- The top Pioneer was the team of William Dewitt and Mercer
Reynolds, Cincinnati businessmen who raised $605,082. After the
election, Mr. Reynolds was appointed ambassador to Switzerland, though
he recently stepped down. Both men have a long history with Mr. Bush:
In 1984 their oil company, Spectrum 7, acquired Mr. Bush's struggling
West Texas oil operation.
The second-ranking Pioneer, Ronald Weiser, a Michigan businessman, raised $588,309, according to the documents. Mr. Weiser serves as ambassador to the Slovak Republic.
The third-ranking Pioneer was the team of Howard Leach and Kristen Hueter of California, who raised $429,610, according to the documents. Mr. Leach is now ambassador to France.
Donors wanting something more permanent and rewarding than a mere cushy job in a scenic location also got what they wanted -- Charles Cawley, for instance, the chairman of a major credit card issuer, got much tougher personal bankruptcy legislation for his roughly $370,000.
To preempt Jim Henley, this separates the Republicans from such Democrats as the notorious Sen. Hollings (D-Disney) by... well, just about nothing. I once heard one politician -- it may have been Sen. Kerry -- try to defend this by arguing that as long as both sides of an issue send in cash, they both get a hearing. Which means that poorly funded constituencies get no hearing at all, no matter what the quality of their case.
Meanwhile, the provisions of the McCain-Feingold reform law which restrain third-party advertising are getting eaten away -- but the doubling of the individual donation limit remains in full force.