March 17, 2006 08:29 AM
"The Ashcroft Group": Suckier Than the Blue Man Group?
Aww, come on. We've spent weeks now explaining that we actually like lobbyists, and we're trying to get everyone else to see that they're totally fun to hang out with, and often charming and lovely.
And we woulda gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for John Ashcroft. Mr. Ashcroft comes across as the slimiest, most opportunistic, and greedy sonuvabitch you ever laid eyes on in his utterly non-charming and decidedly unlovely profile in today's Times.
So after having a salary that topped out at $175,700 as attorney general, Mr. Ashcroft is running his firm and hitting the speakers' circuit, speaking nearly once a week for a $75,000 fee. In addition, Mr. Ashcroft has been given equity stakes in private companies that have hired him, betting on a future gain should they go public. The firm did not disclose the companies.
Mr. Ashcroft declined to identify his other clients except to say, "It's not Billy Bob's car wash in Peoria."
"I've been stunned at how good people have been to me," he said. "And that kindness has been reflected in business opportunities. It's been gratifying, and I'm earning significant multiples of what I've ever earned before."
Oh, we're thrilled for you. Really, we are.
We're adding you to the swift-punch-in-the-mug list.