The highly controversial contract that could bring as much as $52 million to John Ashcroft’s new consulting firm seems to follow a trend in the Bush Administration of steering money to loyalists. A glimpse at the principles of the firm show that all but one of the leaders are former Ashcroft aides or major Republican operatives or both.In addition to Ashcroft himself, the firm’s only biography pages details the background:David Ayres
As Chief of Staff at the United States Department of Justice for four years under Attorney General Ashcroft, Mr. Ayres was known as a shrewd strategist, decisive decision-maker, and calm crisis-manager. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Mr. Ayres was labeled “Ashcroft’s Invisible Hand” by the National Journal for his leadership in managing the Department’s crisis operations, enacting the USA Patriot Act, and restructuring the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Tyler P. Alcorn
From January 1999 to November 2000, Mr. Alcorn helped raise a record $12 million as a member of the finance team for Senator Ashcroft’s 2000 re-election campaign. Prior to his work on the Senate campaign, Mr. Alcorn interacted with business and community leaders as a Missouri Field Representative for U.S. Senators John Ashcroft and Kit Bond in which he cultivated a strong working relationship between government and private industry.
Lori Sharpe Day
In 2001, Ms. Day was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as an advisor to the Attorney General and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison (OIPL) at the U.S. Department of Justice. As Advisor to the Attorney General, Ms. Day played a key role in the DepartmentÕs major legislative, regulatory, management, and appropriations initiatives. Most significantly, Ms. Day helped develop the Department’s policy positions on bankruptcy reform and enforcement, immigration reform and the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act. As director of OIPL, she was responsible for supervising as staff responsible for providing America’s private sector with a direct line of communication to the Department of Justice.
William C. T. Gaynor II
Mr. Gaynor served as the Western Regional Finance Director for Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc. and later the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) Victory 2004 Effort. In this capacity, he directed the finance strategy for 15 states in the western U.S. that played a key role in raising over $260 million nationwide for both Bush-Cheney ’04 and the RNC, respectively. Following the 2004 election, Mr. Gaynor became the Finance Director for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee and led a team of 35 people that raised over $35 million in just under eight weeks. . . . Prior to his tenure at Commerce, Mr. Gaynor helped raise a record-breaking $100 million during the Presidential primaries in 2000, as a member of the Bush for President, Inc. finance team.
Tracy A. Henke
Prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security, Ms. Henke served under Attorney General John Ashcroft and Attorney General Gonzales at the Department of Justice. As the Deputy Associate Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice, Acting Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department’s Office of Justice Programs.
Susan Richmond Johnson
From 2001 to 2005 Johnson was White House Liaison and Advisor to the Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. During her tenure, she developed, implemented and managed a $22 billion annual operating budget for an organization of over 112,000 employees. She served as principal advisor to the Attorney General on all management/appropriations matters and provided direct management of the Justice Management Division, with responsibility for Department-wide strategic planning, management initiatives, budget, personnel, facilities and security matters. Johnson was responsible for oversight of the Bureau of Prisons, Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison, as well.Previously, Ms. Johnson was Policy and Research Director for the Ashcroft 2000 Senate campaign. She drafted and edited speeches, campaign ad scripts, issue papers, direct mail and served as a campaign spokesperson.
Ms. Glover has served on the senior staffs of then President-elect George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, presidential candidate Steve Forbes, and John Ashcroft (while he was in the United States Senate). Prior to joining The Ashcroft Group, LLC, she was a director at Clark and Weinstock, one of the most respected public and government affairs firms in the country. While at Clark and Weinstock, Ms. Glover was the registered U.S. government affairs advisor for Iraq’s first post-Saddam Hussein ambassador to the United States.Earlier in her career, Ms. Glover spent time working for Bill Kristol, Vice President Dan Quayle, former Senator and Energy Secretary Spence Abraham, the Bush-Quayle 1992 campaign, conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, and former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina.
Simcha Lyons joined The Ashcroft Group, LLC in 2005 where he as served as a Senior Advisor. He has also served, since 2003, as Chairman of Lyons Global Advisors LTD, a political consulting firm. Prior to 2002, Mr. Lyons was Vice-Chairman of Raskas Foods of St. Louis, Missouri; a family owned business that manufactured cream cheese, sour cream and blue cheese products for the supermarket industry, the food service industry and the food processing industry until it was sold in 2002. In May of 2007, Mr. Lyons was appointed to the Board of Directors of Maiden Holdings, LTD; a Bermuda incorporated company that provides reinsurance products and services to the property and casualty insurance industry.Mr. Lyons also served as a close, personal advisor to Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri, during his eighteen years in the Senate.
What is particularly ironic is that this is the John Ashcroft who (with President Bush) demonized trial attorneys and criticized their excessive fees. There is still no word from Congress on any investigation into this contract.For a prior entry, click hereFor the bio page of the Ashcroft group, click here