Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft is now a Washington lobbyist. He's cashing in on his war on terror connections, representing companies that want government contracts. As Danielle Brian, executive director of Project on Government Oversight notes, having spent his career in government service, he has no business experience.

"What is he selling," Ms. Brian asked, "other than connections and knowledge of how to game the system from being attorney general?"

Examples of his clients:

One of Mr. Ashcroft's newest clients is ChoicePoint, a broker of consumer data that is increasingly being used by the government to keep tabs on people within the United States. The company received millions of dollars in contracts from the Justice Department under Mr. Ashcroft as part of the war on terror and has now hired him to find more.

"The Ashcroft Group contacted us and we initiated a relationship," said Chuck Jones, a ChoicePoint spokesman. "He's got a lot of knowledge that could benefit ChoicePoint."

Apparently, Ashcroft thinks if he is up front about his lobbying, it will be more palatable. He is the first former Attorney General actually to call himself a "lobbyist." He even brags about his connections to prospective clients:

In a mission statement to prospective clients, he boasts of his connections. Mr. Ashcroft and "his talented team," the statement says, "have developed and cultivated close relationships with leaders in the corporate world as well as with officials in the top levels of the U.S. Government."

He's also joined the speaker circuit, charging $75k per speech.

He doesn't mind getting paid to lobby for programs he once opposed. Case in point:

One of his first clients was the software giant Oracle, which was seeking Justice Department approval for a $5.8 billion takeover of Siebel Systems, its largest competitor. Oracle hired Mr. Ashcroft, although as attorney general he opposed a $10 billion Oracle-PeopleSoft merger.

Just a month after the Ashcroft Group came on the scene, the Siebel takeover sailed through. Oracle declined to comment, as did the Justice Department.

Another client: Israel Aircraft Industries International.

The Israeli aerospace company hired Mr. Ashcroft as it seeks $2 billion in military contracts from South Korea in competition with Boeing.

Another is LTU Technologies, which peddles visual imaging technology to agencies like Customs and the FBI.

A year ago, Ashcroft was teaching at a Christian university. Now he's not above taking a swipe at his midwestern roots.

Mr. Ashcroft declined to identify his other clients except to say, "It's not Billy Bob's car wash in Peoria."

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    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 10:17:12 PM EST
    Let's see, what word haven't I used lately. (flip, flip, flip) Ah yes, reprehensible fits. THIS MAN IS REPREHENSIBLE! Note to self: Get thesaurus. Need new words. Sounding like a broken record.

    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:27:26 AM EST
    Can we sing "Let the Eagle Whore" now?

    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:40:54 AM EST
    I nominate watertiger for best one line comment.

    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#4)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 11:52:53 AM EST
    "Let the Eagle Score"

    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 01:04:02 PM EST
    Why is he working...the rapture is at hand!

    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#6)
    by oldtree on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 01:56:52 PM EST
    would someone please do an A/B list comparing ASHole to the well dead John Mitchell from the Nixon years? Mitchell was a career criminal with no redeeming characteristics ASHole is clearly not disturbed enough about his own criminal activity (or, "Way of Life") to avoid going right back to the scene of the crime, and then destroying more evidence. and would someone tell me again why our elected officials are above the law?

    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimcee on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:47:27 PM EST
    I guess he thinks he is an older version of Nick Nailor from the mind of Christopher Buckley. Either way it has to pay better than Gov't work. Funny how often one job leads to another...eh?

    Re: Ashcroft Changes Jobs, Not Stripes (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:59:38 PM EST
    the NYT leaves out some important information, like for example, the chalabi/INC connection, and the Joanne Weiss connection to Cheney (and Steve Forbes, Dan Quayle, Spencer Abraham, Phyllis Schlafly, Jesse Helms and Rudy Giuliani) - see here and here