The Pimps to Power

Procuring Favors Along K Street



Sightings from The Catbird Seat

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From Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition:

procurern. 1. a person who procures, or obtains. 2. a man who obtains girls for the purpose of prostitution; pimp.




From Washington on $10 Million a Day, by Ken Silverstein

What do lobbyists do and how do they do it? When I set out to write a book about Washington lobbying in the spring of 1997, I wanted to explore those questions with an inside look. My ability to get an inside look, though, did not appear to be promising. I’m rarely invited to functions attended by lobbyists or other beltway power brokers …

Hence, I decided to pose as a Washington influence peddler eager to contribute to political candidates. I created a fictious Political Action Committee affliated with the equally fictitious Miami-based United Broadcasting Corporation. Armed with my impressive credentials as a lobbyist for this cash-dispensing outfit, I called the offices of Democratic and Republican Party fundraising outfits and asked for information about upcoming affairs in Washington….

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) – whose list of events is “blast faxed” to PAC directors, lobbyists and other high rollers every Friday – provided me with information about 44 fund-raisers. These included a Defense Aerospace Industry Dinner for Congressman Chris Cannon of Utah ($500); and Indy 500 Warm-Up Reception for Dan Burton at the American Trucking Association ($500); and a Happy Birthday Speaker Newt Gingrich Reception at the Capitol Hill Club ($1,000).

That the two political parties share all too similar interests was reflected in the fact that several GOP fund-raisers were to be held at the lobby shop of Dan Dutko, a diehard Democrat and intimate of Vice President Al Gore.

Though I called only to ask about events for individual members of Congress, NRCC staffer Robert Eppihimer suggested that I also talk to someone who handles party fund-raisers. “PAC or ‘soft?,’ he inquired, before forwarding me to Anne Ekern at the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Ekern, too, wanted to know if United Broadcasting would be making PAC or more highly prized soft money donations….

Ekern told me that for $5,000 in PAC money, United Broadcasting could join the Republican Senate Council. That would entitle my firm to send a representative to a monthly luncheon where a GOP Senator would brief participants, mostly corporate lobbyists, on “legislation on anything else that might be going through [Congress].”

If United Broadcasting preferred to pony up $25,000 in soft money, the company could join the Chairman’s Foundation which, Ekern said, “catered to the CEO.”…

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was equally helpful, providing a list of 24 fund-raisers. These included a reception for Minority Leader Richard Gephardt at the Naval Heritage Center – tickets cost between $1,000 and $5,000 – and a golf tournament and dinner hosted by Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia, offered at the bargain basement rate of $500 for PACs and $150 for individuals.

The DCCC’s Erin Graefe also sent me information about the Committee’s donor programs. Fifteen thousand dollars in PAC money will buy you a seat in the Speaker’s Club. Annual benefits include “bimonthly issue and political briefings with administration members,” “small dinners” with ranking members of Congress, and invitations to a Colorado ski trip in January, a wither retreat in March and a Washington area golf tournament in May, all with Democratic officials and elected leaders….

My Life as a Bagman

I couldn’t afford to attend any of the big money affairs, but I did buy tickets to two individual fund-raisers. The first was a $500 per person event to benefit second-term Congressman George Radanovich (R) of California. The affair – dubbed a “Wine Reception” – was held at the offices of McClure, Gerard & Neuenschwander, a leading beltway lobby shop. The company was founded by former Idaho Senator James McClure and represents a host of energy and mining companies, including the National Mining Association.

The site was well chosen as Radanovich is a leading practitioner of environmental rape-and-pillage, with his campaigns generously funded by logging, oil and waste disposal companies (as well as by McClure’s client, the NMA).

The congressman also works hard for agricultural interests, which poured $76,808 into his campaign war chest. All told, Radanovich raised $410,000 for his 1996 re-election bid….

I arrived a few minutes early for the 5:30 affair … when I made my entrance, no one was on hand but a few of Radanovich’s staffers and several lobbyists from McClure’s firm. Among the latter group was Joe Findaro, who’d worked for James Watt, Reagan’s famously rabid Interior Department chieftain….

Soon, the reception area was filled with about 30 people, most of them lobbyists for big business: Enron, Sunkist, the National Roofing Contractors Association, and BHP, an Australian-owned mining and oil company. …People chatted around tables amply stocked with food … and an assortment of wines from Radanovich’s vineyards.

