Tuesday morning the first call before the day had even started was from party chairman Carl Isham. The party had succeeded in purchasing two blocks of time on the three major networks at 2000; the beginning of prime time. Each was on Monday evening so one would air the evening before most states opened early voting and the other eve of the general election.
General Ingram was the next in with updates on the troop withdraw and the fleet exercise in the South China Sea. North Korea had suddenly gone quiet and patrol boats that had been acting like a bunch of busy bees disappeared back to their ports.
Secretary of State Dean was in next. We had a two hour discussion on Iran and the election of delegates to modify and approve the proposed constitution. The election had gone well with almost no problems. Most of the problems were from confusion and an attempt to do things the old way.
The Army demolition unit was still destroying weapons and explosives collected from the population and former military sites. So far there had been no mishaps. Citizens were still turning in weapons and pointing out former military storage sites.
I was added to a conference call with Andy, Vicky, Ching Lee and Jenny. The discussion was about hiring more people for the security department. Black and Bear were working on more contracts for southern Africa and we were still short for Cameroon and Nigeria.
”If we are short people then hiring is a no brainer, but don’t forget that in eighty days you are going to get the thousand back from the Iran contract,” I said.
”These numbers we need are assuming the men in Iran are going back to their assigned work areas in eighty days,” Vicky replied.
“Work up a poster and I will see it gets posted at the military bases, recreation areas, on bulletin boards and to the teams doing departure interviews. That about all I can do at this time,” I said.
”That’s all we can ask. We didn’t know if that avenue was still open to us or not,” Vicky said.
”Everything is supposed to ready at 1900 for you to make the TV commercials at the campaign center tonight. Carl has several scripts that look good. They are going to shoot some fifteen and thirty second ads as well,” Jenny said.
”I’ll be there on time, see you then,” I said as I closed out of the conversation.
At noon media sites were going crazy and the Finney campaign was playing defense and cover-up. Finney was suddenly unavailable for his daily press briefing, promo breaks or anything.
His media person refused to answer any questions. The police departments that had covered up the incidents were being hounded by reporters for statements. The police officers that made the stops and arrests were being hounded by reporters for statements. Freedom of information request papers were flying in every direction.
The diehard liberal stations were already claiming the data bogus, possibly fabricated and unreliable; some even reporting it came from abroad.
Russia was always an easy target but then Britain’s MI 5 was gaining reputation for dirty tricks as were Romania, North Korea, China and the Czech Republic.
The Justice Department was being called upon to investigate its source and authenticity. Liberal Senators and Representatives were calling for an immediate Congressional investigation.
With Congress on recess in a few days, nothing would be done before the election. The freedom of information requests could take months, depending how hard the individual agencies wanted to fight them.
At 1800 I was walking through the door to the campaign headquarters – greeting people – as I made my way to the rear of the building where I knew the recording studio was.
Carl Isham, Paul Ryder and a dozen more were waiting with my mates. We had a good laugh about Albert Finney’s problems today. He did offer a half assed apology last night, obviously not serious. That didn’t matter now – he was between a rock and a hard place while looking for a cave to hide in.
With the liberal mentality that they could do no wrong, I figured his woes would last a week before his liberal media backers would have done everything to squash it and change the direction of the public’s focus.
I read all the scripts several times then read them out loud. Two makeup ladies worked their magic. There were also three changes of clothes to see what the camera liked best. When everyone was satisfied, I stood on the X taped to the floor.
Behind me was the black draped wall with the flag of the President and the United States. There were lighting people and several different camera men for camera angles.
What I was to say was projected on large screen ahead of me; an oversize teleprompter. I did each of the long speeches four times – they were for the five minute national ad buys for the two Monday nights. I changed clothes three times and repeated the speeches.
While the professionals reviewed all the videos and edited them, I worked on ads for the fifteen Senate races I wanted to keep. I was going to campaign with each of them at least once over the next two weeks.
After that there were voice recordings made endorsing conservatives running for House seats, especially those races that were going to be close. I was going to do hundreds of them or as many as I had time.
The old standby was brought in for a quick supper. There was pizza from almost every pizza shop in the area for everyone in the building. Pizza must be some kind brain food; it was always the go-to food when things were complicated or rushed.
Many of the scripts were the same, just a name change and sometimes adding a precinct or district. Cue cards had already been filled out to speed things up. I was doing one every forty five seconds with multiple devices recording.
