Giuliani law firm helping build NAFTA Superhighway

Bracewell & Giuliani, the 'guiding' law firm on the privatization of Texas State Highway 121

By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
Jun 8, 2007, 00:32

What, you didn’t know a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is a partner in the Dallas law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani? It’s among the nation’s largest, with 400 attorneys and nine offices worldwide. And now B&G is exclusively representing the Spanish company Cintra through the privatization of Texas State Highway 121. Anybody want to call Congress and let them know? It’s right here in the linked March 26 Dallas Business Journal.

Yup, Rudy’s at it again, milking the old cash cow, the 9/11 sheriff routine to those sympathetic (rich and wannabe richer) Texans. The client, Cintra, has signed an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to finish the State Highway 121 toll road by 2011, a quarter century faster than possible through traditional sources (i.e. American workers), according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). What you should also know is that the toll road is part of the NAFTA Superhighway and construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC).

Independent Journalist Cliff Kincaid nails it in his article Giuliani Linked To “NAFTA Superhighway”: “Evidence shows that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement involving the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is being expanded without congressional approval or oversight as part of a plan to create an economic and political entity known as the North American Union.” This is “the project that has people in Texas and around the nation up in arms.”

Kincaid quotes freelance writer Dianne M. Grassi, who originally broke the story of Rudy’s law firm on the TTC toll-road project. She comments, “Most interesting to the whole story is not only has Giuliani’s involvement in the NAFTA Superhighway not ever having been publicly addressed, but how a foreign company is awarded the building of a mass highway system, versus maintaining it, for the first time in U.S. history, and negotiated by the law firm of the top Republican candidate running for President of the United States.”

Grassi also points out that “Cintra joined with San Antonio, TX-based Zachry Construction Corp. to help land the contracts, in which Zachry owns a 20% interest. The Cintra-Zachry proposal for TTC-35 includes a private investment of up to $6 billion in upfront payments for the complete construction, design and operation of a 316-mile toll road between Dallas and San Antonio, giving Cintra the right to set tolls and keep toll road profits for a period of 50 years, as it will for each road it has contracted..”

Grassi goes on to say, “The NAFTA Superhighway and its corridors will run from Southwestern Mexico through Laredo, Austin and Dallas, TX, into Kansas City, KS, serving as an inland customs port. The corridor will split in Kansas with one leg going to Winnipeg, Canada, through Omaha, NE. The other leg goes to Toronto, Canada, through Des Moines, IA, Chicago, IL, and Detroit, MI. . . .”

Additionally, Terry Hall, founder and director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), notes that “Giuliani clients with an interest in acquiring Texas roads and infrastructure have also invested in his presidential campaign.

“This could explain why Giuliani has spent so much time fundraising in Texas. The monied proponents of the Trans-Texas Corridor, of which there are many, would like to see this man become President.”

The big irony here is that Giuliani was opposed to NAFTA, that is, before he became a private business dude with global clients.

This kind of conflict and mixing of interests rolls into the criminal. Especially, as Australian journalist Mark Coultan points out that Cintra is a financial partner with an Australian company, Macquarie, on a toll-road project in Indiana. It seems that Macquarie acquired the business and assets of an investment bank known as Giuliani Capital Advisors, which sold, according to the Washington Post, “for an undisclosed amount as Giuliani was preparing his run for president.” The amount is between $76 and $100 million, Coultan writes. This for a bank that ran up a net loss of $1.4 million after generous salaries to partners. The senior staff, who own about 30 percent of the stock, “will come with the deal.”

Coultan also points just how greedy Rudy can be: “Giuliani has also been criticized for taking excessive fees at charity events. One occasion involved the Queen Elizabeth Research Hospital in Adelaide, where his reported $200,000 fee left only $15,000 in net proceeds. After criticism, he held a fundraiser in New York which raised $75,000.”

Additionally, Dan Collins and Wayne Barrett pointed out, in an Alternet article, Why Rudy Giuliani Can’t Stop Cashing in on 9/11.” They wrote, “Giuliani had never seemed particularly concerned about money -- he wouldn't have been scheming so desperately for a third $195,000-a-year term as mayor if wealth had been his top priority. But his sudden riches came in handy. His settlement with his former wife, Donna Hanover, in the summer of 2002 called for him to pay her $6.8 million over three years as well as child support. Hanover's lawyers estimated that Giuliani's income in 2002 was $20 million, a little more than half from speaking fees and book advances . . .”

Yet once Rudy got a taste of living large . . .”he quickly adapted to his new lifestyle, demanding first-class flights and accommodations for himself and his posse when he traveled and purchasing a $4 million summer house in the Hamptons for himself and Judy Nathan, whom he married in 2003. The couple also have an apartment on Manhattan's East Side worth more than $5 million, complete with Rudy's Yankee diamond rings displayed in wooden boxes, a lithograph of Winston Churchill above the fireplace, two white Churchill porcelain figures and a Joe DiMaggio shirt encased in glass. . . .”

So it all runs together. Rudy’s profiting from a great tragedy, selling out American interests to foreign interests, major conflicts of interest between his law firm activities and the funding of his potential run for the presidency, etc. A half dozen writers point out a common theme: Giuliani’s insatiable greed as a last step into a bent American Dream.

And once more I ask you as I did in Ground Zero illnesses come back to haunt Giuliani, is this really the man you want to be the Republican presidential candidate, let alone your president? But then look at that clown race and you find the second runner, Mitt, making his own Times’ headlines, Romney’s Political Fortunes Tied to Riches He Gained in Business. Is this déjà vu all over again, or just time for a major change in the kind of people we elect to lead this country? I sincerely hope the latter, as well as for a clean election for once.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at gvmaz@verizon.net.

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