The wine was served by the Congressman’s chief of staff, John McMamman, who also received envelopes stuffed with checks. As he filled my glass with a tasty Merlot, McMamman accepted an envelope from Ed Bedwell of Pacific Gas & Electric, who said that his offering contained checks from several colleagues as well. Tribute passed, Bedwell was soon immersed in a lengthy discussion with Radanovich about utility issues….

Exit Tweedledee, Enter Tweedledum

On the night following the Radanovich affair I attended a $500 per person fund-raiser for Texas Democrat Ken Bentsen at The Monocle, a popular haunt of politicians and lobbyists. While Bentsen held court on the restaurant’ Federal Room South, Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota was collecting money across the hall in Federal Room South.

Bentsen is a prodigious fund-raiser, spending $1.4 million in 1996 to fend off his Republican challenger, Dolly Madison McKenna. Of that amount, $905,000 came from PAC’s, with labor providing $364,000, the biggest chunk.

Like his uncle, former treasury secretary and senator Lloyd Bentsen, Ken is a close ally of the oil industry, and his support elicited a geyser of $32,214 from energy and natural resource companies for the congressman’s 1996 campaign. Other big financial supporters of Bentsen’s include lawyers and lobbyists ($58,000) and bankers ($79,000).

This donor base was well reflected by the crowd of about forty at The Monocle.

Labor was represented by the Teamsters, the United Auto Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Finance money came in the form of Goldman, Sachs & Co., Citicorp and the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.

Oil and energy contributors included Shell and Enron.

Lobbyists came from such venerable firms as Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and McDermot, Will & Emery….

Having established the groundwork for future contacts, I decided to call it a night. Departing along with me were two lobbyists for energy companies. As we reached the street one sighed, “Now to La Brasserie.” That is the name of another popular beltway eatery favored by power brokers and politicians, and the site that night for a fund-raiser for energy industry poster boy Rep. Dan Schaefer of Colorado, hosted by a consortium of natural gas companies….

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March 28, 2006

Andrew Card Resigns as White House Chief of Staff

Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten Will Step in For Card

By Peter Baker and Debbi Wilgoren, Washington Post

White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. announced his resignation this morning after nearly 5 1/2 years as President Bush’s top aide. Bush said Card will be replaced by Joshua B. Bolten, the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Card will serve until April 14 to provide a transition period. The move could presage broader staff changes as Bolten takes over an operation hobbled by political problems heading into a crucial midterm election season….

… Continued at Josh Bolten


Angela Barbee Styles – Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

Transcript of a radio interview on The Business of Government Hour:

Washington, D.C., November 16, 2001

MR.LAWRENCE: Welcome to The Business of Government Hour. I’m Paul Lawrence, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and the co-chair of The Endowment for The Business of Government. We created The Endowment in 1998 to encourage discussion and research into new approaches to improving government effectiveness. . . .

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. Our conversation this morning is with Angela Styles, Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget. Good morning, Angela.

MS. STYLES: Good morning.

MR. LAWRENCE: Well, Angela, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy is a mouthful. Could you tell us about its mission and its activities?

MS. STYLES: Certainly. The mission of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy or, as most people call it, OFPP, is to coordinate efforts to improve federal procurement law, policies, and practices which affect all federal and federally assisted purchases of goods, property, and services.

In essence, OFPP is responsible for the policies by which the Executive Branch purchases over $200 billion in goods and services every year. Everything from paper clips to nuclear submarines….

The activities of our office are numerous and probably too numerous to list, but I would like to focus on four areas of what we do with our mission: First, I probably spend about 60 percent of my time focusing on Congress and legislative issues. How should the procurement system be run; what role should competition play; and what should be the basic statutory framework for procurement.

OFPP works extensively with the Senate Government Affairs Committee, House Government Reform, Senate Armed Services and House Armed Services in fashioning acquisition-related portions of the defense authorization and other government wide legislation. We also work a great deal with some of the small business committees, the Senate Small Business Committee and the House Small Business Committee.

And aside from the legislative area, which I spend a great deal of time in, our second focus and very important to me is OFPP’s role in coordinating the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, which is responsible for maintaining the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Anybody who has even ventured a little bit into the federal procurement area knows that the FAR is something of The Bible for the contracting community.

Really, the FAR embodies in one regulation all the statutory and policy direction that govern contracting and I serve on the FAR Council with representatives from DOD, GSA, and NASA and we’re really the primary procurement policy-making body. And updating the FAR, keeping it current with statutory changes and other things to reflect sound policy is a pretty significant job.

