Back when George W. Bush won the November 2000 election, Hipolito Mejia had just won the Dominican Republic election. Mejia was a friend of the US: He sent troops to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and set upon an ambitious course of reform. During the Mejia administration, the government sponsored and obtained anti-trafficking and anti-money-laundering legislation.  He worked to make the border with Haiti less porous, extradited more criminals, and was much more successful in seizing laundered money. Unlike his predecessor, he did not show any support of Castro or Chavez. Mejia also signed a free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR) with the United States and five Central American countries.  Thus when President W Bush entered office, he found an ally in President Mejia. 
Mejia's law and order and pro-America stance also won Mejia some Leftist enemies. Like Bush, Mejia was a centrist who had won over a corrupt Leftist predecessor. Also like Bush, he was targeted by scandals that were largely manufactured by his Leftist opponents. Ultimately the financial chaos and scandals caused Mejia to lose the presidency.
Hugo Chavez had a hand in throwing the election to Fernandez by helping destroy the Dominican Republic's economy. Chavez halted oil shipments to the Dominican Republic in public revenge for Mejia's outspoken support of the US.  Associates of the former Leftist president Fernandez were involved in a long standing bank fraud that also rocked the economy of the Dominican Republic during Mejia's tenure.  In 2004 President Mejia lost the election and he was replaced by his Leftist predecessor Leonel Fernandez.
Under Fernandez, law enforcement and the reforms launched against corruption were functionally gutted.  Chavez warmly welcomed Fernandez' Dominican Republic into his oil development (oil-bribe) fund PetroCaribe and the Dominican Republic offered to host it's conference.  The Leftist alliance of oil and cocaine producers and distributors was once again in a position of power in the Dominican Republic.
Thus it made sense for the Bush Administration to support Mejia's Dominican Republic, but after 2004, there was little reason to support the Dominican Republic under the Fernandez presidency. Nevertheless, President Bush continued to go even further than Bill Clinton to publicly support Fernandez. Even though Fernandez eagerly sought a White House invitation, Clinton never invited Fernandez to the White House. President Bush did.
During the White House visit in October of 2005, Bush praised Fernandez and both said they discussed "multilateral institutions" helping the Dominican Republic with "cash flows and cash demands" - in other words American and international cash giveaways for the Dominican Republic. They also discussed the stalled CAFTA agreement, which was being held up. It sounded like a trade: The Dominican Republic would expedite CAFTA and Bush would expedite aid money. 
Given that the current president of the Dominican Republic has close ties to Communist enemies of the US, has not enforced the money laundering laws, and indeed seems to be mostly ignoring them, and the Dominican Republic is a major drug conduit to the US, one has to ask why hasn't Bush's FinCEN acted with an Advisory to stop the money laundering there? Why would the Bush White House want to prop up the Leftist President of the Dominican Republic?
One possible answer could be as simple as not wanting to embarrass a host country where you or your people like to vacation. It would be rude to embarrass one's host. The Clintons aren't the only ones to enjoy the Dominican Republic's hospitality. Bill Clinton and George Bush senior are said to visit "various times a year" for golfing holidays. As early as 1981, George Bush senior visited when he was Reagan's Vice President. 
Jeb Bush is a visitor there as well, and led a trade delegation there from Florida. The Kissingers, Carters, De La Rentas, and Corzines spent New Year's in the Dominican Republic in 2003.  Jimmy Carter is a visitor too. 
White House denizens and Bush advisors are also connected to the Dominican Republic. Grover Norquist has been the quintessential White House insider and a gatekeeper for access to the White House during the Bush administration. 
Republican Tax Crusader Grover Norquist
The head of the famously inept California Republican Party, Ron Nehring, hired a realtor from the Dominican Republic (an Australian named Michael Kamburoski) to be the Chief Operating Officer of the California GOP even though the man had no relevant experience, and wasn't even an American citizen.  The man was managing millions of GOP dollars in California. The only qualification the man had was he, like Nehring, had been employees of Grover Norquist.  Since Nehring took the post in February, the California GOP ran up a million dollar deficit, Nehring has jet setted to countries around the world, and Kamburoski filed suit against the US government.  Kamburowski was not only a Dominican real estate broker, he was a salesman in the same Punta Cana community where the Clintons reportedly bought a home. 
It is not the first time Grover Norquist has been friends with people from a tropical paradise renowned for money laundering. Public records  show that Norquist was the lobbyist for the Seychelles when it became a money laundering center:
"The clear design of the Seychelles law is to attract capital by permitting international criminal enterprises to shelter both themselves and their illicitly-gained wealth from pursuit by legal authorities," said the President of the FATF, Mr. Ronald K. Noble, US Treasury Under Secretary for Enforcement. "Drug traffickers and other criminals can enjoy the spoils of their illegal activities secure in the knowledge that the Seychelles authorities will protect them. This poses a grave threat to efforts to combat money laundering and maintain the integrity of the world's financial systems." 
Tucker Carlson (whose father had been an ambassador to the Seychelles) reportedly dumped a drink on Norquist's head in a DC bar one night and has said "Norquist is a mean-spirited, humorless, dishonest little creep", a "buffoon commissar who has misplaced his principles to the extent of accepting money to lobby on behalf of the Marxist government of the Seychelles."  As a free-market warrior, is Grover Norquist perhaps taking the free-market a bit too literally - even believing money laundering for Marxists is a moral free market activity?
The Seychelles were the first place that the Clintons used FinCEN to shut down for money laundering. Even so, it took 7 years before the Seychelles were given an OK by FinCEN - not until 2003 under the Bush Administration when Grover Norquist once again had influence in the White House. 
