Two former U.S. Attorneys will join the House Judiciary Committee when the 112th Congress convenes next month.
Tim Griffin, from the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Tom Marino, from the Middle District of Pennsylvania, are both Republican freshmen.
Griffin took the helm of the U.S. Attorney’s office after the administration of President George W. Bush forced out former Little Rock U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins during the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge. Griffin was an aide to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove before he became interim U.S. Attorney, and his installation in the post was widely viewed as an attempt by Rove to help his aide burnish his resume in a quest for higher office – which Griffin has now succeeded in obtaining.
Griffin will now sit alongside outgoing chairman Rep. John Conyers (Mich.) and other Judiciary Democrats who investigated the firings, which led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales amid allegations from Democrats that he wasn’t telling the truth about the apparent politicization of the federal prosecuting jobs.
Marino served as the Scranton-based U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2007.
Christopher R. Thyer (Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas School of Law) is nominated to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He would replace Tim Griffin, who served as the district’s interim U.S. Attorney from December 2006 to June 2007. Jane Duke, who had been First Assistant U.S. Attorney, has led the office since December 2007.
- Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1969.
- Has been a partner/owner of Stanley & Thyer, P.A. in Jonesboro, Ark., since January 2007.
- Has been a member/owner of Stanley- Thyer Real Estate Investments, LLC in Jonesboro, Ark., since May 2008.
- Was a partner/member of Halsey & Thyer, PLC in Jonesboro, Ark., from October 2005 to January 2007.
- Has been a member of Precision Partners, LLC in Jonesboro, Ark., since September 2005.
- Was a member of Precision Title Services, LLC in Paragould, Ark., from December 2004 to July 2006.
- Served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from January 2003 to January 2009.
- Owned Solon, Inc. in Jonesboro, Ark., from January 2003 to May 2004.
- Was a member/owner of Halsey- Thyer Real Estate Investments, LLC in Jonesboro, Ark., from October 2002 to May 2008.
- Was a partner/owner of Mooney Law Firm, P.A. in Jonesboro, Ark., from June 1997 to October 2005.
- Was an adjunct teacher at the Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark. during the fall of 1996.
- Owned Christopher R. Thyer, P.A. in Jonesboro, Ark. from August 1995 to June 1997.
- Clerked for Ball & Mourton, PLLC in Fayetteville, Ark., during the summer and fall of 1994.
- Clerked for Womack, Landis, Phelps, McNeill & McDaniel (now Womack, Landis, Phelps & McNeill) in Jonesboro, Ark., during the summer of 1993.
- Has handled an estimated 300 non-settled trials to conclusion.
Click here for his full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.
UPDATE: On his Senate Judiciary financial disclosure Thyer reported $1.4 million in assets, mostly from real estate, and liabilities of $782,800, for a net worth of $613,800. His $1.14 million in real estate holdings include his personal residence, a condo, a strip mall and his law office. He has mortgages for all of the properties. Oh his Office of Government Ethics disclosure he reported his income distribution from his law firm for 2009 and most of 2010 was $272,804. He also earned $6,631 during that time period from his ownership of a strip mall.
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Former interim U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, now a Republican candidate for Congress in central Arkansas, told the Associated Press that he respects the Justice Department’s decision not to file charges in connection with the Bush administration’s firing of U.S. Attorneys.
Justice Department officials said Wednesday that Assistant U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy has concluded that no criminal charges are warranted in connection with the 2006 dismissals.
“There were a lot of political games being played and I think it could have been handled much better,” Griffin said in an interview with the AP. “I’m talking about jobs and spending and all of the things Arkansans I talk with are interested in. If other people want to talk about it, that’s fine. That’s their right… As far as this story goes, I think it speaks for itself.”
Griffin had replaced former U.S. Attorney for Eastern Arkansas Bud Cummins, who was forced out by the Bush administration. At the time of his appointment, Griffin was an aide to Karl Rove.
Sarah Palin had singled out Griffin as one of the “good candidates” running in Arkansas this year.
The probe did not focused on Griffin’s hiring, instead centering on the firing of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. Dannehy also was tasked with determining whether White House or DOJ officials made false statements to Congress or to the Justice Department’s Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, which also investigated the dismissals.
Four former U.S. Attorneys became the Republican party nominees for their respective bids for Congress and the governor’s race while one ex-prosecutor fell short in her congressional bid.
