Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 13, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY'S SPECIAL DEAL....Time magazine has the latest on Rudy Giuliani's lucrative post-9/11 lobbying contract with Seisint, a database mining company founded by former cocaine smuggler Hank Asher:

The firm's potential seemed endless to [Giuliani Partners], and it signed on for what Seisint saw as a heavily discounted fee of $2 million a year, plus a percentage of revenue from company sales to government and corporate buyers.

In the first year, GP earned $6.5 million, Seisint records show, in part for what [Seisint shareholder Michael] Brauser and Seisint's in-house lobbyist, Dan Latham, say were commissions for state and federal contracts. Giuliani "came through," says Brauser. "The doors were wide open. It was almost a flood of business opportunities."

....But the Seisint deal wasn't as perfect as it seemed. One problem: the payment of percentages or commissions to "solicit or secure" government contracts is prohibited by federal law and laws of some states....A GP official who refused to be named insists that the firm never received "commissions" from Seisint — despite what Brauser and Latham remember and despite the fact that payments to GP are labeled "commissions" in both the minutes of a Seisint board meeting and a key financial statement. Instead, says the official, GP earned "special bonuses" based on the achievement of corporate "milestones."

Ah, yes, "special bonuses." I guess that's something like "special interrogation techniques" and "special mortgage offers." Very special.

This is why I keep thinking Romney is going to win the GOP nomination, Mormon underwear or not. Unless John McCain can somehow bring himself back from the grave, who else is there? They're all dead men walking.

Kevin Drum 12:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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Comments

Republicans can do wonders when the harsh reality of insufficient votes in their favor are encountered.

Posted by: steve duncan on December 13, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I'm praying that it will be Mitt... The flip-flopping Mormon from Massachusetts ought to be an easier opponent than McCain would be.

McCain's (relative-) foreign policy gravitas scares me a bit. So it's great GOP primary voters are too dumb to vote for him.

MARCU$

Posted by: MARCU$ on December 13, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy's just a special kind of guy, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that his bonuses are special too.

At least he didn't lose money on an Arkansas land deal, that would have been worth investigating.

Posted by: Tomeck48 on December 13, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

It's kind of impressive how many nominally anti-government Republicans actually get rich off the government.

Posted by: boots day on December 13, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

They're all dead men walking.

Mmmhmmm, and they all support the death penalty. How sweet it is.

Posted by: shortstop on December 13, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to tell the details from this excerpt, but if Guiliani was indeed getting a % of gross revenue from *all* of Seisint's "company sales", whether he helped snag them or not (as is implied), you can't really call that a commission, can you? Nor is it a bonus. It's pure cream skimmed right off the top.

Posted by: Disputo on December 13, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy Mussolini, a mob-buster with his own crime family, a tough guy in fishnet stockings, a wanna-be dictator with delusions of grandeur. Just what America deserves.

Posted by: Speed on December 13, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps even more damaging, since it shows an conflict of interest that easy to grasp: the same article's revelation of Bracewell & Giuliani's previously undisclosed representation of the Saudi oil company.

Posted by: penalcolony on December 13, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Remember when pearls were ever so tightly clutched over Hillary picking up $100K? Talk about chump change!

Posted by: Rula Lenska on December 13, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK
Unless John McCain can somehow bring himself back from the grave, who else is there?

Mike Huckabee. Yeah, yeah, you keep pointing to things indicating that he is ignorant or incurious on critical policy issues, and maybe he is—but if Republican primary voters cared much about those kinds of things, George W. Bush would never have been nominated.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 13, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee might be able to shake off the Dumond scandal because it is cropping up so early in the season. He's the one picking up the losses from Rudy and the negatives from Romney, not McCain. Remember, the Willie Horton stuff didn't kick in until just before the general election to hurt Dukakis, and Huckabee's silliness on policy can easily be glossed over by the shit-for-brains press we have nowadays.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on December 13, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Giuliani a dead man walking? How about the GOP's "special" fondness for degenerate bullies?

Posted by: Jack Remy on December 13, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

if Republican primary voters cared much about those kinds of things, George W. Bush would never have been nominated.

True. But the GOP primary voter is told what to care about by the GOP power elite via the MSM, and given that 1) the MSM seems to not be sure whether to attack Huck or to paper over he insanities, and 2) the GOP power elite pretty clearly views the ignorant and incurious GWB admin a net disaster, it appears to me that the GOP power elite is currently battling amongst themselves as to whether Huck's idiot-appeal outweighs his idiocy, and the result of the battle will determine whether Huck is the nominee.

Posted by: Disputo on December 13, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Huckabee. Yeah, yeah, you keep pointing to things indicating that he is ignorant or incurious on critical policy issues, and maybe he is—but if Republican primary voters cared much about those kinds of things, George W. Bush would never have been nominated. Posted by: cmdicely

Huckabee will certainly do well in Jesusland, of which Iowa is a part. What will be telling is what happens after that.

The coastal states and, logically, Michigan, will go for Romney. Rudy and McCain are nothing but sideshows, particularly McCain. I predict they will both be gone by the end of January, unless Rudy does well in Florida. I think that's his last best hope for the first month of Rethug primaries. I suppose he could last through the Super Tuesday on 2/5, and then he'll find out just how unpopular he is at home. But at the rate scandals and general unethical behavior are becoming public, I see him as running on fumes at this point.

Posted by: JeffII on December 13, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

How about a special prosecutor to look into this specialness?

Posted by: dob on December 13, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

But Obama was a drug user educated in a madrassa, and Hillary once had sex with Bill Clinton.

Posted by: AJ on December 13, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

"The coastal states and, logically, Michigan, will go for Romney."

You may be thinking of all those West Michigan Calvinists--or the Cooter Christians in the one-stoplight counties. Don't think many of the people who voted for his father are still alive, or sentient, but all three together didn't put DeVos over the top and they won't turn out for Mr. Marriott Porn.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on December 13, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, isn't that special?

Posted by: parrot on December 13, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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