Confederate Memorial Association NEWS

P.O. Box 6010, Washington, D.C. 20005

For Immediate Release

Contact: Robert Hughes


December 18, 2003


   WASHINGTON, D.C. – A letter has been submitted to Attorney General John Ashcroft by Mr. John Edward Hurley asking for an investigation concerning fraud and political influence relating to the issuance of millions of dollars in federal contracts to a sniper equipment company.

   Mr. Hurley of the Washington-based Confederate Memorial Association, identified several contracts awarded to Ashbury International of Sterling, Virginia. The letter cited a $67 million award by the Marine Corps and a $27 million award by the Naval Surface Warfare Center. Hurley noted in the correspondence that both awards were given when Ashbury International was the only bidder. Also mentioned was a contract with the U.S. Secret Service, where no dollar amount was listed.

   It was stated in the letter that the contracts were awarded after Richard Hines had registered to lobby for the company in Congress. Hines is a major political contributor who financed the last-minute direct mail campaign that was credited with giving George W. Bush his South Carolina primary victory in 2000.

   His suspicions were aroused, Hurley said, when he discovered that Ashbury International's office was a few rooms in a non-nondescript two-story building. He said that this hardly seemed like the site for a $100 million operation and that other investigations appeared to indicate an off-shore account.

   Hurley reminded Attorney General Ashcroft that he had failed to prosecute Hines for his failure to list his political expenditures in the presidential primary campaign, a requirement under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Hines was a $500,000 lobbyist for Cambodia at that time.

   His special interest in this case, Hurley told Ashcroft, stemmed from his discovery that Hines had used federal funds and personnel to pursue fifteen years of litigation against his organization. The litigation caused the closing of the century-old Confederate Memorial Hall and Museum in downtown Washington.

   Hines, a friend of White House aide Karl Rove, had interviewed Ashcroft for the controversial Southern Partisan magazine. Aschroft was a client of Rove's political consulting firm when he ran for the U.S. Senate.

   "This is nothing short of domestic terrorism from the White House against
a U.S. citizen,"  Hurley said.