More Friends Coming Soon
Tony Coelho -- Al Gore's former campaign chairman for Gore 2000. It was only ten years ago that Coelho fled Congress one step ahead of the sheriff - he gave up his seat rather than face scrutiny for his dealings with Savings & Loan kingpin and junk bond dealer Thomas Spiegel. Coelho's dealings and fundraising practices were so shady an entire book was devoted to his wheeling and dealing -- Honest Graft, by CNN reporter Brooks Jackson. (Gore's choice was peculiar in another way as well: Coelho's most prominent campaign management experience was presiding over the Democrats' 1994 election debacle.)
Donna Brazile -- The new Gore campaign political director was unceremoniously canned by the Dukakis campaign in 1988 for race-baiting and telling blatant lies about President Bush. (Remember when there were Democrats who cared about such things?) Evidently, Gore - in uncanny imitation of Bill Clinton - intends to practice the politics of personal destruction, even as he preaches against it from the podium. (Associated Press, 10/20/88 and The Chicago Tribune, 10/25/88)
Carlottia Scott -- Finally, over at the Democratic National Committee, theire is the new political director who, if you were to address her as comrade, would surely not take umbrage. In 1982, Scott used congressional stationery to pen a letter of panting admiration to Maurice Bishop, the self-proclaimed Communist who was running the island nation of Grenada. Addressing Bishop as "My darling comrade leader," Scott went, on to write that her boss, Democrat Rep. Ron Dellums, "is really hooked on you and Grenada and doesn't want anything to happen to building the revolution and making it strong... the only other person that I know of that he exrpresses such admiration for is Fidel." (Letter from Scott to Bishop on official congressional letterhead, 4/28/82 and reprinted in MtMan Events, 5714/99)
Jorge Cabrera -- Al Gore with drug cartel member Jorge Cabrera, who was convicted of cocaine smuggling!
(What did Al promise him in exchange for a $20,000 donation ?)
Albert Gore and Nathan Landow
Money, Cover-Ups and the Mob?
When Albert Gore Jr. or Bill Clinton need money, they know who to call - Nathan Landow. According to the Washington Post, Landow is "always at the top of the list of those who can be tapped for Democratic congressional candidates and causes." The Associated Press reported that while Gore, for instance, was making fund-raising calls from federal property, he secured a $25,000 donation from Landow. Landow was also the chief financial force behind Sen. Gores $4 million decision to run for president in 1988. Some of Landows activities include:
1987 - Gores 1988 Presidential Bid and Landow
Gore may not have run for president in 1988 except for Landows insistence -- and campaign fundraising. Gore announced that he would enter the race for the Democrat presidential nomination on April 12, 1987, three weeks after saying he would not run. Landows pledge to Gore to help raise $4 million for the effort seems to have been the factor that changed Gores mind.
1996 - Gores Phone Calls and Landow
Gore also relied upon Landow to come through with campaign cash during Clinton/Gores 1996 re-election campaign. Landow set speed records to get Gore the cash he requested illegally from his White House office.
"White House documents obtained by The Associated Press provide the most detail to date about how the vice president secured commitments upwards of $600,000 in the last election by calling large Democratic donors from his West Wing office.
"Youll have it in hand in One Hour, Gore scribbled on one fund-raising call sheet in which he secured a $25,000 donation in December 1995 from Washington businessman Nate Landow."
"Landow apparently fulfilled the prediction. One hour is a record! Gore scribbled on a thank you letter to the businessman on Dec. 11, 1996." (emphasis added) (The Associated Press, 8/26/97)
Clinton-Gore 96, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Tribes and Landow
Landow went to the limit to raise funds for the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1996. But he also tried to make his efforts on Clinton/Gores behalf worth his own while. Landow and Clinton/Gore campaign manager Peter Knight offered to lobby the administration for the return of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian tribes land in exchange for campaign contributions totaling more than $100,000.
"There was more than money for Mr. Lenzer in the deal; there was a chance it might dig up enough dirt on Mr. Nickles to divert the spotlight from an embarrassing blot on the reputation of Vice President Al Gore. Longtime Gore fund-raiser Nathan Landow and former Clinton-Gore campaign manager Peter Knight reportedly offered to lobby the administration for the return of the lands in exchange for campaign contributions from the tribe of more than $100,000."
