Re: [utepprogressives] If this doesn't end the Giuliani campain, I don't know what could ...
Giuliani Campaign Aide And South Carolina Treasurer
Indicted As A Cocaine Dealer
June 19, 2007 6:37 p.m. EST
Matthew Borghese - AHN News Writer
Charleston, SC (AHN) - The South Carolina campaign
chair for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's
2008 presidential campaign, Thomas Ravenel, has been
incited on federal cocaine charges.
According to state attorneys, Ravenel, who is also the
Treasurer of South Carolina, and a co-defendant have
been allegedly selling cocaine since 2005.
Ravenel, founder of the Ravenel Development Corp.,
came in third in his bid to win the Republican
nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina.
--- Julie Keller <jakeller@...> wrote:
Giuliani's campaign fundraising kept him from
commitment to panelstudying Iraq.BY CRAIG GORDON
June 18, 2007, 11:41 PM EDT
WASHINGTON --Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite
Iraq study panel came to anabrupt end last spring
after he failed to show up for a single
officialmeeting of the group, causing the panel's top
Republican to give him astark choice: either attend
the meetings or quit, several sources said.
Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just
two months,walking away from a chance to make up for
his lack of foreign policycredentials on the top issue
in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.
He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter
explaining hisdecision to quit, and a look at his
schedule suggests why -- thesessions at times
conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tourthat
garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.
Giuliani failed to show up for a pair of two-day
sessions that occurredduring his tenure, the sources
said -- and both times, they conflictedwith paid
public appearances shown on his recent financial
disclosure.Giuliani quit the group during his busiest
stretch in 2006, when hegave 20 speeches in a single
month that brought in $1.7 million.
On one day the panel gathered in Washington -- May 18,
2006 -- Giulianidelivered a $100,000 speech on
leadership at an Atlanta business awardsbreakfast.
Later that day, he attended a $100-a-ticket
Atlantapolitical fundraiser for conservative ally
Ralph Reed, whom Giulianihoped would provide a major
boost to his presidential campaign.
The month before, Giuliani skipped the session to give
the April 12keynote speech at an economic conference
in South Korea for $200,000,his financial disclosure
Giuliani's campaign said that the former New York
mayor did participatein Iraq Study Group activities
but refused Newsday's repeated requeststo explain how.
Instead, they referred to a May 24, 2006, letter
Giuliani sent to theRepublican co-chairman and former
secretary of state James Baker. Init, Giuliani praised
the group's "truly important mission" but citedhis
time commitments for why he couldn't give the group
"the full andactive participation" it deserved.
One source familiar with the group's activities
recalled that Giulianidid participate in an early
conference call in spring 2006 that wasmainly
organizational. But Giuliani's name is mentioned
nowhere in thegroup's final report, which lists more
than 160 people who wereconsulted.
By giving up his seat on the panel, Giuliani has
opened himself up tocharges that he chose
private-sector paydays and politics over unpaidservice
on a critical issue facing the nation.
Not only that, but the 10-member group -- also called
theBaker-Hamilton commission -- was no ordinary
blue-ribbon panel, insteadchartered by Congress and
encouraged by the president to find a wayforward in
Giuliani's move already has come under attack by
Democrats, and outsideexperts say it shines a light on
his priorities at the time.
"Missing one meeting, you could put it down to staff
error, but whenyou're missing them consistently, your
priorities have been indicated,and the staff knows
when there's a choice, you go on the road and pickup
some bucks," said Kent Cooper, co-founder of Political
Money Line,which tracks money in politics.
The Iraq Study Group held nine official meetings,
which it called"plenary sessions," according to its
final report. They included threethat occurred during
Giuliani's tenure in 2006 but that he did not showup
for, the sources said -- working sessions on April 11
and 12, andMay 18 and 19. There was also a kickoff
event on March 15 that Giulianiand several other
members did not attend, the sources said.
By quitting the panel, Giuliani also passed up a
chance to fill anotherbig gap in his
commander-in-chief credentials -- Giuliani said
recentlyhe's never been to Iraq, unlike his top
declared GOP rivals and severalin the Democratic
field. Baker and Democratic co-chairman, former
Rep.Lee Hamilton, led a four-day Iraq trip last
Giuliani has faced questions of why he hasn't been to
Iraq despitebeing an enthusiastic supporter of the
Iraq war. He has said a plannedtrip was scuttled for
reasons he didn't specify but that he hopes to goby
Pentagon officials said they are not aware of a
request by Giuliani totravel to Iraq and that it could
be somewhat difficult to achieve atthis late date.
When Giuliani failed to attend the first two working
sessions, hisabsences didn't sit well with Baker --
particularly when the otherluminaries who made up the
panel were able to make the sessions inWashington,
some sources said. Baker's policy assistant John
Williamssaid the choice to quit was entirely
"Baker felt that it was important for future meetings
that people showup, so that left the decision on
Giuliani whether he would make it ornot," Williams
said. He provided a copy of Giuliani's letter to
Bakerand declined further comment. Former U.S.
attorney general Edwin MeeseIII replaced Giuliani on
the 10-member panel a week later.
President George W. Bush was initially cool to the
group's Decemberrecommendations, which included a goal
of pulling out most U.S. combattroops by early 2008
and beginning unconditional talks with Iran andSyria,
but lately he has moved to embrace some of them.
At least one Democratic member of the group questioned
Giuliani'sdecision to quit. "It would have better
served him politically to be apart of the group,
because every candidate needs an answer to thequestion
-- what the hell would you do in Iraq?" said Leon
Panetta, aformer chief of staff to President Bill
Three other Democratic members refused to comment, and
former WyomingSen. Alan Simpson, a Republican member
of the panel, didn't recall thatGiuliani had been
picked. Asked if he thought Giuliani would
havebenefited from staying on the panel, Simpson said,
"You'd have to askRudy that."
Stephen Hess, who has served as an adviser to
presidents from bothparties, said quitting the group
is likely to pose a political problemfor Giuliani.
"Leaving that study group was not exactly an act
ofcourage," said Hess, particularly because the
group's recommendationsultimately diverged from Bush's
stick-it-out approach, which Giulianihas embraced.
When the group's report came out last December,
Giuliani offered adifferent reason why he quit, saying
he didn't think it was right foran active presidential
candidate to take part in such an "apolitical"panel.
Giuliani also took pains at the time to distance
himself fromsome of the group's findings.
At some point, Baker spoke to Giuliani to find out if
he intended tocontinue his involvement with the group.
"He basically said, if peoplecan't make the meetings,
we've got to find people who can," Panettarecalled.
Asked if he knew what Giuliani was doing instead of
attending themeetings, Panetta joked, "I'm sure making
a hell of a lot of money."