Third, and I think we’ll probably talk about this in more detail later, is the responsibility of OFPP for certain portions of the President’s management agenda, specifically, competitive sourcing, which is a new area, really, for OFPP in many respects.

And, fourth, I serve as chair of the Cost Accounting Standards Board, which is the regulatory body for setting the accounting rules for how the government makes payments under large federal contracts, primarily with defense contractors. And we’re involved in a lot of other areas, as well, but I think those are the big ones.

MR. LAWRENCE: And what’s your role as the administrator of Federal Procurement Policy? What do you actually do?

MS. STYLES: It’s to provide leadership in the procurement area and to carry out the President’s agenda in establishing procurement policy. I think I see myself something as an honest broker, balancing a great deal of competing interest in this area, of which, there really many competing interests, and applying the President’s overall goals to achieving results.

The best example I can give you is, really, in the area of competition, which has been hotly debated in the procurement area for a while. Some people think there’s too little, some people think there’s too much. The President, overall, is really committed to making the government a market-based government, making our departments and agencies market-based and that application applies to procurement in that competition is — he’s really committed to making sure that there’s competition in virtually every aspect of government performance.

So, there are a lot of policy debates, I think, between Congress, contractors and among the agencies on how do we increase competition in federal contracts. And I, fundamentally believe that competition is what improves quality, reduces price, and is the key to ensuring that we’re maintaining integrity in how we spend the $200 billion in goods and services. . . .

MR. LAWRENCE: Well, let’s spend some time talking about your career. Tell us about your career prior to joining OFPP.

MS. STYLES: I came to D.C. in 1987 as an intern for Congressman Joe Barton; worked on the Hill as a legislative aide for him for a couple of years; worked on some energy and commerce committee issues there. I moved on from there to work at the State Federal Relations for the, then governor of Texas, Bill Clemmence (phonetic), was there for a couple years and returned to Texas after his term expired to go to law school at the University of Texas. And decided I missed D.C. a great deal and came back up after law school; worked first for a Texas-based firm, Baker and Botts (phonetic) for a couple of years in the government law and procurement area on a vast array of issues.

And then I moved to another D.C.-based law firm Miller and Chevalier, and worked there for a number of years, again, on government procurement law issues. . . .

MR. LAWRENCE: How will you measure your success?

MS. STYLES: Well, I do have a scorecard — it’s not the agency — it’s not simply the agencies that are being measured on the scorecard, I think it’s also, internally, that the director, Mitch Daniels, is certainly measuring us on how successful we are in moving the departments and agencies forward in the President’s management agenda item. . . .

I mean, the most important job here, I think, is being a good steward of the $200 billion that we’re spending. . . .


MR. LAWRENCE: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I’m Paul Lawrence, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and today’s conversation is with Angela Styles, Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

Well, Angela, what do you think are the greatest challenges facing procurement officials today and in the future?

MS. STYLES: Currently, I think the greatest challenge is trying to figure out how we push forward with what the President has articulated as our primary goals and objectives. And in my mind, in acquisition, that means competition. How do we make sure there is an appropriate level of competition and how do we make sure that our system is appropriately transparent, so people know that the decisions we make are objective and not subjective in nature. And that we are promoting access of lots of different companies, commercial companies into our marketplace….

MR. LAWRENCE: Could you tell us a little bit about the Managerial Flexibility Act in terms of what it is and why you think it’s important?

MS. STYLES: Well, we came out with a Freedom to Manage initiative that has several parts: a Freedom to Manage Act, which would give us fast-track authority for some statutory barriers that agencies may have to managing their agency. There are some, you know, ludicrous examples, like, not being able to fly test planes East of the Mississippi, you know, there’s some — there’s some — and we’re asking departments and agencies to really come forward with their lists of requirements that Congress has put on for one reason or another that, you know, may have had some validity at one point in time, but doesn’t now.

There’s also the Managerial Flexibility Act, which has three titles: One is a budget integration portion would actually would reflect the full cost of retirement and health costs in agency budgets. OPM actually pays for a great deal of the cost right now, so the agencies don’t know what the true costs of their personnel are.

A second title deals with many of the personnel issues and flexibilities. And then a third title has to do with property disposal and actually incentivizing the departments and agencies to determine what some of the excess property is that they have and it would allow them to keep some of the money, once that property is actually sold. Right now, if the Department of Defense has excess property, the money resulting from that sale simply goes back to the, you know, general fund. So the department has no incentive to actually identify excess property, and this would change that. . . .

MR. LAWRENCE: What’s your vision for OFPP in the future, the next 10 years, what will it look like? What will it be doing?

MS. STYLES: You know, we have some — it’s interesting — it’s a very small shop of people. We’ve got about 23 people on staff. And it’s gone back and forth. I mean, sometimes it’s considered to be an implementation office and sometimes it’s considered to be a policy office.

And my vision for it is, certainly, to be a premiere policy office. You know, we are within the Office of Management of Budget, we’re within the Office of the President and we’re really relied upon for advice in all aspects of procurement laws and policies and acquisition and oftentimes a lot of other labor issues and various policies. And I want OFPP to really be the premiere policy office, the place that people go when they have the difficult policy questions, how should we change this regulation; what’s the right way to do this? You know, what’s the vision for the future of procurement? What laws do we need? What changes to laws do we need?

You know, certainly, we’ll always have some mission and trying to implement being at OMB, but I’d like the focus to be on the true policy issues and determining some of the difficult questions that we have in acquisition.

MR. LAWRENCE: Well, I’m afraid we’re out of time, Angela. I want to thank you for joining us this morning. Thank you very much.

MS. STYLES: Thank you, for having me.

MR. LAWRENCE: And did you want to mention your Website one more time, you referred to it several times.

MS. STYLES: Oh, yes, it’s at and many of the issues that I’ve discussed here today with the President’s management agenda and our scorecard are available there.

MR. LAWRENCE: Are the scorecards with the red dots there yet or is that –

MS. STYLES: No, no, we don’t actually have those, but they will be eventually, so –

MR. LAWRENCE: Thank you very much.

MS. STYLES: Thank you.

MR. LAWRENCE: This has been The Business of Government Hour, featuring a conversation with Angela Styles, Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

Be sure and visit us on the Web at There, you can learn more about our programs in research and get a transcript of today’s interesting conversation. . . .

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March 15, 2002

From: What’s New at the PTA

Defense pushes to allow contractors
to guard military bases

By Jason Peckenpaugh

The Defense Department should be allowed to use contractors to guard military installations, federal procurement chief Angela Styles and four Defense officials told a House panel on Wednesday.

Styles said the Bush administration supports repealing a law that prohibits the military from hiring contractors as security guards. The issue of who guards military bases is a management decision and should not be dictated by statute, she told lawmakers on the Military Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.

“You can have a security guard that is carrying a weapon, using force, and protecting the lives of people who you may decide is inherently governmental,” said Styles.

“You have other security guards that may not be inherently governmental, and that [decision] should be left to the department or agency, and should not be made by statute.”

For more, GO TO > > > WHO’S Guarding the Hen House?


Josh Bolten – Bush’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget.

May 22, 2003

President Bush Names Josh Bolten
to Head OMB

The Oval Office

9:58 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. The Office of Management and Budget is one of the most important agencies in our government. This agency has a central responsibility for implementing the full range of this administration’s agenda, from growing the economy and creating jobs, to ensuring a strong national defense and a secure homeland. I depend on the OMB director to keep a watchful eye on the taxpayer’s money, to reform the operations of our government, to make them better managed, more accountable and driven by results.

 I also depend on the director to provide honest and thorough information on the state of our budget, and to offer sound advice as we carry out our national priorities. For this essential position, today I nominate one of my closest and most trusted advisors, Joshua Bolten.

For more than four years, first in Austin, and now in Washington, I have counted on Josh for his knowledge, his clear thinking and his sound judgment. From his work in the private sector and practice of law in the investment banking world, Josh has a broad perspective on commerce and international economy. From his experience in both the executive branch and on Capitol Hill, Josh Bolten understands the workings of the federal government as well as anybody in this city. And most important, from his tenure as my deputy chief of staff for policy, Josh knows the philosophy and priorities of my administration.

Josh Bolten is brilliant, he is tireless, he remains calm in any storm. He is a man of complete integrity. No member of my staff has served with greater skill or earned greater respect amongst his colleagues than Josh Bolten. I’m honored that he’s agreed to join my Cabinet.

When confirmed by the Senate, Josh will take over from a superb public servant, Mitch Daniels. Mitch has watched over the budget with a sharp eye and the common sense of a strong executive. He’s insisted on good management of the people’s money. He’s done his job with great energy and consistent good humor. I have a feeling that Mitch’s days in the public service are not over. I want to thank Mitch for serving our country so very well.

