Tony Rodham

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Anthony Dean Rodham
Born 1954 (age 59–60)
Known for Brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton
Spouse(s) Nicole Boxer (divorced)
Megan Madden
Children Zachary (by Nicole)
Fiona and Simon (by Megan)
Parents Hugh E. Rodham (deceased)
Dorothy Howell Rodham (deceased)

Anthony Dean Rodham (born 1954)[1] is an American consultant and businessman who is the youngest brother of former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Early life and education[edit]

Rodham is the third and youngest child of Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, a Chicago textile wholesaler, and Dorothy Howell Rodham. His other sibling is brother Hugh Edwin Rodham.

He attended Iowa Wesleyan College and the University of Arkansas, although he never received a degree from either school.[2]

Various occupations[edit]

Rodham did work for future brother-in-law Bill Clinton's 1974 nomination campaign for Congress.[3] He then worked at a metal equipment company in Texas,[2] did insurance sales in Chicago, acted as a repo man in Chicago (where shots were fired at him in the infamous Cabrini–Green housing project),[4] and worked as a prison guard,[4] before moving to South Florida in 1983. There he shared a condominium with his brother Hugh, and worked as a process server and private detective until 1992.[2] In 1992, during Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign, Rodham began working for the Democratic National Committee, coordinating constituency outreach.[2]

Consultant and controversies[edit]

In 1993, he and his brother Hugh ignited a small controversy when they tried to solicit corporate donations for Clinton's inaugural parties; they dropped the effort after a public outcry.[5]

On May 28, 1994, Rodham married Nicole Boxer, daughter of United States Senator from California Barbara Boxer, in a ceremony at the White House attended by 250 guests;[6] it was the first White House wedding since Tricia Nixon married Edward Cox in 1971.[6] They had one son, Zachary, in 1995[7][8] (who later held a unique distinction in that he was simultaneously the grandson and nephew of sitting U.S. senators), before separating by 2000[9] and then getting a divorce.

By now, Tony Rodham had left his position at the Democratic National Committee[10] and described himself as "a consultant ... [in] all kinds of businesses. I'm a general consultant. I just bring different peoples together. I help them negotiate deals. I solve problems for people."[7] In 1997, Rodham tried to arrange meetings between Paraguayan President Juan Carlos Wasmosy and President Clinton,[10] and also powerful Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and the President.[4] In 1998, he paid a visit to dictatorial Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia.[10] In each of these cases, there was criticism that he was giving an unauthorized impression of White House approval to these foreign figures, or was seeking financial gain for himself.[4][10]

In 1999, Tony and brother Hugh Rodham entered into a $118 million venture to grow and export hazelnuts from the Republic of Georgia.[11] The U.S. State Department and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger became upset, however, when the Rodhams' local business connection in Batumi turned out to be Aslan Abashidze, a major political opponent of Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, then a key U.S. ally in the region.[4][11] Moreover, Tony Rodham flew to Rome to become godfather to Abashidze's grandson.[4] After initial resistance,[4] Berger and the Clintons prevailed upon the Rodham brothers to drop the deal.[11] Tony Rodham would not state what his financial stake in the venture was.[4]

Episodes such as these led Hillary Clinton's White House staff to refer to Tony and Hugh as "the Brothers Rodham",[12] extending the American tradition of troublesome presidential siblings to the brother-in-law category;[4] one senior White House official would be quoted as saying, "You never wanted to hear their name come up in any context other than playing golf."[12]

In March 2001, it was revealed that Tony Rodham had helped gain a March 2000 presidential pardon for Edgar Allen Gregory, Jr. and his wife, Vonna Jo, a Tennessee couple in the carnival business who had been convicted of bank fraud.[13] The pardon was granted over the objections of the U.S. Justice Department.[13] Rodham acknowledged talking to President Clinton about a pardon;[7] he said he received no money for his work, but he did have financial ties to the couple as a consultant.[13] His actions gained much public focus and criticism, as they came on the heels of the general Bill Clinton pardons controversy and his brother Hugh's own involvement in taking money for work done towards pardons.[7] Hillary Clinton, who had strongly criticized Hugh's involvement and requested he return his money, said that Tony Rodham was not paid for his work.[14] The Republican-controlled House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated the matter and concluded that Tony Rodham had in fact been paid.[14] One aspect of the case dragged out into 2007, as Tony Rodham battled a bankruptcy court's order that he repay over $100,000 in loans from the now-deceased Edgar Gregory.[14]

In August 2001, Tony Rodham was involved in an assault episode at the multi-generational Rodham family summer cottage[15][16] at Lake Winola in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania.[17] A man who claimed he saw Rodham having sex with his girlfriend broke into the cottage and assaulted him; Hugh Rodham and the woman restrained the attacker.[17] Both Tony Rodham and the attacker received some injuries.[18] At a hearing on the case in November, 2001, Tony Rodham testified that he might have smoked marijuana with the attacker several hours before the incident.[19] The man subsequently pleaded guilty to trespassing, assault, and making terroristic threats.[16] By 2002, Rodham was in disputes with his former wife over child support payments, with Nicole Boxer saying he had not paid them in six months.[9]