I was finished at midnight and called for a quick meeting with my mates, Carl and Paul. I wanted to know from Carl the financial situation – how we were doing on contributions – would the party have enough funds for a final media push in the final week?
I was glad to hear contributions were up considerably, but. There was always that word – but. For the next twenty minutes Jenny laid out how the Super PAC was going to help the fifteen Senate candidates and many of those running for the house spots.
The Senate candidates were in a tough spot. Even though some big spending liberals had died, the liberal candidates still had plenty of money. With decisions made I flew back to Washington. One of those decisions was more polling on the Senate candidates and assigning someone to help them and improve the numbers.
The Generals were in early with updates. Another ten thousand troops were going to be coming home from Iran starting today. The rest of the National Guard was also coming home. It would be a slower pace for them because they had to pack up equipment to bring with them.
The investigation into the New York mess was in its third week of work. The debris from the Soweto was being hauled away to a landfill where authorities could go through it with rakes, picks and shovels and could fill cases of evidence bags.
They had learned a lot from the twin towers collapse. It went slow at the beginning but moved a lot faster at the end. New York started out using the faster method this time.
Eric Roberson – Director of Homeland Security – was at the door.
”We have problem with the Bloomfield building. NYFD is refusing to enter the building to search it for bodies. The building is swaying, moving way more than normal in even a light wind.”
”Engineers are wanting to clear all the debris from the Soweto building and blow the pillars to cause the Bloomfield building to fall into the vacant lot that once held the Soweto building,” Eric added.
”That sounds like a reasonable plan to me. I guess the mathematics have been double checked to make sure the Bloomfield building will fit in the lot under those conditions. What about the explosion of debris to the adjacent buildings on both sides of the streets?” I asked.
”What kind containment plan had been developed for that?” I added.
”They are going to plywood the fronts of all the buildings sixteen feet high. In front of that they are going to hang heavy duty blast curtains one hundred feet high off crane booms held by cables.”
”At the time of the demolition the fire department is going to flood the lot and the falling debris with water from dozens of ladder and tower trucks to keep the deadly dust down,” Eric said.
”All that sounds reasonable, so what is the problem?” I asked.
”They want to know if the military will use helicopters and blast the pillars next to the Soweto property to make it collapse that way?” Eric said.
”There is no guarantee for sure what way it will fall unless they attach cables to winches to put tension on it. I can’t see the military wanting the liability unless they do something to increase the chances of success besides potluck,” I said.
”What about a demo company to put it on the ground?” I said.
”Four of the biggest have been to look at it and want nothing to do with it,” Eric replied.
”I’ll call them up and tell them to do more engineering. But you would authorize Army helicopters to blow the pillars?” Eric asked.
”I’m sure the General will want the Army to do an assessment of their own. If they are satisfied I will approve it,” I said.
Using military equipment and missiles in a civilian setting carried all kinds of risk. But – there was that word again – but a quarter of Wall Street was shut down from the explosions.
The Bloomfield building was sitting there teetering on the edge. It would eventually come down on its own but when? A week, a month, six months and in what direction would it fall? It needed to come down on New York’s schedule and place of choosing and soon.
A quarter of Wall Street was shut down, seven city blocks out of the middle of it. Seven city blocks with heavy damage and depending on the Bloomfield building, how soon they could be repaired? Buildings in twenty blocks had damage.
Wednesday morning was the last day before the congressional break and Congress was deadlocked on two bills that needed to be passed. Important people that should have been on the floor were packing up. Vice President Harrison was in the Senate chambers instead of campaigning.
At 1500 I closed my desk and rode to Andrews to start four and a half days of campaigning. This trip was a mix of must win states and campaigning for the Senate seats I wanted to add on my side. Some of these states I had been to already as many as three times and would repeat several more times before Election Day.
It was Sunday night before I got together with my mates. Air Force One landed at Morton Field at 0000. My mates were waiting for me. We made up for time apart behind closed doors; I was spending Monday at home to be with my family and boys.
We were late getting to the kitchen for breakfast. We six girls in the big shower turned into too much fun. When I dressed, I need to wear a turtle neck to hide the evidence of too much fun last night and this morning. It had been too long and our bodies and souls needed that kind of rush.
Today was going to be a mix of Presidential, JBG and campaign things – in that order. I spent the morning on MTAC to first the Generals, then to Dick James of the State Department and finally to my staff at the White House.
I had lunch with the girls and boys. After that there were a couple hours of JBG business I was caught up on.