And now I’m pleased to introduce my choice as the next Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Josh Bolten.

MR. BOLTEN: Mr. President, thank you. Thank you for your kind words and your confidence. If confirmed by the Senate, I’ll be a tireless advocate for your agenda and a tight-fisted custodian of the people’s money.

I’m especially honored to be considered to succeed Director Daniels, a good friend whom I admire. Among many strengths, Mitch has never forgotten that the M in OMB stands for management. Mitch has brought to the entire federal government your focus on accountability for results, and he’s understood that the right question is not, how much can we spend? But, how well? Are we using the taxpayer’s money wisely?…

I’ve been told, Mr. President, and not only by Mitch, that OMB Director is not the easiest job in government. But if confirmed, I will undertake this assignment with great confidence for two reasons in particular. First, OMB is blessed with many of the finest professionals in government, doing some of the toughest jobs in government. Second, we all serve under a strong leader who sets clear priorities.

Mr. President, this morning you reiterated the most important, winning the war on terror, protecting the homeland and strengthening our economy. I pledge to you an Office of Management and Budget that is dedicated daily to securing these priorities and all of your priorities and doing so as you just directed me, with a very watchful eye on the people’s money.

Mr. President, thank you for this honor. Thank you for the privilege of serving.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you all very much.

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May 23, 2003

If You’re in Favor of Buttoned-Down Secrecy in the Budget Office, You’ll Love the New OMB Director


President Bush announced Thursday that Josh Bolten would become the next director of the Office of Management and Budget, taking over from the outgoing Mitch Daniels. (Link )

He’s genetically predisposed to silence. Bolten, 48, is the son of a Seymour Bolten, a CIA agent who worked in covert espionage. Both Josh and his father were cozy with George H.W. Bush. Though Bolten is one of the most powerful policymakers in the world, he has said he likes his own life undercover and prefers not to do interviews. (Link)

He is one of the closed-lips defendants named in the Dick Cheney secret energy task force lawsuit, filed by Judicial Watch ( The Bush administration refused to hand over documents that relate specifically to Cheney and Bolten, among others. (Link)

Bolten already has experience doling out money, at least to corporate interests. He chaired the “Domestic Consequence Group,” a blandly worded euphemism for the quiet economic crisis group in the White House which helped co-ordinate the $15 billion airline bailout in 2001. (Link)

Not everyone is comfortable with him. An aide to Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA), who, under tremendous pressure from Bush, sold out the patients’ bill of rights, claims that Bolten “screwed us over.” According to the New Republic, the man who muscled Norwood into bashing patient’s rights was none other than the hush-hush Joshua Bolten.

According to the New Republic article (August 2001), Bolten is involved in almost every aspect of policy in the White House, and to some extent has superseded Mr. Bush’s longtime adviser from Texas, Karl Rove.

“The anonymous fourth man in the inner circle of Bush’s staff, Bolten is far less well-known than [Chief of Staff] Andy Card, Karl Rove……but inside the White House, few doubt his importance,” the magazine’s Ryan Lizza writes.

“The three spheres of White House policy-making – Margaret La Montagne’s Domestic Policy Council, Larry Lindsey’s National Economic Council, and Condoleezza Rice’s National Security Councilall report to him. Technically, Bolten is even Karl Rove’s immediate superior. Since Bolten is the traffic cop for Bush’s briefings, no policy matter comes before the president without his blessing. According to White House congressional lobbyist Nick Calio, `He’s got his hands in virtually everything at the White House, though. All policy matters report to him eventually.'”

A Question for George W: Will Bolten change his secretive style to one of greater transparency, access, and openness when he runs the budget office?

Bolten was one of the quiet strategists who created the Office of Homeland Security, along with White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and Tom Ridge. (Link)

“He is very secretive, but has his fingerprints all over President Bush’s new $600 billion economic plan, the legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security and just about every other domestic policy concocted in his powerful little corner deep in the West Wing,” wrote the New York Times….

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If you like the economy,
if you think the tax cut plan is a dandy idea,
you’ll love Josh Bolten

Josh Bolten is a key architect of the Bush economic plan. (Link)

“The president continues these crazy economic policies, not based on anything but the president’s whim,” said Rep. Bob Matsui (D-CA) California, in a May 2003 Democratic press conference aired on C-Span.

