Tom Davis relied heavily on an article that quoted the incumbent Congressman in The Examiner to needle Andrew Hurst in their debate Tuesday night. The Examiner is that free paper that starting appearing on your doorstep in the past year or so. How much do you know about that paper?
ItGÇÖs owned by Philip F. Anschutz, an ultra-conservative, one who at first blush is a hard guy not to like. He seems like no Dick Cheney GÇö he funded the movie Ray when no one else would. He was determined to bring The Chronicles of Narnia to the big screen. He invests in the soccer team, DC United.
However, Anschutz is one of the entitled Davis beneficiaries, paying out the most through Qwest's three PACs when the company was in legal trouble for insider trading, Enron-like accounting, and bidding for one of the fattest government contracts ever, which is under the jurisdiction of Davis's Government Reform Committee.
Anschutz also has been an active patron of a number of religious and right-wing causes:
GÇó Helped fund Amendment 2, a ballot initiative to overturn a Colorado state law protecting gay rights.
GÇó Helped fund the Discovery Institute, the conservative Christian think tank that is the center of the intelligent design movement.
GÇó Supported the Media Research Council, which generated nearly all the indecency complaints with the FCC in 2003.
Anschutz was ranked the 28th richest Americans last year by Forbes. He earned his first $50 million in oil. In its September 2, 2002 issue, Fortune named him the nation's "greediest executive" because of his acquisitions across so many industries. Until he announced his retirement this year, (keeping his stock) he was the billionaire co-founder and director of Qwest Communications. Qwest depends on Tom Davis to get a piece of Networx, one of the largest Federal contracts ever to be awarded with a guaranteed intake of $525 million. As with the other beneficiaries of DavisGÇÖs grants, Qwest's three PACs bellied up to the Davis PAC bar, donating almost $10,000 to Davis in the last 7 years.
Date----------Amount-----FEC record no
04/14/1999 1000.00 99034653821
03/17/2000 1000.00 20035464985
06/07/2000 500.00 20035850042
03/06/2001 500.00 24990364307
03/27/2002 1000.00 24990366137
05/22/2002 1000.00 24990365184
04/04/2003 2500.00 23991626476
07/21/2003 1000.00 24990363792
02/14/2006 1000.00 26920018458
Public Integrity ranks Qwest among the most conservative PACs, in the top 25% of those donating to conservative causes.
QwestGÇÖs donor history is even more curious when compared with its compliance history. It experienced rapid growth but the bulk of its donations are concurrent with legal and regulatory woes, including separate investigations of the companyGÇÖs accounting practices by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department.
Four mid-level Qwest executives faced 11 charges including conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with helping the company improperly book $34 million in revenue, the Associated Press reported. In a trial in April, a jury failed to convict the four men. Grant Graham subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact to wire fraud. On June 9, a grand jury returned a new indictment against defendant Thomas Hall on four charges. That case is pending.
Another executive, Joseph P Nacchio "was reportedly forced by the Qwest Board of Directors to resign as CEO in June 2002. His total compensation package of nearly $100 million in 2001 also left investors angry. Anschutz also bowed out of an active role with the company in June 2002."
On August 26, 2006 a trial date was set for the Insider Trading trial for Nacchio, which is still pending.
If the March date holds, Nacchio's trial will begin some 15 months after federal prosecutors accused him of improperly using inside knowledge when he sold $101 million in stock five years ago. Nacchio is charged with 42 counts of insider trading. Each count carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Nacchio has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bail.
Nacchio is charged with 42 counts of insider trading accusing him of selling $101 million in stock in 2001 based on inside knowledge that Qwest Communications International Inc. would be unable to meet targets because [like Enron] it had improperly used nonrecurring revenue to meet those goals.
With this history, you might wonder why the government would be eager to do business with the company, or why Qwest would be eligible to bid on the hugely profitable government contact like Networx. In fact, of the several donors, Davis seems to like keeping them hanging, because none of the bidders were eliminated in the last round of consideration.
Voters might never find out why Qwest is still eligible to bid. Tom Davis has never held a hearing involving unethical and illegal dealings by government contractors who are his big PAC donors. In fact, interfered when one agency determined it was unwilling to wait to get secure telecom service for its employees. The resolution with the Treasury Dept was approved by now-convicted felon David Safarian.
For Qwest, the money must seem well spent. In Addition to the lack of sunshine on the matter from Tom Davis's Government Reform Committee, the presiding judge has closed part of the legal proceedings.
U.S. District Court Judge Edward W. Nottingham ...closed part of a hearing, saying that information from the government's business dealings with the phone company should remain secret to protect national security.