Take Back Our State for Russian Oligarchs? Questions for Bob Dole

Bob Dole is the headliner at the "Take Back Our State" Rally today in Raleigh. He's an ironic choice: since 1996, he has taken the enormous political power given him by millions of voters, and sold it for cash from oppressive foreign leaders and oligopic foreign business interests.

If any bloggers can make the event, I have some questions for Dole about who who works for, what he is paid for, and whether or not he ever talks to his wife about his work.

Some questions for Bob Dole:

1. According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Indonesian government paid your firm over $1 million to lobby on its behalf between 2001 and 2005, requiring your personal day to day involvement as part of the contract. You agreed to facilitate meetings high-level meetings and “cultivate closer pesonal relationships” between Indonesian leaders and Members of Congress. Did you ever talk to your wife about Indonesia?

2. In the 2003 letter on file from Cyprus, the Cypriot embassy agreed to pay you $12,500/month for, in part, arranging meetings with key Republican leaders in Congress. Which key Republican leaders in Congress did you arrange meetings with? (From the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) website).

3. The Wall Street Journal reported on April 17, 2007 that:

“For a $560,000 fee, Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, helped a Russian billionaire accused by rivals of bribery obtain a visa to visit the U.S. in 2005, among other things.” Deripaska is the richest man in Russia, and very close to Putin. What exactly did you do for Deripaska?

4. How much has Oleg Deripaska paid you overall?

5. Who are your current foreign clients?

6. Have you ever talked about Cyprus with your wife?

7. Have you ever talked about foreign military aid with your wife?

8. Have you ever talked about Russian foreign policy with your wife?

9. Have you ever mentioned Oleg Deripaska’s name to your wife?

10. According to your website:

“Advising international clients, Senator Dole plays a critical role in clients’ relations with leaders in and outside of government. Senator Dole … assists clients in advancing their agendas on Capitol Hill.”

Why do you think foreign governments and businessmen pay so much for your services?

11. Several of your foreign contracts are not online, but only available at the Foreign Agents Registration Act office. Would you share those contracts directly with the people of North Carolina, so we do not need to go the FARA offices to find them?

12. Finally, and most seriously, this:

Senator Dole, why should I trust that when North Carolina interests clash with the interests of your very wealthy foreign clients from undemocratic countries, you would take your considerable influence to push the interest of North Carolinians? For whom do you want to take back our state?


I was hoping someone would touch on this...

I've been attempting to gather all the information I can on the Deripaska/Dole link. It's awfully disheartening to think that Bob and Elizabeth have benefitted from the Russian Mob.

Now if we stopped gluing glitter to shoes....

Christopher....those are fundraisers

You want her to stop raising money?

I think some of the folks around here just need to deal with it. About 90% of the women I know think it's cute...... and just ask yourself....what is probably the biggest demographic that Hagan needs to get back from Dole? Democratic women.

Sorry she didn't pick some sports theme - or racing - or hunting.....you know...something that appeals to men. Sheesh.

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

I'm not stupid, Betsy.

I am aware of the importance of fundraising, especially with the war chest we're up against. But let's not forget that there are plenty of effective means of fundraising. In my opinion, my local county's Democratic Women's group meeting tonight to GLUE RHINESTONES ON OLD SHOES is not effective. Yes, a campaign can have it's little catch phrases and humorous aspects. But they're best left at that, phrases. We're making a run at a United States Senate seat here, and I don't think an arts and crafts approach is going to work. "Cute" doesn't win races, in my books.

I say raise money on the issues.

(p.s. I fucking HATE racing and hunting.)

You're missing the point

It's about engaging people and building support. Obama has more volunteers than are necessary at rallies. It's about ownership. The money will flow and the votes will flow.

If you just want money then go find a few PACs but the concept of ownership will be different. You may have money but few votes and little else.

Stuffing envelopes and gluing them shut is no less an "arts and crafts" project and definitely less engaging.

Symbolism in a visual society

I'll admit that I find the ruby slippers thing somewhat annoying and...lacking sophistication, you might say. But I'm a man, and I've never really understood the importance of ladies' footwear. Especially the kind that are half the cubic inches necessary for the foot they hold and elevate the wearer to dangerous heights. I just don't get it.