In Arkansas, former Eastern District U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin earned 62 percent of the vote while restaurant owner Scott Wallace won 38 percent, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State. Griffin, a former Bush administration official who was a key figure in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firings scandal, will face state Sen. Joyce Elliott, who won the Democratic primary Tuesday, in the November general election. They are seeking to replace Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder in Arkansas’ 2nd District. Snyder dropped his re-election bid in January, citing family concerns.
Three former U.S. Attorneys in Pennsylvania won primaries on Tuesday, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
Tom Corbett, who was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania by President George H.W. Bush in 1989 and served until 1993, earned 69 percent of the vote against state Rep. Sam Rohrer, who garnered won 31 percent. Corbett will face Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato, the Democratic primary winner, in the general election to replace current Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who is term limited.
Pat Meehan, who led the Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office from 2001 to 2008, was unopposed in the Republican primary. He will face state Rep. Bryan Lentz who also ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Both candidates are hoping to replace Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak, who successfully challenged Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
Tom Marino, the former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania from 2002 to October 2007, also won a Republican primary Tuesday with 41 percent of the vote. Chiropractor and 2006 state Senate candidate David Madeira garnered 31 of the vote while Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk received 28 percent. Marino will face incumbent Rep. Chris Carney (D), who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
One former U.S. Attorney lost her primary bid Tuesday. Mary Beth Buchanan, who served as the Western District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney from 2001 until November 2009, earned 33 percent of the vote, but former Department of Homeland Security official Keith Rothfus won 67 percent. Rothfus will face incumbent Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
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Tim Griffin (R) is getting a lot of help from his former colleagues in the Bush White House, giving him a fundraising edge in his bid for Congress. Griffin, a former Bush administration official who was a key figure in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firings scandal, is one of seven candidates seeking to replace Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder in Arkansas’ 2nd District. Snyder dropped his re-election bid in January, citing family concerns.
Griffin, a former assistant to Bush White House adviser Karl Rove , was installed as the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock in December 2006 under a controversial provision of the Patriot Act that circumvented Senate confirmation. It later emerged in congressional testimony that Griffin’s predecessor, Bud Cummins, had been ousted in an apparent move to make way for Griffin. Griffin stepped down as U.S. Attorney in June 2007.
In the first quarter of 2010, Griffin raised more than $184,000, ending the quarter with $404,000 cash on hand. Griffin receive dozens of donations from Republican operatives who worked in the Bush administration or on one of President Bush’s campaigns. Griffin’s lone primary opponent is restaurant owner Scott Wallace. In the first quarter of 2010, Wallace raised nearly $25,000 and ended the quarter with about $16,000 in cash on hand.
On the other side of the political aisle, five Democrats have filed paperwork to seek the nomination for the open seat. The Democrats got a later start on fundraising, as none announced until after Snyder dropped out.
In the first quarter of 2010, Snyder’s former chief of staff David Boling raised nearly $160,000, ending the quarter with about $210,000 in cash on hand. He has loaned his campaign $100,000. In the first quarter of 2010, attorney John Adams raised about $53,000 and ended the quarter with about $35,000 in cash on hand. In the first quarter of 2010, state Sen. Joyce Elliot raised just over $123,000, ending the quarter with about $99,000 in cash on hand. In the first quarter of 2010, state House Speaker Robbie Wills raised more than $327,000 and ended the quarter with $221,000 in cash on hand. University of Arkansas official Patrick Kennedy has yet to file an April quarterly report.
