Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Giuliani tries to escape his ties to terrorist and anti-American groups


After the media and bloggers put attention on Rudy Giuliani's actual working ties to terrorist and anti-American groups, Giuliani takes the purely symbolic step of stepping down from the title of Managing Partner. This of course changes nothing.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has stepped down as head of his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, after months of refusing to disclose the firm's clients or the role he played.

Giuliani has been replaced as chairman by Peter Powers, a longtime friend and former aide, Giuliani Partners spokeswoman Sunny Mindel said Tuesday. The firm, started by the former New York mayor when he left City Hall, earned Giuliani around $4 million last year. The spokeswoman said he would retain his equity stake in the company.

While insisting the firm's client list was confidential, Giuliani has noted the media have named a number of his clients.

Published reports have identified one client as the Persian Gulf country of Qatar, which was accused of sheltering suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, although today it is a U.S. ally.

Also identified as Giuliani clients are airlines, energy companies and communications businesses; one client, Purdue Pharma L.P., makes the controversial painkiller OxyContin. His law firm, Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani, has represented an American subsidiary of an oil company controlled by Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president.

Giuliani aides said he has not been involved in day-to-day operations of the firm since last spring. Yet he never formally announced he had relinquished his titles, despite being asked repeatedly about it. The firm's Web site listed him as chairman as recently as last month.

Critics accuse him of hiding his business dealings because he won't release a client list or describe his work at the firm.

"Given that he still has a financial stake in Giuliani Partners and it's managed by his childhood friend, Rudy is not going to get away with covering up his ties to shady clients like the government of Qatar, the pharmaceutical industry, and Hugo Chavez," Democratic National Committee spokesman Dag Vega said.

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