Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ambassadorships For Sale

It is the nature of American government that plum diplomatic assignments go to loyal party hacks and not to people who have even a vague qualification. Of course, as has been George Bush's habit and practice, he has carried this nature to never-before-seen depths. Here is a list of the top-ten diplomatic sales, with their purchase prices as reported by The money listed is donations to Republican campaigns.
  1. Roland Arnall ~ Netherlands - $1,136,141 ~~ Made his fortune selling subprime morgages to innocent Americans as the owner of Ameriquest. A bipartisan campaign donor. Ranked 73rd in the Forbes 400.
  2. Sam Fox ~ Belgium - $1,032,128 ~~ And every penny given to Republicans. Is it any wonder Bush withdrew the nomination when it was certain to fail only to backdoor the appointment hours later. Fox had already bought and paid for the posting. A leverage buyout king with close financial ties to Communist China, his net worth is about $500 million.
  3. Ronald Spogli ~ Italy - $802,807 ~~ Another man who made his fortune at leveraged buyouts.
  4. John Price ~ Mauritius - $685,987 ~~ A beautiful tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean. A nice place for a Utah-based shopping mall developer to go for a paid retirement.
  5. Catherine Bailey ~ Lativa - $623,867 ~~ Married to money, generous money, she is a bigwig in the Kentucky Republican party.
  6. European Union ~ C. Boyden Gray - $610,673 ~~ All that to the GOP; $500 to Democrats. Bigshot Washington lawyer.
  7. William Timken ~ Germany - $561,995 ~~ CEO of a major construction company.
  8. Al Hoffman ~ Portugal - $433,394 ~~ Half of this money went to Bush himself. Builds luxury condos. Bush is his neighbor in Kennebunkport in that he lives on a nearby island.
  9. L. Francis Rooney ~ The Vatican - $245,626 ~~ Owns the company that built Bush's father's presidential library.
  10. Robert McCallum ~ Australia - $12,350 ~~ A lot of people have paid more for their ambassadorships than McCallum but, with the exception of Sam Fox, there is no one else that Bush has gone so far to get seated. McCallum is a brother in the Skull and Bones Society. Bush held the Australia posting empty for 18 months. Bush intended the posting as a gift to McCallum and nothing was going to sidetrack him.
I must note, nothing here should suggest any crimes have been committed. Campaign donations are a legalized form of bribery but they are legal.

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