For Immediate Release
Contact: Robert Hughes
202-483-5700 or 703-527-0237
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 2 -- When White House press secretary Ari Fleischer suggested that the assassination of Saddam Hussein would offer an inexpensive solution to U.S. problems in Iraq, it was music to the ears of Richard T. Hines, a major Republican campaign contributor and confidante of Bush senior advisor Karl Rove.
According to lobbying records in the House and Senate, Mr. Hines, president of RTH Consulting, recently registered to lobby for the Ashbury International Group, which sells sniper equipment to the U.S. Special Forces.
RTH Consulting gave $25,000 to the premier inaugural function for President George W. Bush -- The Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball. But a more important contribution was described in a Wall Street Journal article of July 11, 2000 which detailed the activities of Mr. Hines during the South Carolina primary that assured the nomination of Bush and doomed Sen. John McCain's bid for the presidential nomination.
In the South Carolina campaign, Hines contributed a 250,000-piece last-minute direct mail operation that sealed the victory for Bush and caused an embittered Senator McCain to wave the mailer on national television as an egregious example of dirty campaign tactics.
Since Hines was also registered with the U.S. Justice Department as a $550,000 foreign agent representing Cambodian dictator and former Khmer Rouge Hun Sen, the Wall Street Journal article said that Hines would be required to reveal the amount and source of his contribution to Bush. Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, failure to disclose such expenditures carries a fine of $10,000 and 5 years in jail.
Despite numerous requests to Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate this failure to report, as of this date the Justice Department has not acted. It has been suggested that Ashcroft's reluctance to pursue the matter may derive from his longtime friendship with Hines, whose firm has Justice Department contracts.
Hines was also reported to be the contact that arranged for the Southern Partisan magazine to interview Ashcroft. This controversial interview almost caused the Senate to reject Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general.
Corporate records in Richmond list Hines as president of Sniper Systems, Inc. Further information on Hines' political contributions can be found at www.confederate.org.
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