Lorrie now had eighteen full service truck stops open for business with eight more to be open by the New Year. It was now a separate division with a VP reporting to Lorrie. Lorrie had four thousand rental houses on the Gulf Coast and East Coast. The two islands in the Caribbean, the French Alps ski resort and two ski resorts in the Rockies were under a VP reporting to Lorrie.
Jones Aviation – including the fuel farms and the fuel terminal on the bay – was under a VP reporting to Lorrie. Jones Aviation now had – with the latest acquisitions – twenty five C5 M models, thirty 747s; twenty as water tankers for forest fire fighting under contract to the US Forest service, five in passenger configuration and five in freighter configuration. JBG Aviation had ten C130s; two C130 L models and two C130J models.
JBG Aviation had four hundred Black Hawk helicopters with three hundred eighty other helicopters – mostly Bell 406 – leased to the State Department. There were fifty Gulfstream G5, G550s, and G650 long range in the fleet.
There were fifty Air Tractor turboprop ground support planes in the security department in Mexico, Central America, South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon.
There were also three Boeing business jets under multiple short term leases and two Bombardier 200 commercial propeller planes under contract doing daily commuter flights. There was a third 200 for backup. There were many more inspections required on commuter aircraft. There were another fifty smaller prop and jet planes used on lease, training or rentals.
The security department was split a couple different ways. The college security was five thousand strong and answered to a VP who reported to Ching Lee and also included other security projects. Those projects were VIPs who we furnished bodyguards for, mall security, convention and stadium security. The Polokwane operation reported to Ching Lee with its security group reporting to Andy. The PR department and all advertising reported to Ching Lee.
The embassy security group reported to a VP who answered to Vicky, Andy and Robert. The political needs went to Vicky and security to Andy with the intelligence gathering to Robert. All intelligence from all gathering sites went to Roberts’s group. Each embassy security team had at least three intelligence officers who monitored classified things twenty four hours a day.
The Pact country security arrangement was heavy on intelligence gathering as were the OPEC contract sites. Many sites often had a CIA person or persons working with them. The CIA paid JBG handsomely for the privilege; in many cases the CIA carried only the JBG IDs.
The Mexican security, the security zone leaders, the Pact countries leaders reported to Andy.
The four training sites – Fort Smith, Polokwane, Fort Adams and Fort Dean – reported to Andy thorough a commander at each.
Human relations, legal and training – both for security and other needs – reported to Jason and Jenny through vice presidents. Human relations did all hiring, firing, benefits. The legal department covered all legal needs plus Curtis Warren’s law firm was on payroll when needed and for international needs.
Marcy was President and Chief Financial Officer since I had become active in the Task Force. MAAR – thru several vice presidents – reported to Marcy as well as did all the accounting.
MAAR owned three hundred thousand automobiles and other equipment. Fifty thousand were leased to five utilities including bucket, line trucks, bulldozers and everything that moved on tracks or wheels. Another two thousand were leased to the US government and other governments. These were armored Suburbans at two hundred thousand each and the ones to the US government had to be replaced with new ones every five years.
Ones that came out of service were rehabbed and used for our security divisions. Those that had reached end of life were cut up for scrap in back lots or used for training. No armored Suburbans were sold to the general public.
In the accounting division was the tax section; it was responsible for all things taxed worldwide – taxes we paid to states, property taxes to foreign governments, payroll taxes to federal and state – everything. We had hired dozens of former IRS personnel for that department.
They estimated taxes we would owe and how to offset them by buying property and equipment from golf carts to jet planes.
Major lands we owned included the mine property in South Africa (a million acres), a thousand acres of oil lands in Cameroon, the fifteen thousand acre Fort Dean in Louisiana, and the one million acres in Montana that was once part of Black and Bear. It was now our cattle ranch. We owned property in sixty countries, mostly hangars for helicopters and a twenty acre training and command site in Loures Portugal.
We got into farming by accident. When we bought Morton Airfield it was in the middle of a thousand acres. Pop-Pop Jones was a farmer, Dad grew up on the farm and Jake and I spent a lot of time at the farm. Instead of renting out the farmland, Dad and Jason wanted to farm it. Hobby farming was another name for it.
Not long after that we bought the three thousand acre Ratz farm behind it because they were complaining of noise and old man Ratz decided he wanted to move to Florida.
Jason and Dad had leased the Bay Farm hunting rights for a couple years for goose and duck hunting. A couple years later we bought the two thousand acre farm on the bay. On the tax department’s advice we bought eighteen hundred acres near Ruthsburg and another two thousand on Damonson Town Road.
