Charles G. RaymondThe CEO of a large shipping company, Horizon Lines Inc., Charles G. Raymond served for 3 years on a council that advises the U.S. Transportation Secretary on issues of maritime security and policy. Shortly after his term ended in 2005 Horizon Lines won a $22 million contract to operate 7 oceanographic survey ships for the Navy. With options, the contract could ultimately be worth $187,381,848.
In 2006, Raymond moved to the National Maritime Security Committee, where he began advising the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on port security.
Horizon Lines once belonged to the transportation conglomerate CSX, where it was called CSX Lines. Raymond was the chief of Horizon then as well, and shepherded the sale of the division for $300 million to the Carlyle Group, a $60 billion equity fund where former President George H.W. Bush is a senior adviser and shareholder. A year later, Carlyle sold it again to another investment firm with close ties to the Bush family, Castle Harlan LLC, for $650 million, more than doubling its investment. (President George W. Bush once served on the board of Castle Harlan.)
From 1998 to 2003, CSX, with Raymond’s help, made more than $3.3 million in campaign donations, most of it to Republicans. In the 2002 election cycle alone, Raymond gave nearly $4,000 of his own money to CSX’s political action committee.
At around the same time that CSX was divesting itself of Raymond’s company, it also sold a division that ran port operations all over the world to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. CSX made $1 billion on that sale. In 2006, the UAE company, Dubai Ports World, sparked a national controversy when it tried to buy a maritime company that ran terminals at several major U.S. ports.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States reviewed the proposed sale for possibly jeopardizing the nation’s security, but found it did not. Treasury Secretary John Snow, the former CEO of CSX Corp., affirmed the committee’s decision and gave the deal a green light.
During the public furor over the deal’s impact on national security, Snow and other officials in the Bush administration maintained that the Coast Guard would be running the security at those ports, not DP World. Ultimately, Dubai Ports sold their interest to another company, AIG.