Thursday, May 11, 2006

A crony gets the cuckoo clock country

If the importance of Switzerland to George W. Bush is measured by the level of political fundraising required from the crony who lands the ambassadorship there, then Switzerland is very important indeed. While New Zealand went to a steakhouse magnate for a mere $100,000 of bundled contributions, a Super Ranger is going to Bern:

The President intends to nominate Peter R. Coneway, of Texas, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Switzerland, and to concurrently serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Principality of Liechtenstein.

As usual with these diplomatic nominations, the ones that are not "career Foreign Service officers" (i.e. qualified people), you have to head to Google for the real story:

WASHINGTON - July 1, 2004 - The biggest of President Bush's big-money backers were revealed yesterday when the Republican National Committee (RNC) released the names of 62 "Super Rangers" - fundraisers who have collected at least $28.5 million for Bush's re-election efforts, according to an analysis by Public Citizen posted today at

The "Super Rangers" are high-powered fundraisers who have collected at least $300,000 for the RNC ... Forty-five of the Super Rangers previously had been crowned "Rangers" after raising at least $200,000 for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign - meaning they each have raised at least $500,000 this cycle. Nine more had achieved "Pioneer" status by collecting at least $100,000 for Bush ... Nearly a third of the Super Rangers are from the finance sector. These bankers, money managers and wealthy private investors include Roland Arnall, CEO of Ameriquest; Peter Coneway, who founded the Texas branch of Goldman Sachs; and William DeWitt, the longtime business partner of Bush campaign national finance chairman Mercer Reynolds - who recently moved his fundraising operation to the RNC.

The logic of a Texas branch for Goldman Sachs was that oil companies there would have a lot of surplus cash to invest, so it really all fits together quite nicely.

No comments: