Profile Result Haley Barbour Last Updated: October 13, 2008 Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour doesnât have to worry about re-election for his livelihood. Where there is money to be made from government influence peddling, Barbour is marquee bankable. An operative in Mississippiâs GOP since the mid â70s, Barbour moved up to the Reagan/Bush White House as Director of Political Affairs. Just before the â92 election, he began calling in his chips by setting up a GOP powered lobby firm, Barbour Griffith & Rodgers (BGR). Packed with influential insiders, and financed by big time favor-buying companies, its fortune was assured. Fortune magazine soon named BGR the nationâs second most powerful lobby firm. When George W took office in 2001, its rank moved up to #1. Barbourâs other name partners in BGR are Lanny Griffith and Ed Rodgers, both top officials of George Srâs administration. Barbourâs expertise at political skullduggery was already well established. From 1994 to1996, as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, he solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hong Kong businessman Ambrous Tung Young for a GOP group Barbour created, called the National Policy Forum. He applied to the IRS for tax-exempt status, claiming it was a nonpartisan group, which could legally accept foreign contributions. Before receiving a response, Barbour then used Youngâs money as collateral for a $2.1 million bank loan. The same day it received the loan, Barbourâs ânonpartisanâ group gave $1.6 million to Barbourâs Republican National Committee. Most of it went to various state GOP groups before the IRS rejected the nonpartisan claim. Since becoming Governor of Mississippi in 2003, Barbour has had no compunction granting questionable State contracts to former and current BGR clients. As with Dick Cheney and Halliburton, Barbour merely placed his corporate assets in trust while in public office. Actually the mega-bucks for Barbourâs firm, which also started flowing in â03, came from a far greater source. It was the Federal Governmentâs spending on the Iraq War, which had just begun. BGR put together three other companies â Crest Investments, New Bridge Strategies and Diligence Inc. under one roof (both office space and politically super-powered principals). * Crest Investments had two co-founders - Neil Bush, President George Wâs often caught but never incarcerated brother, and fellow fortunate son Jamal Daniel, whose father reportedly founded the Baath Party in Syria. The two have been close for decades. Daniel was a major contributor to George Srâs campaigns, and when Neil remarried in 2004, Daniel held the wedding reception at his home. As a gift Daniel gave Neil a $400,000 cottage near the Bush family summer home in Maine. With no experience in natural gas, Neil and Jamal were given a no-bid contract in Texas to build and run a $400 million liquefied natural gas storage plant. The plant provides annual payments of $2 million to Crest Investments. Jamal Daniel is also a Director of New Bridge Strategies, another company created by Barbour under the BGR umbrella. This oneâs co -founder is Joseph Allbaugh, George W Bushâs 2000 Presidential campaign manager, then FEMA Director. Brother Neil Bush is listed as a Consultant. * New Bridge Strategies website inâ03 trumpeted its insider ability to deliver Iraq War contracts within weeks of the US invasion. It proclaimed: âThe opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in the United States and on the ground in Iraq." BGR also provided equity funding for Diligence LLC, a military contractor under its own roof. *Diligence LLC, with Allbaugh listed as Vice Chairman, is a private force much like Blackwater, with contracts to provide security for corporate executives in Iraq. A Diligence subsidiary is owned by Mohammed Al-Sagar, Chairman of the Kuwaiti parliamentâs foreign relations committee. Richard Burt, Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Germany under George Bush Sr, is Chairman of Diligence LLC and a Director of BGR In 2005, a certain ill wind did BGR and affiliates lots of good, domestically. Two years earlier, when Barbourâs partner Joseph Allbaugh moved over from FEMA, heâd arranged for his long-time associate, Michael Brown (âDoinâ a heckova job Brownieâ), to take over as Director. When Katrina hit, for this group it was a perfect storm of profit. Allbaugh and his wife Diane also own the Allbaugh Group, which was hired by Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a Halliburton subsidiary, and the Shaw Environmental Group to lobby Governor Barbour for Katrina contracts. AshBritt, a Florida (and major Jeb Bush contributor) BGR client, was given a $580 million contract to do Katrina cleanup. The wife of Barbourâs nephew, Rosemary Barbour, was one of the biggest Mississippi-based winners of Katrina contracts. Her company, Alacatec LLC, picked up nearly $300 million in contracts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the General Services Administration, the bulk of it for trailer maintenance. The FBI began an investigation in 2007. While in office, Governor Barbourâs also voted to favor tobacco interests, proposing to cut a childrenâs anti-smoking program and veto legislation that would increase Mississippians cigarette tax while eliminating the stateâs grocery tax. Lorillard Tobacco is one of BGRâs most lucrative clients, paying it $2.4 million from 1998-2005. Lorillard is also a client of Capitol Resources LLC, the Mississippi lobbying firm where Barbour's two nephews, Henry and Austin Barbour, work. Barbour also directly controlled the management of GOP Marketplace, the consulting firm central to the 2002 New Hampshire Senate election scandal. GOP Marketplace was accused of jamming a Democrat phone bank being used for get out the vote efforts. Former New Hampshire Republican Committee Executive Director Chuck McGee, former president of GOP Marketplace, Allen Raymond, and the former New England chairman of President Bushâs re-election campaign, James Tobin, were convicted for the plot. Barbour was the largest contributor to former Army/CIA officer Mike Battlesâ 2002 run for Congress in Rhode Island. The FEC fined Battles for "misstatement of financial activities." After losing the election, Battles founded Iraq security contractor Custer Battles, which, within months was awarded $100 million (much of it in cash) from the Coalition Provisional Authority. An Army inspector general, Col. Richard Ballard, reported as early as November 2003 that Custer Battles was utterly incompetent. In the fall of 2004, Air Force Deputy General Counsel Steven Shaw accused Custer Battles of creating sham companies to steal $millions. In 2005, former employees accused the company of systematically defrauding the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars. In March 2006, a Virginia federal jury found Custer Battles guilty of defrauding the United States. The verdict was overturned on appeal, when the court decided that the contract was with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, which was not under the jurisdiction of U.S. fraud laws.