Among Griffin’s donors are:
- Dena Battle, the director of tax policy at the National Association of Manufacturer and former legislative director for Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) — $500
- Richard Bearden, partner of Impact Management Group and was appointed by Bush to serve as a commissioner on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and a presidential appointee to the President’s Commission on White House Fellows — $250
- Glynda Becker, a lobbyist at McBee Strategic Consulting who served as associate political director in the White House Office of Political Affairs for two and one half years during the Bush administration— $250
- Kevin Binger, senior vice president of The Rhoads Group and former staff director of the House Government Reform Committee and former chief of staff and communications director to Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) — $250
- Donald Bollinger, chairman, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards and a personal friend of Bush’s — $1,000
- Jason Braswell, an attorney at the Defense Department — $500
- Alex Castellanos, a top media adviser to Bush’s 2004 campaign — $1,000
- Barbara Comstock, a partner at Corallo Comstock who worked in the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs under Attorney General John Ashcroft — $500
- Kevin Crass, a partner at Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP who has served as personal counsel to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) since 1997 — $250
- Ed Gillespie, longtime Republican strategist and former counselor to Bush —$2,400
- Curt Green, founder of Curt Green & Company Commercial Real Estate and Construction and was a Small Business State Chair for Bush’s 2004 campaign — $100
- William Griffin, a partner at Sulgrave Partners who served in senior communications roles at the Treasury Department, three presidential campaigns and as a spokesman at the White House — $500
- Jonathan Gross, a judge advocate with the U.S. Army — $250
- Prissy Hickerson, a candidate for the Arkansas House who chaired the Arkansas Highway Commission under Huckabee — $250
- John Horne, worked with both Bush administrations — $250
- Justin Hunter, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs at Healthsouth Corp who previously worked for former Rep. Ed Bryant (R-Tenn.) — $500
- William Asa Hutchinson III, an associate solicitor in the Patent and Trademark Office and an attorney for the Commerce Department during the Bush administration. He is the son of Asa Hutchinson, a former House member from northwest Arkansas who served at the Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration. Asa Hutchinson is also a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas — $500
- Scott Jeffcoat, an attorney with the U.S. Army — $250
- Robin King, an executive management consultant with CAE who headed HHS Medicare external affairs and served as industry trade adviser to the Commerce Department during the Bush administration — $500
- Dennis Kirk, an attorney with the U.S. Army — $252
- Marc Lampkin, deputy campaign manager of Bush’s 2004 campaign, a senior Bush-Cheney political operative at the 2000 Republican Convention,and leader of the Florida recount efforts in 2000 — $2,300
- Robert Livingston, a partner at the Livingston Group who is a former congressman and Assistant U.S. Attorney — $550
- Garry Malphrus, a board member and administrative judge with the Board of Immigration Appeals who was controvertial appointed by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales — $250
- J. Allen Martin, a partner at the Livingston Group who previously was chief of staff to Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) — $500
- John Mastranadi, the director of Citizens United who ran the research shop at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2002 cycle and worked on the House Government Reform Committee in the late 1990s when it was chaired by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and launched many investigations into the Clinton administration — $250
- Charles Mazander, owner of Mazander Engineering and treasurer of the Republican Party of Arkansas — $1,000
- Matthew McDonald, a consultant at McKinsey & Company who was a senior adviser on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, associate director of communications in the Bush White House and director of rapid response in Bush’s 2004 campaign — $250
- Edward McFadden, the director of corporate new media strategy at Verizon Communications who was an adviser/speechwriter for Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), a senior adviser on Thompson’s presidential campaign and a special assistant/chief speechwriter to Attorney General John Ashcroft — $1,000
- David Norcross, a partner at Blank Rome LLP who was the chairman of the Republican National Convention’s Committee on Arrangements for the 2004 Republican Convention — $1,000
- Holland Patterson, vice president of government affairs at McBee Strategic Consulting who was the White House liaison in the Office of the Defense Secretary during the Bush administration and deputy regional political director for the Republican National Committee in 2004 — $1,000
- Clint Reed, a partner at Impact Management Group who previously was the executive director of the Arkansas Republican Party and worked for the RNC — $250
- Barry Rhoads, the CEO of The Rhoads Group who previously was tax prosecutor at DOJ — $450
- Robin Roberts, co-founder and president of National Media — $250
- Burson Snyder, Deputy Chief of Staff to Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) who previously worked for Thompson —$500
- Greg Strimple, previously was the deputy political director of the NRSC —$250
- Sara Taylor, a partner at Bluefront Group who was the director of the White House Office of Political Affairs and deputy assistant to Bush — $500
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Tim Griffin, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, will be one of two candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the House race for Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District. Monday marked the deadline for major party candidates to file with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The other Republican in the race is restaurant owner Scott Wallace.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats were left scrambling to find a candidate after Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) announced in January that he would not seek re-election. Snyder’s decision came hours after a poll showed Griffin leading Snyder by double digits.
Five Democrats filed paperwork to seek the nomination for the open seat — Snyder’s former chief of staff David Boling, attorney John Adams, state Sen. Joyce Elliot, University of Arkansas official Patrick Kennedy and state House Speaker Robbie Wills.
Both primaries will take place May 18.
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Seems Karl Griffin is not to be.
While the two were in the White House when George W. Bush was president, Tim Griffin, then an aide to Bush adviser Karl Rove, jokingly wrote in an e-mail to his boss: “Btw my wife is pregnant. We are thinking about naming him Karl. Lol.”
But the baby turned out to be a girl. Griffin and his wife Elizabeth named her Mary Katherine. (Possible alternative namesakes? — Mary Cheney, the second daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney; Republican strategist Mary Matalin; or Bush administration Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.)