Grover Norquist has also had an important role in getting questionable Muslims into the White House. Frank Gaffney (a TTP author and president of the Center for Security Policy) has been viciously attacked by Norquist for his devastating investigations and expose of Norquist, which is detailed at length in "A Troubling Influence" . In short, Gaffney found that Norquist was dealing with people linked to known terrorists, and was busy getting Muslims with questionable associates into positions of authority in the White House in a blatant breach of security. In Khan Job  Gaffney writes:
"The Islamic Institute was established by Grover Norquist in 1998 with $20,000 in seed money from Abdurahman Alamoudi (who is currently serving a 23-year federal sentence for terrorism-related activities). II is the principal vehicle for the Islamists' influence operation aimed at the Bush Administration and Republican and conservative circles. Norquist was its founding president; Alamoudi's long-time deputy, Khalid Saffuri, was its first executive director; and II's offices continue to be housed in the downtown Washington office suite rented by Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
In fact, Grover Norquist is the Islamic Institute's chief enabler. As Arab-American pollster, John Zogby, put it to the New Republic in November 2001,... "absolutely, [Grover is] central to the White House outreach."
When a White House access list of Muslims to be invited to meetings in the presidential complex was prepared, it actually had Norquist at its top. [Given that Grover Norquist is married to a Muslim woman, one could conclude that he had become Muslim as well. -DA]
It is hard fully to calculate the magnitude of the damage done by the pro-Islamist influence operation run by Grover Norquist and his friends. Law enforcement agencies have been forced to receive "sensitivity training" from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Norquist has lent conservative political cover to those who would weaken our counter-terrorism authorities and techniques. He has helped place into positions of trust and official responsibility people whose often-undisclosed past associations at least raise questions about their reliability.
In short, thanks in part to the Norquist operation, America's enemies have been emboldened. And the United States is at considerably greater risk." 
When Jack Wheeler warned Grover Norquist about Norquist's working with Muslim extremists in cooperation with Jack Abramoff, Norquist responded by questioning Jack's patriotism! Specifically, he said that he trusted his Muslim friend's patriotism more than he trusted Jack's. 
Grover Norquist was a close associate of Jack Ambramoff and worked with him to found the Islamic Institute which helped place Muslims in sensitive positions in the White House. Is it a coincidence that Grover Norquist was against wire taps?  Is it also a coincidence that Norquist was leading the charge against the Patriot Act?  Given Jack Abramoff's ties to organized crime, any joint project with him should be considered suspect. 
Also note that the Seychelles is conveniently located to the Middle East, and is an ideal spot for Muslims, like Norquist and his Muslim wife to visit. If there needed to be a discreet and pleasant place for money laundering from Middle East sources, where would be more confidential and convenient? When the Clintons' FinCEN put out an Advisory on it, they hindered what might have been an operation benefitting Norquist (a Republican) as opposed to one of Clinton's own people. However, any accounts Norquist or others had there would still be there - grandfathered in.
Is President Bush aware of all this? Why would he allow this to continue? There are a number of reasonable explanations:
There is the possibility that President Bush has been making concessions to the drug smugglers of the Dominican Republic because the criminal underworld of smugglers control what illicit cargo goes into the US, and they have a better knowledge of and control of our borders than we do. Perhaps Bush has gone along with it in some sort of deal to keep WMDs out of the US. There is precedent for this: Back in World War II the US government made large concessions to an imprisoned mafia boss Lucky Luciano in exchange for his help in securing the New York ports.  The logic of such unsavory pragmatism applied then as it does now.
Perhaps President Bush is making deals with questionable allies (like Fernandez) in a desperate attempt to keep them on our side. This same theme has been played out in many nations with precarious or possibly perfidious leaders: al-Maliki in Iraq, Musharraff in Pakistan, Karzai in Afghanistan, the Saudi royal family, perhaps even Bush's "friend" Putin in Russia.
When a leader is affected by anti-American forces, he becomes unreliable as a friend or ally. That is true whether the forces are KGB/FSB, drug cartels, or Islamic extremists. President Bush has bent over backwards to keep borderline allies on our side, and sometimes been sorely used in the process. The Dominican Republic may be one of those cases.
There is also the possibility that President Bush is simply relying on people who are not trust worthy - like Grover Norquist and his close friend and patron Karl Rove. It can also be a combination of these possibilities.
In any case, the net result has been the continuation of the protection of the Dominican Republic's status as a drug and money center. In the last article, we examine the big picture of White House influence peddling, interference with our elections, and the Dominican Republic. A solution is also suggested to solve the problem - not only for this administration, but for the next as well.
69. http://openweb.tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/1981-10/1981-10-12-NBC-8.html http://www.dominicantoday.com/app/article.aspx?id=19599 http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/main.asp?xmlpath=/DominicanRepublic/ThingsToDo/SportsRecreation/Golf/golf_en.xml
70. http://www.gawker.com/news/donald-trump/?refId=29556 http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Governor+Bush+to+Lead+Trade+Mission+to+Dominican+Republic%3b+August+1...-a0105086049
72. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/08/AR2006070800983.html http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2004/01/12_402.html http://www.nndb.com/people/482/000049335/
76. http://www.calnews.com/archives/contreras337.htm http://www.nysun.com/article/57203?page_no=1
79. http://www.americanpolitics.com/20021209Koop.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker_Carlson
83. personal communication, Dr. Jack Wheeler, apx. 2006