Ambassador to Netherlands: Who Is Timothy Broas?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The presidential practice of handing out plum ambassador assignments to major political donors who have few or none of the qualifications to serve in such posts is alive and well in the Obama administration, just as it was in that of George W. Bush and every other modern U.S. president. Thus on April 26, President Barack Obama nominated attorney and super-bundler Timothy J. Broas to be the next ambassador to the Netherlands. Broas has raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts as a bundler, meaning that he raised the money from friends, family, or business associates, and for Obama’s 2008 campaign, Broas bundled between $200,000 and $500,000. Obama has nominated about two dozen bundlers to ambassadorships.

Tim Broas was one of the nine children born to Anita and William Broas, who was a marketing executive for the Warner Lambert pharmaceutical company. Born circa 1954, Broas graduated from Delbarton prep school in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1972, earned an AB in Economics and History at Boston College in 1976 and a JD from the College of William and Mary in 1979. From 1979 to 1980, Broas served as a law clerk for Justice Mark Sullivan of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Broas started his private practice career as an associate at two New York City law firms: Conboy, Hewitt, O’Brien & Boardman from 1980 to 1983 and Whitman & Ransom from 1983 to 1985. Relocating to Washington, DC, Broas was a partner at Anderson, Hibey & Blair from 1986 to 1995, when he joined the DC office of the Chicago-based law firm of Winston & Strawn, where he has specialized in white-collar criminal defense ever since. Clients Broas considers representative of his roster include UBS Securities, LLC; Legg Mason; Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Alstom Holdings; Ingersoll-Rand, Ltd.; and Papa John’s International, Inc. He also represented the left-leaning group Citizen Action until it was shut down because of its involvement in funding a Teamsters election campaign, and Neil Volz, chief of staff to Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), during the unfolding of the Jack Abramoff scandal in 2005-2006.
In 2005, Broas was appointed to the Board of Visitors of Mount Vernon by Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and was reappointed in 2009 by Governor Tim Kaine; both are Democrats. He was appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (also a Democrat) to the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2011. In 2010, President Obama appointed Broas to the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a nonpartisan think tank created by Congress in 1968.
Broas has personally donated more than $230,000 to federal candidates, parties, and political committees since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, but only two Republicans have benefited: Bob Dole in 1996, to whom Broas donated $500; and George W. Bush in 2004, who received $2,000 even as Broas donated $3,500 to Democratic nominee John Kerry and $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee.
According to records released by the Obama administration, Broas has visited the White House 39 times since 2009, including eight visits with the president and five West Wing meetings with Pete Rouse, a top adviser who served as Obama’s chief of staff and is now the president’s counselor.
Timothy Broas is married to fellow attorney Julie Broas, who practiced labor law for two decades at the Washington, DC, office of the Jones, Day law firm and now works at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless as the Jones Day Senior Fellow.
-Matt Bewig
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