Cut to 2010 and now the couple is expecting again. This time they know for sure it’s a boy. But it looks like Rove’s name won’t live on in the Griffin family.
“Thank you to all who have been asking, but Baby John is not here yet! I will keep you updated! We appreciate your thoughts and prayers,” Griffin tweeted Friday evening.
So which “John” in Griffin’s life could be more important than Karl Rove?
We at Main Justice have a few guesses — John Ashcroft? John McCain? John Roberts?
Griffin played a central role in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firings scandal. Congressional investigators found the White House had ousted Little Rock-based prosecutor Bud Cummins to make way for Griffin to take the plum federal prosecuting post. He served six controversial months before stepping down.
Griffin is now seeking the Republican nomination for Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district House seat. His campaign did not return a request for comment.
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Republican Tim Griffin (R) is not only the clear frontrunner in his bid for Congress in public opinion polls but also in fundraising. Griffin, a former Bush administration official who was a key figure in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firings scandal, is one of four candidates seeking to replace Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder in Arkansas’ 2nd District. Snyder dropped his re-election bid earlier this month citing family concerns.
Griffin, who was a former assistant to Karl Rove in the White House under George W. Bush, was installed as the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock in December 2006 under a controversial provision of the Patriot Act that circumvented Senate confirmation. It later emerged in congressional testimony that Griffin’s predecessor, Bud Cummins, had been ousted in an apparent move to make way for Griffin. Griffin stepped down as U.S. Attorney in June 2007.
In the fourth quarter of 2009, Griffin raised $261,457.58 and ended the year with $316,535.42 cash on hand. As was the case earlier in his fund-raising effort, a number of Griffin’s donations came from Republican operatives who worked in the Bush administration or on one of President Bush’s campaigns.
Among Griffin’s donors are Alex Castellanos, a top media adviser to Bush’s 2004 campaign; Benjamin Ginsberg, a partner at Patton Boggs who was national counsel on both of Bush’s campaigns, Kenneth B. Mehlman, Bush’s campaign manager in 2004 and former chairman of the Republican National Committee; and Sara Taylor, who was the director of the White House Office of Political Affairs and deputy assistant to Bush. Taylor, who reported directly to Rove, also was involved in the 2006 dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys.
The one other Republican in the race — restaurant owner Scott Wallace — fell far behind Griffin in the fundraising race at the end of the fourth quarter. Health care project manager David Meeks earlier this week ended his bid for the Republican nomination. Other Republican candidates could emerge. CQPolitics rates the race as “leans Republican.”
Although Snyder didn’t drop out of the race until after the quarter was over, it appears he didn’t do any fundraising in the last quarter of 2009. During the quarter he raised $281.80 and ended the year with $4,182.01 cash on hand. Snyder historically had not been an aggressive fund-raiser early in the two-year election cycle.
The two Democrats now in the race — state Sen. Joyce Elliott and state House Speaker Robbie Wills — did not enter the race until the end of the fourth quarter fundraising period.
Several other Democrats have been mentioned as possible candidates, including Snyder’s chief of staff David Boling, former state Rep. Will Bond, state Sen. Shane Broadway, 2004 presidential candidate Wesley Clark, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays, state Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Johnson, state Sen. Mary Anne Salmon, state Senate Majority Leader Tracy Steele, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and state Public Service Commissioner Paul Suskie.
The filing deadline for party candidates is March 8. Both the Republican and Democratic primaries will take place May 18. If needed, a run-off will take place on June 8.
