Then he simply threatens to cut their funding its

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then he simply threatens to cut their funding. It's complicated, but it's also very simple. Plus, this is Mississippi, Rudd's backyard, and he had more contacts and clout than anyone else. So our boys at the new PAC wined and dined Rudd, and he knew exactly what was happening. He's a simpleton, but he's played the game for so long he's written most of the rules." Platters of shrimp and noodles arrived and were casually ignored. Another round of drinks. "Rudd finally decided that he needed a million bucks for his campaign account, and we agreed to route it through all the dummy corporations and fronts that you guys use to hide it. Congress has made it legal, but it would otherwise be known as bribery. Then Rudd wanted something else. Turns out he's got this slightly retarded grandson who has some weird fixation on elephants. Kid loves elephants. Got pictures all over his walls. Watches wildlife videos. And so on. And what The Senator would really like is one of those first-class, four-star African safaris so he can take his grandson to see a bunch of elephants. No problem. Then he decides that the entire family would enjoy such a trip, so our lobbyists arrange the damned thing. Twenty-eight people, two private jets, fifteen days in the African bush drinking Dom Perignon, eating lobster and steak, and, of course, gawking at a thousand elephants. The bill was close to three hundred grand and he never had a clue it was paid for by me." "A bargain." "An absolute bargain. He buried the EPA and they fled Bowmore. They couldn't touch us. And, as a side benefit, Senator Rudd is now an expert on all issues dealing with Africa. AIDS, genocide, famine, human
141 141 rights abuses-you name it and he's an expert because he spent two weeks in the Kenyan outback watching wild game from the back of a Land Rover." They shared a laugh and made the first advance upon the noodles. "Did you ever contact him when the lawsuits started?" Barry asked. "No. The lawyers took over with a vengeance. I remember one conversation with Gabbard about Rudd, but it was the combined wisdom back then that politics would not mix with the litigation. We were pretty confident. How wrong we were." They ate for a few minutes, but neither seemed thrilled with the food. "Our boy's name is Ron Fisk," Barry said as he handed over a large manila envelope. "Here are the basics. Some photos, a background check, no more than eight pages, at your request." "Fisk?" "That's him." Brianna's mother was in the area, her twice-yearly drop-in, and for such visits Carl insisted that they use the mansion in the Hamptons and leave him alone in the city. Her mother was two years younger than Carl and fancied herself attractive enough to catch his eye. He spent less than an hour a year in her presence, and each time caught himself practically praying that Brianna had a different set of genes. He loathed the woman. The mother of a trophy wife is not automatically a trophy mother-in-law, and she is usually much too enamored with the topic of money. Carl had loathed each of his mothers-in-law. He detested the very notion that he had a mother-in-law in

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