"For their efforts the Indians got lunch with President Clinton and a dinner invitation from Mr. Gore, but no land. When news of the shakedown broke earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee returned the money." (emphasis added) (editorial, The Washington Times, 8/6/97)
There was more to this "shakedown" than just campaign contributions. Landow also tried to obtain for himself a contract with the tribe that could have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars in oil and gas reserves under the land.
1997 - Kathleen Willey Connection
According to Newsweek magazine, Landow raised $600,000 for the Clinton/Gore tickets 1992 and 1996 campaigns. But Landow seems to want to do more for the administration than just raise funds. Investigators looking into Clintons cover-up scandal acquired documents suggesting Landow tried to influence the testimony of Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer who has charged Clinton with improper conduct and lying to cover it up.
Landows efforts may be his way of ingratiating himself with Gore and those who will direct the Gore campaign in 2000, such as Peter Knight, Clinton/Gores 1996 campaign manager.
1997 - Attempted Cover-up of the Cheyenne Arapaho Deal
On another occasion, Landow seemingly used the same persuasive techniques on Democrat campaign professional Michael Copperthite months before the Willey episode. Copperthite stated that Landow tried to "keep him quiet" about one of Landows questionable campaign fund-raising episodes.
"Mr. Copperthite said Mr. Landows attempt to keep him quiet was consistent with recent news reports suggesting he tried to silence Mrs. Willey about being sexually groped by Mr. Clinton." (emphasis added) (The Washington Times, 3/18/98)
In particular, Landow wanted Copperthite to lie to investigators about a failed land deal Landow had with the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indians.
"Mr. Copperthite, who sought half of any compensation Mr. Landow secured from the tribe, said Mr. Landow urged him during a phone call to tell FBI agents investigating campaign fund raising that he knew nothing about the deal, even though he had discussed it in several meetings with Mr. Landow.
"He said, and I quote exactly: "Youre going to be contacted by Justice Department people probably and/or law enforcement people and I want to go over with you what the truth is, so that you can tell the truth," said Mr. Copperthite, who added he nonetheless cooperated with the FBI in the probe. So then he does this whole story that doesnt even match up to anything that happened and then says, "Now thats the truth isnt it? Youre going to tell the truth."
"He was lying to me, said Mr. Copperthite, a member of Mr. Clintons National Finance Committee during the 1992 presidential campaign." (emphasis added) (The Washington Times, 3/18/98)
However, instead of offering merely a New York shopping trip, as he did with Willey, Landow offered Copperthite a job with Gores 2000 presidential campaign.
"[Mr. Landow] said, "Were all going to be part of the big happy Gore family some day and this all will pass over," Mr. Copperthite said. He was clearly telling me to keep my mouth shut, play along and I would be taken care of -- or un-taken care of." (brackets in original) (The Washington Times, 3/18/98)
Much of Landows behind-the-scenes efforts seem to be geared to getting himself in the good graces of Gore in 2000. Of course, Landow has done plenty of other things that are just as unethical that do not have much to do with Gore.
1994 - Helping Hush Up Web Hubbell
According to Albert Hunt writing in The Wall Street Journal, Landow, along with several other Democrats, apparently tried to help Webster Hubbell financially while he was facing severe financial problems due to past criminal conduct. This assistance may explain why Hubbell could afford to become tight-lipped in the face of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starrs ongoing investigation into numerous Clinton wrongdoing.
"What sets Mr. Landow apart, however, is that he and Bill Clinton actually have a hostile relationship. But Mr. Landow is close to Vice President Albert Gore. Political observers who know him say its highly doubtful that Mr. Landow would have done this out of personal kindness rather than political calculation; Mr. Landow, the former Maryland Democratic Party chairman, did not return phone calls. Late yesterday, the vice presidents office said Mr. Gore did not know of Mr. Landows offer to help Mr. Hubbell." (Albert Hunt column, The Wall Street Journal, 3/13/97)
Landow vehemently denied Hunts assertions.