Among Griffin’s donors are:
- Bryant Forrest Adams, a Republican political consultant and Griffin’s campaign manager — $250
- Edwin Alderson, Jr., a former Union County Municipal Judge and a former Special Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court — $1,400
- Jerald Barnett, chairman of Education America, Inc. — $2,400
- Charles Basinger, an associate with Alston & Bird who previously served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, in Baghdad and Mosul, Iraq, as well as Anchorage, Alaska — $25
- Dominic C. Bellone, a Resident Program Director Governance-Iraq, International Republican Institute and a former producer at Hardball with Chris Matthews — $500
- Elliot Berke, a former Capitol Hill staffer who once was counsel to the Speaker of the House and served as general counsel to the House Majority Leader — $500
- Dan Blum, a research and communications consultant who previously was a senior research analyst at the Republican National Committee and a policy analyst at the Senate Republican Conference — $250
- Tyler Boyd, a senior associate at Kearsarge Global Advisors who worked in the White House with former Vice President Richard Cheney and Republican political strategist Mary Matalin —$333.34
- Sally Bradshaw, a Republican political consultant who has worked on the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and President George H.W. Bush, worked as then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) chief of staff and campaign manager and served as associate director of political affairs in President George H.W. Bush’s White House — $500
- Jason Braswell, an attorney at the Defense Department — $1,000
- Reginald James Brown, a partner at Wilmer Hale who served as special assistant to the president and associate White House Counsel from 2003 to 2005 — $500
- Suzie Browning, an accountant who once was Sen. Fred Thompson’s (R-Tenn.) controller — $250
- Joseph Canizaro, a property developer who was a major Bush supporter and had close personal ties to the White House inner circle — $2,400
- Stephen Carey, a former Hill staffer who served as legislative director for two members of the House Appropriations Committee and as a legislative assistant to the ranking member of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee — $500
- Alex Castellanos, a top media adviser to Bush’s 2004 campaign — $250
- Barbara Comstock, a partner at Corallo Comstock who worked in the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs under Attorney General John Ashcroft — $250
- Mike Davis, was an Assistant Energy Secretary for Conservation and Renewable Energy under President George H.W. Bush — $800
- Makan Delrahim, an attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP who was Deputy Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s antitrust division under Bush, also served as a member of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Intellectual Property — $250
- Ray C. Dillon, president, CEO and director of Deltic Timber Corporation — $2,000
- Liam Donovan, a principal at Capitol Entertainment Group who also works on a Republican campaign committee — $250
- Kelly Eichler, an attorney who worked in then-Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee’s (R) administration — $1,250
- Benjamin Ginsberg, a partner at Patton Boggs who was national counsel on both of Bush’s campaigns and Romney’s presidential campaign — $500
- William Griffin, a partner at Sulgrave Partners who served in senior communications roles at the Treasury Department, three presidential campaigns and as a spokesman at the White House — $310
- Kris Hammond, a DOJ attorney — $250
- J. French Hill, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary to the Economic Policy Council under President George H.W. Bush — $200
- John S. Irving, Jr., a senior counselor at Holland & Knight who was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for nearly 10 years, also serving as counsel to two Deputy Attorneys General — $1,000
- Jack Kalavritinos, the director of public policy at Covidien, Ltd who previously was the director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, White House Liaison at the Labor Department and associate administrator of competitive sourcing at the Office of Management and Budget — $250
- Dennis Kirk, associate general counsel at the U.S. Army — $252
- Robert Lanford, who previously worked for the Republican Party of Arkansas — $250
- Heather Larrison, deputy director of finance for Bush’s 2001 inauguration — $500
- Danny Lopez-Diaz, Bush’s campaign spokesman in New Mexico — $250
- Mitchell Lowe, an associate at Heidrick and Struggles who was White House Liaison at the Interior Department, Special Assistant to the Administrator at the Federal Highway Administration and Executive Director of Bush’s 2004 campaign in Arkansas — $250
- Milam D. Mabry, a principal at Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP who previously worked on the Hill — $500
- John Maher, a partner at Duane Morris, LLP who previously was the General Counsel for the Office of Personnel Management and was a trial attorney with DOJ in Washington, D.C. — $500
- J. Allen Martin, a partner at the Livingston Group who previously was chief of staff to Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) — $1,000
- Kenneth B. Mehlman, the managing director and head of Global Public Affairs for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts who was Bush’s campaign manager in 2004 before serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee — $2,400
- Robert Neil Miller, an associate at DLA Piper LLC who is a former staff member of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance — $250
- Wade Murphy, a former special assistant and domestic communications director at U.S. Commercial Service who also was a volunteer coordinator during Bush’s 2004 campaign and an oil and gas policy adviser at the Energy Department — $500
- Robert E. Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy Corporation who was a major Bush donor — $1,000
- Holland Patterson, a vice president at McBee Strategic who previously served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Deputy White House Liaison and was a Deputy Regional Political Director for the Republican National Committee during the 2004 presidential election — $250
- Barry Rhoads, the CEO of The Rhoads Group who previously was tax prosecutor at DOJ — $200
- Job Serebrov, legal consultant at Serebrov Legal Consulting who previously was a senior counselor to the general counsel and senior adviser to the secretary of Agriculture — $2,000
- Rachael Seidenschur Slobodien, the communications manager at the National Taxpayers Union, who previously was a press secretary on the Hill and served as a communications executive assistant at The Heritage Foundation — $300
- Sara Taylor, a partner at Bluefront Group who was the director of the White House Office of Political Affairs and deputy assistant to Bush. — $1,000
- Alexander Vogel, a partner at Mehlman & Vogel Inc. and previously chief counsel to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) — $1,000
- Andrew R. Wheeler, the minority staff director of the Senate Committee on Environmental & Public Works — $500
- Liza Wright, Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel and Director of Presidential Personnel in the Bush White House — $250
- April Elizabeth-Anne Zentmeyer, a staff assistant in the Bush White House — $500
In the last quarter of 2009 Griffin also received contributions from political action committees. The donating PACs include:
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation PAC
Bancorp South Bank PAC
Civic Forum PAC
Conservative Opportunity Leadership And
Continuing A Majority PAC
Electrical Contractors PAC
Every Republican Is Crucial (Ericpac)
Iraq Veterans For Congress PAC
Murphy Oil Corporation PAC
Murray Energy Corporation PAC
National Petrochemical & Refiners Assoc
Occidental Petroleum Corporation PAC
People For Enterprise Trade And Economy
Southern Company Employees PAC
Stephens Inc. Federal PAC
Tesoro Petroleum Corporation PAC
Westmoreland For Congress
The campaign also relieved reimbursement for rent for the campaign office, which is located in Griffin’s law office in Little Rock.