Well, Representative Matsui, meet your new budget director. He developed the whim.

“But there is a method to their madness, and that is to change the social structure of this country,” said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) “……They want to roll back the social programs that are the safety net for this country.

Memo to Josh Bolten: Putting a trillion dollars into the hands of the wealthiest people in America will not buy washing machines and cars. The president’s stubborn and failed approach to reviving this economy is turning into a nightmare.

“I’ve heard so many times that Josh Bolten is effectively the Secretary of the Treasury in absentia, because of the power that he wields on economic policy,” said one senior Senate Republican leadership aide, reported by Sun National, May 9 2003. (Link)

Hatchet Man

According to the Washington Post (Dec. 7, 2002) Bolten was involved in pushing Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and National Economic Council director Lawrence Lindsey to resign, after Bush decided he needed stronger messengers to communicate with voters. “Bush reached the final decision after a meeting Wednesday with political adviser Karl Rove, Chief of Staff Andrew Card and deputy chief of staff Joshua Bolten.” (Link)

Protecting U.S. Drug Manufacturers

“Paragraph 6”Josh Bolten is believed to have been heavily involved in the Doha para 6 negotiations, on behalf of PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing of America.) In the USA, the big PhRMA fire power came from the White House, and US negotiators had almost no real negotiating freedom. Though Bolten was, characteristically, silent, there was plenty of evidence that Bush’s own economic team (Gary Edson and Josh Bolten) was deeply involved in the negotiations.

What exactly is “Paragraph 6?” Think of it this way: Prescriptions for World’s Poorest Will Stay Unwritten

According to Guardian Newspapers, 2/19/2003: The pharmaceutical lobby provided nearly $60m in funding in the recent mid-term US elections, helping the Republicans win key seats……Now, as one official puts it, “it’s pay-back time; the industry is calling in its favours.” At issue was how the rules should be interpreted to allow manufacturers to export copycat drugs to countries too poor to make their own, such as most within sub-Saharan Africa, which is in the grip of the Aids pandemic.

Bolten and the Bush Campaign Promises

He was a key architect of George W. Bush campaign, according to E.J. Dionne, of the Brookings Institution. (Link) During the campaign, even Republicans became offended by what some considered “doubletalk,” following a meeting with Bolten.

According to “National Politics” (Oct 2 1999) a senior House Republican aide said staff members who talked to Bolten, who was at that time Bush’s Policy Director, about the Republican plan for the earned-income tax credit, Bolten indicated no opposition to it. But during the campaign, Bush turned on them, accusing House Republicans of trying to “balance their budget on the backs of the poor.” Bush campaigned on the assertion that he was an inclusive, peacemaking, compassionate conservative. Even before he was elected, some disagreed. “We were double-crossed,” the aide said, after the meeting with Josh Bolten.

According to CNN September 4, 2000 “Quietly running Bush’s campaign policy meeting was Josh Bolten, the Bush campaign’s 45-year-old policy director.”

Bolten and his staff were cagey about the prescription drugs plan. “Gore plans to give an economic speech that’s sure to hammer home his charge that Bush’s tax cut is so big it doesn’t leave room for the drugs plan. Bolten’s forces will send out spreadsheets saying that isn’t so.”

During the campaign, Bolten’s policy plan became so comprehensive that the Democrat Leadership Council (DLC) complained that Bush had poached ideas from their plan.

Josh Bolten’s Official Bio

From 1999 to 2000, Josh Bolten was Policy Director of the Bush-Cheney 2000 Presidential campaign and the Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition. From 1994-1999, he was Executive Director, Legal & Government Affairs for Goldman Sachs International in London. In the previous Bush administration, Josh was General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. Previously, he was International Trade Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

Concerns About Josh Bolten

Mitch Daniels, who he will replace, was not an ideologue; he did his job as a number cruncher and a fiscal conservative. He made enemies on the hill when he was snippy about their pork habits. But, in the end, he overcame his fiscal conservativeness to serve the Bush team in their quest for more money for their cronies (ala tax cuts). He didn’t look too comfortable in that part of the job.

Now the picture of Bolten: Ideologue and agenda pusher/manhandler. There will be a huge conflict in this particular position between the job (reporting budget projections, transparent management of government funds) and the political role he has been playing. This means he is a perfect fit for the Rove political machine — but perhaps not such a great fit for the rest of the country who deserve to actually have an office of budget and management, not an office of Enron accounting to make our economy “appear healthy.” Secrecy has no place when he is handling OUR money.

