Carl W. Ford Jr., who professed to being a “loyal Republican” when he testified Tuesday against the nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations , has contributed to the political campaigns of several Democrats since 1999.
Mr. Ford, a former CIA officer and State Department intelligence official who now works for the lobbying powerhouse Cassidy and Associates, contributed $1,000 to the campaign of Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, and $500 to Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, in 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records.
He gave $500 to Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, in 1999, and $1,000 to Rep. Jane Harman, California Democrat.
The contributions were made when Mr. Ford, an authority on Asia, worked as a private consultant and then at the lobbying firm.
The records also show that Mr. Ford supported a number of Republicans. After he left the State Department, he made donations totaling $2,000 in 2003 and 2004 to President Bush’s re-election campaign.
Senate Democrats are using Mr. Ford’s testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee in a bid to defeat Mr. Bolton, a blunt-speaking diplomat whom Mr. Bush has nominated as U.N. ambassador.
Committee Democrats, including ranking Democrat Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, cited the “loyal Republican” description to bolster Mr. Ford’s credentials as a Bolton foe.
“I’m sure, as strongly as you feel about this, there are going to be some who will suggest that this is — there was a partisan motive in you being here,” Mr. Biden said.
Friends describe Mr. Ford as a conservative Democrat who became a Republican. He worked in the first President Bush’s administration as well as for the current president. After a CIA stint, Mr. Ford also worked as a staffer for Sen. John Glenn, Ohio Democrat.
A phone message left at Mr. Ford’s Washington office was not returned yesterday. The person who answered his phone said Mr. Ford was a Democrat “quite a long time ago.”
Gary Jarmin, a Republican consultant and president of Global Dominion Communications, questioned Mr. Ford’s claim of loyalty.
“Bottom line, is that to the best of my recollection, Carl always considered himself a Democrat,” said Mr. Jarmin, a longtime Washington lobbyist. “If he is now a self-described ‘loyal Republican,’ then he must have had a fairly recent conversion.
“While I like Carl, I am a strong supporter of John Bolton, and am saddened that he is being dragged into this confirmation fight against John. But in the interests of truth, I think it is preposterous for Carl to describe himself as a ‘loyal Republican.’”
Mr. Ford told the Senate committee that after serious “soul-searching,” he decided to oppose Mr. Bolton’s nomination because of a clash they had when they were both at the State Department.
Mr. Ford said Mr. Bolton tried to have a low-level analyst fired after the two disagreed over what intelligence about Cuba’s weapons of mass destruction program could appear in a speech that Mr. Bolton was giving. He said that move had a chilling effect on all of the State Department’s intelligence analysts.