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One of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to replace retiring Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) has dropped out of the race. Health care project manager David Meeks (R) recently announced that instead of seeking the House seat, he will enter the race for Arkansas House District 46. Snyder dropped his re-election bid earlier this month citing family concerns.
Remaining GOP candidates for the 2nd District seat include the apparent front-runner, Tim Griffin, and restaurant owner Scott Wallace. They will face each other in the May 18 primary. CQPolitics lists the race as Republican favored.
Griffin is a former Bush administration official who was a central figure in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Griffin, who was a former assistant to Karl Rove in the George W. Bush White House, was installed as the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock in December 2006 under a controversial provision of the Patriot Act that circumvented Senate confirmation. It later emerged in congressional testimony that Griffin’s predecessor, Bud Cummins, had been ousted in an apparent move to make way for Griffin. Griffin stepped down as U.S. Attorney in June 2007.
Griffin released the following statement regarding Meeks’s withdrawal from the race:
“I salute David Meeks for his positive campaign and desire to elect a representative with common sense conservative values to Congress. I am pleased that David will continue to speak out on issues important to Arkansans as he runs for the state House of Representatives. I wish him the best and look forward to supporting him in his run for District 46.
Following Snyder’s withdrawal from the race, two Democrats — state Sen. Joyce Elliott and state House Speaker Robbie Wills — entered the race.
A number of other Democrats have been mentioned as possible candidates, including Snyder’s chief of staff David Boling, former state Rep. Will Bond, state Sen. Shane Broadway, 2004 presidential candidate Wesley Clark, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays, state Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Johnson, state Sen. Mary Anne Salmon, state Senate Majority Leader Tracy Steele, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and state Public Service Commissioner Paul Suskie.
The filing deadline for party candidates is March 8.
Both the Republican and Democratic primaries will take place May 18. If no candidate receives more than 50 perdent of the votes, a run-off will take place on June 8.
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A George W. Bush U.S. Attorney from Arkansas is a potential candidate to succeed Rep. John Boozman (R-Ark.) if the House member decides to run for Senate.
Republican Bob Balfe, who served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas from 2004 to 2008, told Main Justice that he is considering a possible run for the seat in northwest Arkansas that Boozman has held for five terms.
“I have received several calls encouraging me to consider making a run and we are strongly looking into it,” said Balfe, who is a lawyer at the Mitchell Williams law firm at its Rogers, Ark., office. Read his bio here.
Talk Business first reported that Balfe was one of several possible Republican contenders for the seat. Boozman has been making calls to Arkansas Republicans to gauge support for making a late entry into the GOP primary race for the right to challenge Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) this fall.
In central Arkansas, former Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, who also served under Bush, is running for the House. Griffin, a Republican, is a frontrunner in the race to succeed Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.), who isn’t running for reelection. State Sen. Gilbert Baker (R) is also being mentioned as a Republican candidate for the Little Rock-based seat.
Democrats face strong political headwinds in this fall’s midterm elections. Polls show unhappiness over proposed health care reforms, and GOP candidates won last year in governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey. On Tuesday, Republican Scott Brown won a special election for the Massachusetts Senate seat left open by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D).
This post has been updated from an earlier version.