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While neither Franke nor Hayes returned calls seeking confirmation of their roles in the Swift Boat Veterans organization, it seems obvious that Waterman wouldn't have set up the group's Web site using Gannon's corporate address without approval from his employers.And don't forget that the mouthpiece for Swift Boat Vets for Truth, John O'Neill, was a toady of Nixon dirty-trick-meister Chuck Colson. (Oh, and O'Neill's law firm does beaucoup business with Halliburton and other "connected" energy firms.)
Franke is well known in Missouri as a longtime Republican Party activist and financier. In 1976, he managed John Danforth's victorious Senate campaign; two years later, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress. He also failed in an attempt to resuscitate the defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat (which was, despite its name, a staunchly Republican newspaper) in 1986. Before the Globe-Democrat finally went under in 1987, Franke had obtained a commitment from the state industrial development authority -- all of whose members were appointed by then Gov. John Ashcroft -- to raise $9 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to keep the paper afloat.
Last June, Franke gave the maximum $2,000 to the Bush-Cheney campaign, and he has since donated an additional $2,000 to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, and $2,000 more to Keep Our Majority, the PAC operated by House Speaker Dennis Hastert
“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz
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