Bush supporters transfer clout to Giuliani

by Jordan Green

The US invasion of Iraq was eight months old and President Bush was heading into a reelection campaign when he made a progress report on the Global War On Terror at the MC Benton Jr. Convention Center in Winston-Salem in November 2003.

Before describing the philosophical underpinnings of his foreign policy, Bush took the time to personally thank Dr. Aldona Wos, a Polish-born physician and avid Republican Party fundraiser from Greensboro. “I also want to appreciate Dr. Aldona Wos, the state chairman for Bush-Cheney,” the president said, prompting applause. “Thank you very much for your hard work.”

Bush told his audience: “Terrorists declared war on the United States of America, and war is what they got. We’ve captured or killed many of the key leaders of the al-Qaida network. And the rest of them know we’re on their trail. In Afghanistan and in Iraq we gave ultimatums to terror regimes. Those regimes chose defiance, and those regimes are no more.”

Now, with Bush completing his second term, Wos and her husband, Louis DeJoy, have turned their prodigious fund-raising abilities toward the goal of electing former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the next president of the United States. Employees of DeJoy’s company, a third-party logistics provider called New Breed that contracts with the federal government and supplies defense contractors Boeing and United Technologies, have given at least $72,200 to the Giuliani campaign.

Bush also thanked the family of James Culbertson, Wos’ North Carolina finance co-chair for the 2004 campaign, during the November 2003 Winston-Salem speech. “We’ve got a great friend in the Culbertsons,” he said. “I’m so proud to know the Culbertsons. I want to thank them for their friendship and their leadership.”

Bush’s description of tyrannical powers in the Middle East that posed a threat to the world’s security likely resonated with Wos, whose father, a member of the Polish Home Army, survived the Nazis’ Flossenburg Concentration Camp. More than a year later, while serving as ambassador to Estonia, Wos would describe the Poland of her childhood as being “under the heel of communism,” and encourage university students in Estonia, a former Soviet satellite nation, to consider studying in the United States.

Bush did not directly mention the United States’ defeat of fascism in World War II or its Cold War triumph over the Soviet Union in his Winston-Salem speech, but his description of Afghanistan and Iraq drew strong allusions to those crucial military struggles.

“Fifty million people in those countries once lived under tyranny. And today, they live in freedom,” Bush said, drawing another burst of applause. “Two and a half years ago, our military was not receiving the resources it needed and morale was beginning to suffer. So we increased the defense budgets to prepare for the threats of a new era. And today, no one in the world can doubt or question the skill or the strength of the United States military.”

Four years later, as Bush’s second term draws to a close, the US military grapples with instability and sectarian strife in Iraq and the White House trumpets a gathering nuclear threat from Iran. A through-line can be seen in the foreign policy stance of presidential aspirant Giuliani.

Giuliani’s foreign policy comments at a North Carolina Women for Rudy brunch at the NC A&T University Alumni Events Center on Dec. 3 hewed closely to the boilerplate speech available on the candidate’s website.

Giuliani tells audiences on the campaign trail: “I will keep America on offense in the terrorists’ war on us. Remaining on offense will shorten the time this war takes place. Remaining on offense will reduce the number of casualties we eventually have. You face bullies and terrorists and tyrants with strength, not weakness. We need a stronger military, not a weaker military.”

Wos sat on the dais at A&T with Giuliani and introduced the candidate. A smiling Louis DeJoy hovered nearby. The couple’s son, Andrew, led the pledge of allegiance.

Federal election records show that Wos has given a total of $100,000 to the Republican National Committee over the past four years, and in 2006, she and her husband hosted a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidates at their home in the upscale Greensboro neighborhood of Irving Park. The guest of honor at that event was President Bush.

In its Embassy Row report, the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington organization that scrutinizes campaign finance, identified Wos as a 2004 Bush Ranger, the honorary title given to those who raised more than $200,000 for the campaign. According to Public Citizen, another group that keeps an eye on money in politics, Culbertson was also a 2004 Bush Ranger.

Culbertson has been tapped as Giuliani’s North Carolina finance chairman. DeJoy serves as North Carolina co-chair for the campaign, while Wos chairs North Carolina Women for Rudy.

Giuliani spokesman Elliott Bundy confirmed that DeJoy and Culbertson are bundlers for the Giuliani campaign, meaning they have raised at least $50,000 for the candidate. Bundy said he was unable to verify that Wos had met the threshold to qualify, but did not dispute Wos’ inclusion on Public Citizen’s “White House for Sale” website that identifies her as a Giuliani bundler. DeJoy, Culbertson and Wos have each contributed the maximum allowable amount of $4,600 to the Giuliani campaign.

YES! Weekly was unable to reach DeJoy and Culbertson for comment, and Wos declined to be interviewed.

“Typically, people on the fundraising side don’t give interviews,” said Bundy, who promised to pass along a request to speak with DeJoy and Culbertson.

If contributions from employees of DeJoy’s company are any indication, the CEO has far exceeded the $50,000 threshold to qualify as a bundler for the campaign. Federal election records through the end of September – the latest reports available – show that employees of New Breed have donated a total of $72,200. Once contributions from spouses are added, the total rises to $96,200.

Among New Breed employees who have contributed $4,600 to the Giuliani campaign are Joachim Hauck, director of business development, of Jamestown; David W. Young, director of human resources, of Greensboro; and executive Michael DeJoy of Syosset, NY. Only one New Breed employee is listed as writing a check to the campaign of another presidential candidate. Federal election records show that Kevin Cottrell, a software designer who resides in Winston-Salem, contributed $230 to the campaign of Republican candidate Ron Paul.

“To come out of one company and to have almost all your contributions go to one candidate, yeah, that’s not something you see at most companies,” said Massie Ritsch, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. “It seems like someone there is talking up Giuliani in the office, and for some reason people feel compelled to give.”

New Breed, a privately-held supply-chain management company headquartered in High Point that boasts of employing “more than 4,000 people in a union-free work environment,” has prospered from federal contracting. The company was honored by Boeing in April as one of the aerospace giant’s 11 best suppliers. New Breed supports Boeing’s F/A-18 “Hornet” program to build fighter/attack aircraft. The High Point company also participates in spares and repairs programs for Boeing’s production of the Navy’s Sea Knight helicopter, the KC-767 tanker aircraft for sales to the militaries of Italy and Japan, and F-15 fighter jets for the US and Korean air forces. And according to New Breed’s website, the company has directly contracted with the Marine Corps.

New Breed announced in 2006 that it had been chosen to operate a surface transfer center in Salt Lake City for the US Postal Service. According to a press release, the company managed five mail transport equipment service centers and a mail consolidation center for the Postal Service at that time. As Postal Service Inspector General David C. Williams noted in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce earlier this year, both the Clinton and Bush administrations have favored public sector outsourcing, and outsourcing has traditionally been a source of contention between the Postal Service and its unions.

Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics said coordinated giving to the Giuliani campaign by New Breed and its employees, if that in fact is the case, should not be “a concern unless the candidate wins. If they do, you hope the company isn’t getting any preferential treatment because an executive there helps them with fundraising.”

Whether New Breed’s federal contracting activity increases in the event of a Giuliani victory remains to be seen, but the national trends of increasing privatization and expanding military budgets bode well for the High Point company.

“Defense contractors in general have done very well under the Bush administration,” Ritsch said, “and there are some candidates running for president that would continue to make life good for defense contractors.”

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