For Immediate Release
HISTORIC SLAVE-TRADING AREA OF AFRICA NOW REPRESENTED BY CONFEDERATE FLAG ACTIVIST
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 14 --- In one of the more bizarre ironies of history, the most active slave-trading area of West Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries is now being represented by Richard T. Hines, a Washington lobbyist who flies a Confederate flag over his office in Alexandria, Virginia, and has been both a major advocate and financier of demonstrations for the Confederate flag.
According to a press release of the African nation, Gambian President Jammeh welcomed "Congressman Richard T. Hines" who had visited the country last June and brought an award to honor the president for supporting President Bush's War on Terror. Although records indicate that Hines was a member of the South Carolina legislature, there is no record of Hines having served in the U.S. Congress.
Hines' June visit to Africa followed his appearance at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a ceremony that he also financed. The ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery included a Confederate cannon salute arranged through the White House, where Hines' wife had previously worked in the Reagan administration. Hines contributed $25,000 to the Black Tie and Boots inaugural ball in 2001 and had been the chief consultant for President Bush's 2000 South Carolina primary race where Senator John McCain had been accused of fathering a black child.
The Gambia has now started its own airline, with the first passenger craft being refurbished and painted in Texas, according to John Poindexter, the managing partner of Tristar Capital, which has also provided financing for World Air Leasing, where Hines has served on the Board of Directors.
Hines was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article on the South Carolina primary where he was identified as a $550,000 lobbyist for Cambodia who would be required to report his political expenditures to the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent. No filing was made.
According to John Edward Hurley, president of the Confederate Memorial Association in Washington, D.C., Hines was financing a 16-year civil lawsuit against his organization that was still being litigated in the D.C. Superior Court. Hurley said that he was renewing his numerous requests for Attorney General John Ashcroft to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act. According to Hurley, Ashcroft's reluctance to take action can be attributed to his long-standing friendship with Hines, who had arranged for the Attorney General's interview with the controversial Southern Partisan magazine.
Records in the Secretary of the Senate's office indicate that the Hines firm has represented the Ashbury International Group, a sniper equipment company that has received over $250 million in government contracts.