Hunt flatly states that Landow "lied."
The First Democrat Bank of Landow
Landow made numerous personal contributions to the Democrat cause over the years, in addition to the millions of dollars he raised from other donors for the party and his favorite candidates. Over the past 12 years, according to documents on file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Landow has given almost $200,000 to Democrat candidates and political committees out of his own pocket.
(Source: Federal Election Commission Reports, 1987-98)
Furthermore, Landow raised $2 million for Walter Mondales presidential effort in 1984.
Landow also raised campaign funds for Jimmy Carter.
Landow summed up the reason for all of his financial generosity to the Democrats.
Landows Shady Past: 1978 - Landow and Gambling
Long before engaging in shady dealings on behalf of the Clinton/Gore re-election campaign in 1996, Landow engaged in shady deals on his own behalf. In the 1970s, Landow tried to break into the hotel and gambling industries. To do so, Landow enlisted the help of underworld figure Joe Nesline.
"The investors are multimillionaire builder Nathan Landow and Smith Bagley, a Reynolds tobacco heir. Landow is under consideration for appointment as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands."
"Landow acknowledge [sic] a casual acquaintanceship with Nesline of many years standing, and an involvement in one other hotel-casino venture in which Nesline also played a role." (The Washington Post, 1/26/78)
Nesline had a long criminal record. He is also identified by police authorities as the suspected "godfather" of Washington "bookmaking and other gaming action."
"With an arrest record spanning four decades. Nesline has been charged with bribery and bootlegging as well as gambling. He was convicted of carrying a deadly weapon in the fatal shooting of a man at point-blank range in an after-hours club in 1951." (The Washington Post, 1/26/78)
The deal with Nesline, which fell through, was worth $85 million.
Another potential deal pursued by Nesline and Landow consisted of a hotel-casino on St. Maarten island in the Caribbean. Edward Cellini, brother of mob associate Dino Cellini, was also involved.
"Involved in the St. Maartens venture were Landow and Edward Celini, a brother of Dino Cellini, a former associate of organized crime figure Meyer Lansky. Edward Cellini formerly ran the Paradise Island casino operation in Nassau, the Bahamas for Resorts International, but he was let go." (The Washington Post, 1/26/78)
Landow was also involved with Anthony Plate, an associate of the Gambino Mafia family. Plate owned a 25 percent stake in Quaker Masonry, a firm in which Landow served as vice president and director.
"The business involvement of Landows that originally attracted the attention of Montgomery Countys organized crime unit was an investment in Quaker Masonry Inc., a firm that had offices in Silver Spring and in Hollywood. Fla.
"According to corporate records in Tallahassee, Landow was listed in 1972 as a vice president and director of Quaker Masonry.
"Florida law enforcement authorities reported to other police agencies in October 1973 that Anthony Plate, known to them to be an associate of the Gambinos was believed to have a 25 percent interest in Quaker." (The Washington Post, 1/26/78)
1982 - Landow and Sweetheart Real Estate Deals
In the early 1980s, Landow became a beneficiary of an urban renewal land transfer from the federal government to the city government of the District of Columbia. The D.C. government, presided over by Democrat Mayor Marion Barry, seems to have awarded parcels of prime D.C. real estate to Democrat Party boosters. Landow obtained a parcel of downtown land for a third of its market value.
"The General Accounting Office (GAO) was openly critical of the RLA in 1982, charging that city property (much of it a gift from the Federal Government) was being sold for bargain-basement prices, often to political friends of the mayor [Marion Barry]. In March of that year, a GAO report criticized the RLA for failing to have clear criteria for determining why one developer is selected over another. Some transactions, said the report, give the appearance of a loosely run activity, and, as a result, much controversy exists concerning the sale of urban renewal property, sales prices, and selection of developers. Nathan Landow, for example, a prominent Democratic Party fundraiser, paid less than one-third the market price for a piece of downtown real estate he purchased from the RLA in early 1982." (emphasis added) (National Review, 6/24/91)
Courtesy: Republican National Committee