montana

Dwight H. Evans, Georgia

Thomas Everist, South Dakota

Itchko Ezratti, Florida

Mallory Factor, New York

Pepe Fanjul, Florida

T. Martin Fiorentino Jr., Florida

Peter Fitzgerald, Illinois

Richard Fore, D.C.

Tillie Fowler, D.C.

Barbara Franklin, Connecticut

Bart Friedman, New York

Lisa Gable, Virginia

Frank Gargano, New York

Ronald Gidwitz, Illinois

Roy Goodman, New York

Michael Govan, Virginia

Lanny Griffith, D.C.

James Grodnick, Alabama

Adele Hall, Kansas

Kent Hance, Texas

David Hanna, California

Bill G. Hartley, Texas

Beth Harwell, Tennessee

Malik M. Hasan, M.D., Colorado

James A. Haslam II, Tennessee

Donald P. Hinson, Florida

Ben and Vicki Hinson, Georgia

Mark A. Holman, Pennsylvania

Mori Hosseini, Florida

Gaylord T. Hughey Jr., Texas

Todd Huston, Indiana

Frank Jao, California

Thomas L. Johnson, Texas

Chip Kahn, D.C.

Sheldon Kamins, Maryland

Ron Kaufman, D.C.

Munr Kazmir, Ph.D., New Jersey

John Kelly, Washington

Bobbie & Bill Kilberg, Virginia

Richard R. Kilgust, New York

Robert A. Kotick, California

Hersh Kozlov, New Jersey

Edward D. Kratovil, Connecticut

Henry Kravis, New York

James Langdon, D.C.

Charles W. Larson Jr., Iowa

Rob Leebern, Georgia

Edward C. Levy Jr., Michigan

Robert Liggett, Michigan

Jeff B. Love, Texas

L. Ben Lytle, Indiana

James P. MacGilvray, New York

John Mack, New York

John B. Mahaffey, Missouri

Thomas P. Marinis Jr., Texas

Fernando A. Mateo, New York

Bill McCormick, Oregon

Drayton McLane Jr., Texas

Kevin P. McMahon, Virginia

David Metzner, D.C.

Fred Meyer, Texas

Arlene Mitchell, Alabama

A. Maurice Myers, Texas

Terry Neese, Oklahoma

James Neis, Illinois

Andrea Fischer Newman, Virginia

James B. Nicholson, Michigan

Alan Novak, Pennsylvania

Erle Nye, Texas

Walden W. O'Dell, Ohio

Michael O'Halleran, Illinois

Duane Ottenstroer, Florida

Henry M. Paulson Jr., New York

Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota

Bill Paxon, D.C.

Marshall B. Payne, Texas

Stephen P. Payne, Texas

Don Peay, Utah

Jerry Perenchio, California

Wayne M. Perry, Washington

Stanley Davis Phillips, North Carolina

J. Bryan Pickens, Texas

Bo Pilgrim, Texas

Alec Poitevint, Georgia

Timothy Powers, D.C.

Annie Presley, Missouri

David Pringle, D.C.

Paulette L. Pyle, Oregon

John Rakolta Jr., Michigan

Thomas Renyi, New York

J. Christopher Reyes, Illinois

Harold Reynolds, Georgia

Duane R. Roberts, California

Corbin J. Robertson Jr., Texas

Matthew K. Rose, Texas

John Saltsman, Tennessee

Stephen A. Schwarzman, New York

Peter F. Secchia, Michigan

Stephanie Siegel, Florida

Samuel K. Skinner, Illinois

Stephen B. Smith, Tennessee

Frederick Smith, Tennessee

Barbara Sobel, New Jersey

David L. Sokol, Nebraska

Ronald P. Spogli, California

Peter Starrett, California

Nicholas F. Taubman, Virginia

Thomas R. Tellefsen, California

William A. Terlato, Illinois

Michael D. Thompson, Alabama

Jayne Carr Thompson, Illinois

John Thrasher, Florida

J. Mark Tipps, Tennessee

John B. Tsu,M.D., California

Bob Tuttle, California

Rodolphe M. Vallee, Vermont

Dirk Van Dongen, D.C.

Elliot Vernon, New Jersey

Ann and Ray Wagner, Missouri

George H. Walker, New York

Roger W. Wallace, Texas

Jonathan Ward, Illinois

Ray Washburne, Texas

M. Keith Weikel, Ph.D., Ohio

Ted Welch, Tennessee

Paul F. Welday, Michigan

Robert Whilden Jr., Texas

Edward E. Whitacre Jr., Texas

Brent R. Wilkes, California

George M. Williams, Texas

Virgil Williams, Georgia

Aldona Wos, M.D., North Carolina

Rodger Young, Michigan

Mammen P. Zachariah, M.D., Florida

George C. Zoley, Florida


Sources include Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Bushwatch.org, Center for Responsive Politics, FEC, Fortune, Forward, Houston Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Public Citizen, South Florida Business Journal, St. Petersburg Times, Texans for Public Justice, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Whitehouseforsale.org


Sidebar:
"Green With Envy: Change Is in the Air for Democratic Challengers" by Ward Harkavy

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