William Edward Franke
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On May 14, 2004, Joe Conason writes in Salon:
- "Franke is well known in Missouri as a longtime Republican Party activist and financier. In 1976, he managed John Danforth's victorious Senate campaign; two years later, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress. He also failed in an attempt to resuscitate the defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat (which was, despite its name, a staunchly Republican newspaper) in 1986. Before the Globe-Democrat finally went under in 1987, Franke had obtained a commitment from the state industrial development authority -- all of whose members were appointed by then Gov. John Ashcroft -- to raise $9 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to keep the paper afloat.
- "Last June, Franke gave the maximum $2,000 to the Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. campaign, and he has since donated an additional $2,000 to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, and $2,000 more to Keep Our Majority, the PAC operated by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert."
According to his corporate biography, Franke "founded Gannon International in 1983."
- "Mr. Franke has extensive experience in business administration, especially in administering companies in their start up and initial stages of operation. Prior to founding Gannon International, Mr. Franke practiced law, concentrating in real estate and finance.
- "Mr. Franke holds a degree in economics from Principia College, a Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law, and has studied at both the London School of Economics and the Washington University School of Business.
- "Mr. Franke has been a member of many civic organizations, especially those concerned with the protection of children, including the State of Missouri's Children's Trust Fund and The Children's Family Resource Center. He has served on the U.S. Department of Energy's Advisory Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Ventures. Mr. Franke has also been actively involved for a number of years with Operation Smile, an international, non-profit organization providing reconstructive surgery for needy children around the world.
- "Mr. Franke served a tour in Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict while a commissioned officer in the United States Navy. He served as Officer-in-Charge of a river patrol boat and Operational and Tactical Commander of a task group which included twelve river patrol boats, multiple aircraft and approximately three hundred ground troops. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. His task group was awarded two Presidential Unit Citations and the Navy's Meritorious Unit citation.
- "In 1970 and 1971, Mr. Franke was stationed at the Naval Communications Command in Washington, D.C. where he served with the Inspector General and as a Congressional Liaison. Twice during this period he was assigned to the State Department as Naval Liaison in special negotiations with the British on an Indian Ocean base. Mr. Franke has also represented the United States with Saudi Arabia's OPEC staff and with Israeli and Egyptian peace treaty negotiating teams."