But here's the important part—the ruby slippers are a symbol that serves to constantly remind moderate/conservative women (and men) that Liddy Dole has been and is using North Carolina for political purposes. She is (supposedly) happily married, yet her husband lives in another state, way the hell over the rainbow. For the married with 2.5 kids majority in this state, that's just downright weird, and it needs to be on their minds come November.

I've been a critic, but I've come around

The fact that we're talking about ruby slippers and what they mean is a testament to the wisdom of the metaphor.

Now I can't wait for one of those glittery galoshes to kick Liddy back to wherever she came from.

Why does it matter to you what they do at the fundraiser?

Most fundraisers I go to don't involve anything more than having a drink and eating a few munchies and listening to the candidate. When you engage people in something that many will find cute - if not the actual decorating, but the idea that Liddy could click her heels and be gone - you will find they feel more involved in the campaign than if they simply wrote a check. You will still have plenty of folks who simply write checks and that's perfectly fine. Greg is correct. These events are about getting people to feel a bit of ownership toward the campaign - getting them involved and entertained. Remember, very few of these people are seeing this used constantly. They will see it as part of the one fundraiser and may never see it mentioned again. Only those of us who are paying attention to politics and campaigns almost full time will get a little tired (or a lot tired) of the repetition.

In my opinion, my local county's Democratic Women's group meeting tonight to GLUE RHINESTONES ON OLD SHOES is not effective.

I'm sure the Dem Women in your county will think it's wonderful that you're so concerned about what they do with their time....'cause...well...you know....we women can't figure out for ourselves the most effective way to spend our time without some direction from a man. :D (I'm just giving you a hard time, but you might want to be careful dissing on Dem Women.)

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

Just to drive the point home

for the glitter and rhinestone haters, leave the Dem Women alone. If there were no Democratic Women of Johnston County (who gathered last night to glitter and rhinestone a bunch of little red shoes for Liddy's trip home to Kansas, or where ever it is she and Bob claim to live) there wouldn't be a Democratic Party of Johnston County. From my point of view, it does NOT seem at all helpful to "disapprove" of something that women who've been holding the party together for 20 years waiting for the rest of us to wake the hell up decide to do with their time.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

To each woman her own.

The sparkly red slipper idea went over like a lead ballon here - even with the people in Pinehurst who think it's fun to dress up their dogs and march them in a parade on the 4th of July.

Personally I'd like to see something that appears less frivolous - perhaps collecting bandaids for all of the children who are going to need it since Liddy voted against the SCHIP authorization. It makes a point and actually has a use after the event. Unless you like glittery red shoes.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Christopher-- I think


I think there's a lot there, and I agree. If someone has time, it would be great to do a review of all the articles on mineweb.com (a metal industry newsletter) about Deripaska--there's a reporter there, John Helmer, who has been following him for a while.

What have you found so far?


Well I started in Indonesia...

Looking into Dole's ties to their state oil giant Pertamina, and lobbying on their behalf (pdf) under the realm of "anti-terrorism" after the believed Al Qaeda bombings in Jakarta and Bali. Turns out Dole can't seem to turn down a job with Alston & Bird.

I especially love the fact that Deripaska gave A&B $300k (pdf) up front, then happily slid them the other $260k once the visa was secured in 2005. Doesn't sound sketchy at all.

I have a few other avenues I'm persuing, but nothing too earth shattering. Hopefully as McCain's ties are explored a little deeper, we'll see other instances of Dole's involvement.

Oh that's great--I didn't

Oh that's great--I didn't know about the sequence of payments. That's really interesting. I did ask Dole today if he would make his foreign client list transparent. He said it was already required by law, and I pointed out that for some reason--and it may not be Dole's fault--there are several documents that the FARA site says are only available at the office in DC. He was angry about my asking, but he gave me his office phone number, so I'll try to follow up.

It is particularly important, I think, because he struck a strong nationalist chord more than once in his generally dischordant speech. I think some degree of patriotism is appropriate, and we should praise it, but patriotism in the sense of using public offices for the public, celebrating constitutionalism, and I am very disturbed by the privatization of foreign policy that is represented by Dole and other lobbyists.

Lets keep in touch on this.

E. Kitt is great, but...

Julie Newmar was the only true Catwoman. She was so...statuesque!

(For those that got it, bless your hearts).