Bob Dole Put Personal Wealth over Veterans, Liddy Dole Stood by and Watched

Earlier this week I wrote a brief post about lobbying activity from Former Senator Bob Dole that served to hurt our veterans and their families. That activity deserves more attention and a more detailed post. Bob Dole isn't running for reelection in North Carolina, but his wife is. He may have earned the 6-figure income from the lobbying contract, but it is Elizabeth Dole's inability/refusal/lack of desire to push legislation to protect military families that is truly disturbing.

When Bob Dole left public life he pursued a lucrative career influencing his former colleagues in Washington as a lobbyist. In 2007 Washingtonian Magazine listed him as #2 in their list of Washington's 50 top lobbyists.

2. Robert Dole, Alston & Bird. The onetime presidential candidate and Republican Senate majority leader let it be known after leaving office that he was willing to promote anything from Viagra to Visa to Dunkin’ Donuts. Sure enough, of all the US senators turned lobbyists, Bob Dole is at the top.

When many people expressed outrage that the management of our vital seaports was being outsourced to an Arab-owned company, Dubai Ports World, Dole signed on to build public support for the takeover. Dole’s fee from Dubai was $320,000 in 2006. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Dole had accepted a $560,000 fee to help a controversial Russian billionaire under suspicion in Russia for bribery obtain a visa to the United States. Dole, who says he doesn’t lobby his wife or other members of the Senate, persuaded the State Department to grant the visa.

At 83, Dole is described by colleagues as an unreconstructed workaholic who has never been happier—and certainly not more prosperous.

The magazine mentions two of Bob Dole's more recent lobbying jobs. His representation of Dubai Ports World during the time they were bidding to operate America's ports appeared at odds with our current emphasis on national security. He was heavily criticized for his role in the debacle. Dole was also criticized when he accepted payment of over half a million dollars from a Russian billionaire of questionable character to persuade the U.S. State Department to issue the man a visa to travel to this country.

Prior to either of those incidents, Dole contracted with the firm, First Command Financial Services on September 23, 2004. At the time Dole should have been aware that the company was under investigation by the House Financial Services Committee for products they sold to military families. That hearing had been held just two weeks prior on September 9, 2004.

First Command marketed contractual mutual funds to military families a type of fund that can charge almost 50% of first year contributions in fees. The actual product that was being marketed to hundreds of thousands of military families had an expensive insurance policy with low death benefit as well as a savings instrument attached which could build cash value over a period of 20 years. The New York Times referred to the fund as "archaic." [New York Times, 9/10/04; New York Times, 12/10/04; New York Times, 12/16/04; New York Times, 7/20/06]

Bob Dole, signed a contract to lobby for a firm that was under investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives for selling mutual funds that harmed the financial well-being of military families. Hundreds of thousands of families potentially faced tougher financial futures because Bob Dole lobbied the Congress on First Command's behalf. Hearings were already being held to stop First Command in the House.

On October 5, 2004 less than two weeks after Bob Dole signed up to lobby for First Command, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban First Command products for military families. The next day - still less than two weeks after Bob Dole was hired by First Command - a Republican senator introduced a bill [S. 2905] in the Senate to accomplish the same thing. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Elizabeth Dole is a member of this committee. When Elizabeth Dole had the chance to get on board with a bill to protect military families from financial harm she did not put her name to the bill.

As important as the military is to the state of North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole would not lend her name and influence in the U.S. Senate to ban a product that preyed on military families. I guess her husband's six figure income from the deal was a bit more important than the financial well-being of the military families in North Carolina.

Timeline of events

9/9/04: House Financial Services Committee Held Hearing To Investigate Products Sold To Military Families By First Command Financial Services

9/23/04: Bob Dole Begins Lobbying For First Command Financial Services

10/5/04: House Overwhelmingly Voted To Ban Product Sold To Military Families By First Command, Company Vowed To Fight Legislation

10/6/04: Republican Senator Introduced Bill In Senate To Ban First Command’s Product, Senator Dole Failed To Co-Sponsor Bill That Was Referred To A Committee She Served On

12/15/04: First Command Penalized $12 Million For Misleading Military Families In Selling Financial Products

7/1/05: Bob Dole’s Registration To Lobby On Behalf Of First Command Terminated

9/29/06: President Bush Signed Law Banning Mutual Funds That First Command Sold To Military Families

Comments

Can I get an Amen?

Seriously.

Amen, amen, amen!

Pretty excited about the impending end of that.

~Ray McKinnon

~Ray McKinnon

Kay Hagan's Daughter...

spoke at the Triangle Community Coalition's annual Pig Pickin' and did such a wonderful job; her mother, I am sure, is very proud of her. Then there was some kid who got up and spoke for Dole making it sound like she saw this crisis coming and used her "power" to regulate the industry! I almost lost it and was a smidgen too vocal about it at my table...

Let us end this mess on voting day by voting for Kay!

~Ray McKinnon

~Ray McKinnon

I think that same "kid"

must be the one putting comments at the Dome. Saw that same tired argument.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Are you sure he isn't running for reelection?

Because if you do a google search for "Dole event North Carolina" you get mostly mentions of him, not her.

"The striking difference between me and my opponent is that I live in North Carolina and my husband can vote for me."
- Sen. Kay Hagan

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Steve's radar just registered a blip

I...don't really have radar, but it would be extremely cool if I did. :)

When I saw the quote above about husband Bob working for Alston & Bird, I remembered seeing this last night while I was researching. Alston & Bird donated the following to Liddy Dole:

2004= $19,419

2006= $21,519

2008= $26,500

So...being lobbied by your husband? I'm sure in the world of lobbying Congress, this is somehow just fine, but it doesn't say much for Bob's powers of persuasion. If you can't even talk your own wife into helping you without coughing up some bucks, you ain't much of a salesman:

"Make me an omelette, woman."

"Give me forty dollars."

"Forty bucks for an omelette!? That's price gouging, and Bob Dole won't stand for it. Maybe for one of those fancy Western omelettes and some home fries--"

"That will be fifty dollars."

"@#$%^&*&^%$#!"

When we went to DC 2 years ago to meet with our legislators

about eductational policies, Dole set us up with some 12 year old who had no idea what we were talking about who didn't even bother taking notes while we talked. Bet it's the same kid.

First Command

truly a sleazebag organization, responsible for ripping off active duty men and women at every turn. It's unconscionable that the Dole family had their dirty fingers in the First Command cesspool.

I guess both Doles suck ... runs in the family.
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Doubts about Dole?

And think about it. . .

Since a spouse can contribute unlimited monies to their spouse's campaign, First Command could be paying for this reelection farce of Liddy's.

It makes me want to hurl.