And a word about Bolten’s Father, CIA Espionage Agent

“When Bush (George H.W. Bush) saw the AP story in the Washington Star, he asked for an internal CIA review to verify the story (it was true), and if it would ’cause problems for Helms.’ Helms lied to a Senate committee about the CIA’s role in subverting Chilean democracy and would later be convicted for contempt of Congress.

“After investigating, Bush assistant Seymour Bolten reported the exposure of Helms’ false testimony to the Warren Commission would probably cause Helms ‘some anxious moments,’ though not ‘any additional legal problems.’ But Bush was assured that a ‘slightly better’ story had resulted from an Agency phone call to AP ‘protesting that Martin’s story was sloppy.’ Additionally, Bush was told that an unnamed journalist had ‘advised his editors…not to run the AP story.’

“Bolten complained to Bush: ‘ This is another example where material provided to the press and public in response to FOIA requests is exploited mischievously and is distorted to make headlines.’

 One might more accurately describe it as an occasion where Bush’s CIA pressured one news outlet to back away from an accurate story while using a connection in the press corps to suppress it in another (Bowen 55-6).” (Link and Link)

Aaah, secrecy, and the New American Century.

– This news release prepared by in conjunction with citizen researchers at Democratic Underground

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March 28, 2006

Andrew Card Resigns as White House
Chief of Staff

Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten Will Step in For Card

By Peter Baker and Debbi Wilgoren, Washington Post

White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. announced his resignation this morning after nearly 5 1/2 years as President Bush’s top aide. Bush said Card will be replaced by Joshua B. Bolten, the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Card will serve until April 14 to provide a transition period. The move could presage broader staff changes as Bolten takes over an operation hobbled by political problems heading into a crucial midterm election season.

Bush made the announcement in the Oval Office at 8:30 a.m., standing at the podium with Card to his right, Bolten to his left. The president thanked Card for his “wise counsel, his calm in crisis, his ability, his integrity, and his tireless commitment to public service” and said “he will always be my friend.”

Turning to Bolten, Bush described his new chief of staff as a creative thinker and a strong advocate for accountability and effective management in the federal government….

Card has held the top staff job at the White House longer than any person since Sherman Adams under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and had earned enormous respect within the building and around Washington for his calm professionalism and stamina. But his stewardship of the Bush team had come under question in recent months after a series of mishaps, including the failed Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, the bungled federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the slow public disclosure of Vice President Cheney’s shooting accident and the unexpected Republican revolt over a plan to turn over management at a half dozen ports to an Arab-owned company….

Bolten is among the most respected officials within the administration and a trusted confidant of the president’s–not at all the kind of independent, outside voice that some pundits have said the White House should bring on board….

Bolten served as deputy White House chief of staff in Bush’s first term and then was moved over to head the budget office at a time when spending on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Medicare benefits and the recovery from Hurricane Katrina pushed up deficits.

In an attempt to deal with the new spending demands, Bolten oversaw two consecutive budgets that actually cut overall non-security discretionary domestic spending. But many Republicans in Congress have complained that the administration has not done enough to tighten the federal belt.

Bolten, a former Goldman Sachs executive, is known as a detail-oriented workaholic who often stays at work for hours after the early-to-bed president has gone to sleep. The son of a CIA official, he grew up in Northwest Washington and attended the prestigious St. Albans school, Princeton University and Stanford Law School.

Taking the microphone this morning after Bush, Bolten said he was “eager to get to work” on the president’s agenda, which he described as protecting Americans at home, promoting freedom abroad and expanding economic prosperity….

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For more on procuring government contracts:

Birds that Drink from Cesspools

Nests in The Pentagon

For more on national security:

The Department of Homeland Security

Who’s Guarding the Hen House?

For more on lobbyists:

Birds in the Lobby

For more on the power pimps:

Birds on the Power Lines

For more on think tanks:

Drowning in Think Tanks

For more on Boeing:

The Bribes & Boondoggles of Boeing

For more on Citigroup:

Vampires in the City

For more on Enron:

The Story of Enron

For more on Goldman Sachs:

Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs

For more on PricewaterhouseCoopers:

What Price Waterhouse?

For more on all of the above:

Dirty Money, Dirty Politics & Bishop Estate







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Last updated March 28, 2006, by The Catbird