||Crow’s conservative approach to business is matched by his conservative take on politics. It’s not just that he has friends in high places, including President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He’s a member of the founders committee of the Club for Growth, an influential conservative political group that espouses an anti-tax, anti-regulation, pro-free-trade message. He’s also served on the board of trustees of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a think tank that funds research promoting conservative politics and business interests.
Crow’s interest in politics also fuels one of his outside passions: his collection of statues of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Nicolae Ceausescu, Fidel Castro, and other Communist leaders-what he calls his “dead dictators. For Crow, the statues stand as mute testaments to the defeat of an ideology so different from the one he embraces. His collection is considered among the largest private statuaries in the world-stone scalps, you might say, of a battle won yesterday.
As for tomorrow’s battle, Crow won’t even begin an interview about the convention-center hotel without admitting he has a dog in the fight beyond free-market principle. A big dog, at that. “We own the [Hilton] Anatole hotel. It’s a big convention-center hotel, and it will be affected by this, he says. “So do I have a bias because of this? The answer is yes, I do. I don’t mind that there’s a convention-center hotel. I don’t mind one bit. As long as it’s financed by the marketplace and it competes with the other hotels on a level basis-you know, they pay taxes, we pay taxes-you know, it’s a level thing. I don’t mind competition at all.