Dad’s and Jason’s hobby farm operation now had twelve thousand acres in the county and ten employees. The nine thousand acres in Nebraska was rented out to a farming interest there.
Then there was Jeanna’s oil field gimmick – we bought the four thousand acres next to it so angle drilling could be done, putting wells on our property. On top of that on the advice of the tax department, we bought two more adjoining farms and another five thousand acres from the bank as oil investment properties for a fast write-off. It seemed we were always doing something that would change taxes in our favor.
With ten producing oil wells and more to come, the gold and diamond mines plus owning forty percent of Thimble Shoals Bank – the tax department was continually telling the girls to build and buy to offset taxes.
We owned other smaller properties that weren’t connected to Lorrie’s rentals. We bought the old mall at the Narrows for the task force connected drug lab. The rest of it was now JBG office space. The Morton Hotel was all office space, the Horsey House was also all office space and we still did not have enough. We had converted as much of the gym to office space as possible.
We owned two parcels on Kent Island next to the bay. One was two hundred acres and we had talked about putting an RV resort and a water park on it. There was no water park in the area for the kids. The second was fifty acres and today we talked about one multistory office building now that the county had finally changed the height rules to save open areas.
JBG now employed eighty thousand men and women assigned in one hundred and eighty two countries.
Vice President Andy Reddick – head of security – and Vice President Robert Dunn – head of our intelligence and IT group – were our two highest paid employees they each made $50,000 a week plus perks -a lot of perks. Without them JBG could be in bad place. The CIA and FBI had tried to hire Robert but couldn’t match the pay or the benefits.
I had new respect for my mates and the leaders for what they had done at JBG while I was away playing politics.
Politics was next on my list for today. We went to the campaign headquarters so I could do an interview for tonight’s news. Three news networks each had twenty minutes of which they would use probably use five minutes or less for their newscast. Tomorrow it was one week to the election.
We went to supper and then watched all three networks to see the high priced ads we had paid for. At 2000 all three networks ran the ads. The specialist had volunteer viewers so they could evaluate the ads effectiveness. It placed high but not perfect. It was the best we could expect. The networks would have an opinion tomorrow.
This week was all campaigning; Troy and some of my White House staff were going along with my mates. There were twenty eight stops this week and twenty interviews for the news media.
Tuesday I did an MTAC with the Generals while in Air Force One. They wanted to bring home another twenty thousand troops home from Iran.
”If you feel comfortable and have confidence in the reports then do it. I will not be happy if we have to send them back,” I said.
I worked the information into the next campaign stop. It was another crowd pleasing announcement.
Finney was AWOL for most of the week – he came out Friday for a big campaign push but did not take questions and admitted no wrong. He was behind in the polls but not by as much as I would have expected.
My final TV campaign push started Saturday with the college football games and Sunday during the NFL games. Monday we returned home at noon. JBG needed some guidance and more TV interviews from the campaign center.
Monday night our last campaign ads were on media. The five minute ad ran just before kickoff for Monday night football and on the other networks my other ads ran several times during the game. The last ads were during the late shows. If voters had not made up their minds by now, either they were going to flip a coin and vote or not vote at all.
Tuesday was a day to relax with family and vote. My family and mates voted under the watchful eyes of the TV cameras at the high school. There were other local officials there as well, it had been planned to get the best coverage. It was all over as far as I was concerned, except for the fat lady singing.
I called the Generals, Andy and Robert for updates. I heard what I wanted to hear – all was quiet everywhere today.
At the campaign center enthusiasm was high- all the exit polling was good so far for the Senators I tried to help. The House candidates looked to be close but in our favor by a good margin.
Elections were fickle in this day and time as we watched the returns come in. With the absentee votes to count, the outcome would not be known for a day or two, maybe more. In some states the margin of victory was enough the absentee ballots would not change anything. In the must win states it was too close to call and the absentee ballots meant the difference.
I sent everyone home at 0200; they were exhausted, so were we. Hopefully tomorrow we would know and agreed to meet at noon and crunch the numbers.
The story of BJ has lasted eight years and three months. I want to thank Alfmeister for all the work he has done with the editing. I want to thank Bob W. for the proof reading and Joe for his input and suggestions.
Without the readers there would not have been a story. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The story has been downloaded 1.4 million times and the closing score for book 2 is above 8.6. Again I thank you the readers for support for those eight plus years and the over six thousand e-mails.
As with some of the chapters I closed with a cliff hanger, I close the book on BJ the same way.
This is the end.