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v v CHAPTER 30 Grand Duke A djusting to life after Congress was not easy. I was barred from lobbying for one year. I called the president and ask him if there were any positions available within the Department of Agriculture, where I could work for one year until I was able to lobby. He appointed me as an undersecretary of US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Dan Glickman was appointed as the secretary of agriculture. Dan and I had become friends after serving together for six years on the Agriculture Committee. When my year was over, I resigned from the USDA and started my own lobby firm, Advantage Associates. My first client was St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston, Texas, the very hospital where I had received care when I was a young boy with polio. Over the years, Advantage Associates became Advantage Associates International, and we represented a wide range of clients, including foreign governments, health care and business associations, clients contracting with the Department of Defense, and many others. I found lobby work very rewarding, and it enabled me to maintain my political connections. v I received a call from Wesley Masters’s son, Wes Jr., who told me that his dad needed me. I had not seen or heard from Wesley in years. Wes Jr. told me his father was dying of cancer in a prison in Switzerland. I was astounded. Wesley Masters was one of the most honest people I had ever Grand Duke • 301 known. Wes Jr. brought me up to speed. Apparently, Wesley had been in Switzerland and, while at dinner, overheard a conversation between two men who were discussing anhydrous ammonia plants. He introduced himself to them and explained his business. Ultimately the three had formed a partnership to build ammonia plants in Europe. Wesley was to design the plants, while the other two would raise the money. After they had raised several million dollars from investors and banks, one of the men took off with the money. Wesley and the other partner were sent to prison. He had been in the Swiss prison for almost two years, and he was up for his first parole hearing. Wes Jr. told me that only one person could testify on his father’s behalf at the parole hearing in Switzerland. He asked me if I would be willing to testify. I told him I was on my way. I flew to Geneva, Switzerland, and went straight to the courthouse. They put me in a small room and locked the door. I sat there by myself for what seemed like forever. Finally, the door on the other side was opened into the courtroom, and I saw Wesley wrapped in a blanket. As soon as he saw me, he started to cry. My heart sank. A clerk escorted me into the courtroom, and I stood in front of three judges, who all wore white wigs and black robes. No one spoke English. A clerk in a long black robe served as my interpreter. The judges asked questions about my background and how long I had known Wesley. They asked if I thought Mr. Masters was a wealthy man. I responded that he was one of the richest men I knew. They looked surprised. I told them that Mr. Masters was not wealthy in the sense of owning material things; he was wealthy in that he had many friends, was unselfish, and had family who loved him very much. I told them about all the financial support that Wesley had provided over the years to his church, Texas Tech University, and other people in need and that he was one of the most generous people I had ever known. Wesley cried during my entire testimony. I did my best, through the interpreter, to answer their questions. The judges then told me to sit in the courtroom. A minister who spoke English sat down next to me and translated what was being said in the courtroom. After about an hour, the judges recessed and left the chamber. When the judges left, I started to walk toward Wesley, but the clerk stopped me and told me I could not speak to him until after the hearing. 302 • The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch The minister and I went across the street to get something to eat. He told me Wesley had received no medication to treat his cancer and that if Wesley was not released, he would probably die in...


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