In the summer of 2005, Tony Rodham married Megan Madden of Vienna, Virginia.[20]

As of mid-2007, Tony Rodham was helping Hillary Clinton raise funds in Pennsylvania for her 2008 presidential campaign.[10] By the end of 2007, he was back in the news for owing Nicole Boxer about $158,000 in back alimony, child support, and related payments following a court judgement.[9] In May 2008, he expressed disgust with how the Democratic National Committee was handling the Michigan and Florida primary delegate issue between Clinton and Barack Obama, and said he did not know who he would vote for if his sister were not nominated.[21]

By 2010, Rodham was president and CEO of Gulf Coast Funds Management, a financing firm.[22] Rodham found himself in the news again in 2013 when it was disclosed that Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and President Obama's nominee for United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, was being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General for Mayorkas' role in helping Gulf Coast Funds Management secure approval for participating in the EB-5 visa program for foreign investors.[23] The firm had been granted the go-ahead even though the original application had been denied and an appeal had been rejected.[24] At least one of the visas that Rodham's firm was trying to acquire was for Huawei Technologies, a Chinese telecommunications company sometimes accused of close connections with Chinese intelligence operations.[23] Rodham was also hired by longtime Clintons associate Terry McAuliffe to find foreign investors for his GreenTech Automotive firm.[25] Rodham did not play a large, hands-on role in this effort, however, and a trip to China that he made to recruit investors went sour due to Chinese resentment of various Clinton administration actions including the 1999 U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "First Lady Biography: Hillary Clinton". Accessed via Google cache July 10, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Rodham Family Biography". CNN. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  3. ^ Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History, Simon & Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0-7432-2224-5, pp. 73-74.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Viveca Novak and Jay Branegan, "Are Hillary's brothers driving off course?", CNN.com, November 1, 1999. Accessed July 10, 2007.
  5. ^ Priscilla Painton, "Guess Who's Paying for Dinner", Time, January 25, 1993. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "A Rose Garden Wedding", The New York Times, May 30, 1994. Last accessed March 23, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d "What Was Tony Rodham's Role in Pardons Granted by the President?", Larry King Live, CNN, March 2, 2001. Accessed July 22, 2007.
  8. ^ Frank Bruni, " The 100: A Jury Not of Peers but of Kin, Foe and Talking Head", The New York Times, January 13, 1999. Accessed March 23, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c Gregorian, Dareh (December 20, 2007). "Hill's Brother a Deadbeat". New York Post. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Keelin McDonell, "Oh Brother: The Return of the Rodhams", The New Republic, July 23, 2007. Accessed July 28, 2007.
  11. ^ a b c Jessica Reaves (2002-02-22). "The Rumpled, Ragtag Career of Hugh Rodham". Time. Retrieved 2006-03-26. 
  12. ^ a b Todd S. Purdum, "Siblings Who Often Emerge In an Unflattering Spotlight", The New York Times, February 23, 2001. Accessed July 28, 2007.
  13. ^ a b c Marc Lacey, Don Van Natta, Jr., "Second Clinton In-Law Says He Helped to Obtain Pardon", The New York Times, March 1, 2001. Accessed July 24, 2007.
  14. ^ a b c Michael Kranish, "Pardons reemerge as issue in Clinton run", The Boston Globe, February 28, 2007. Accessed July 24, 2007.
  15. ^ Living History, p. 7.
  16. ^ a b Larry King (2008-03-08). "Sen. Hillary Clinton's girlhood home (sort of)". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  17. ^ a b " An Intruder Assaults A Clinton Relative", The New York Times, August 21, 2001.
  18. ^ "Rodham Brothers In Scuffle", Newsmax.com, August 21, 2001. Accessed July 28, 2007.
  19. ^ "Hillary Clinton's Brother Testifies", The New York Times, November 27, 2001. Accessed July 28, 2007.
  20. ^ Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (2005-10-19). "Marsha and Jack: Any Closer and ... : Surreal Estate". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  21. ^ "Hillary Clinton's brother is one unhappy camper". Los Angeles Times. 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  22. ^ "Our Management Team". Gulf Coast Funds Management. Archived from the original on December 11, 2010. 
  23. ^ a b Isikoff, Michael (July 23, 3013). "Obama nominee faces investigation involving company run by brother of Hillary Clinton". NBC News. Retrieved July 30, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  24. ^ Caldwell, Alicia A. (July 25, 2013). "Homeland Security nominee facing Hill questions". Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Gabriel, Trip (August 10, 2013). "Hopeful's Connections Jolt Bitter Virginia Race". The New York Times. p. A1.