Lobbyist Rick Berman runs the DC-based Guest Choice Network, a mean and nasty PR operation serving the tobacco, booze and food industries. (See PR Watch Volume 8 #1 for the inside scoop on Berman & Co.) His favorite target is often Michael Jacobson's "food police" at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
Conservative PR pro Craig Shirley has created a new front group called "Disabled Americans for Death Tax Relief," which recently ran full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times, urging Congress to abolish the federal estate tax. DADTR claims that millions of Americans would be adversely affected by the tax which the federal government places on estates over $650,000.
More than 150 Republicans who work as Washington lobbyists helped George Bush during his transition to power. "Coalition for Vehicle Choice lobbyist Diane Steed assisted the Department of Transportation; all-purpose lobbyist Peter Madigan helped set up the U.S. Trade Representative's office; and Jack Abramoff, who represents several Indian tribes, advised the Interior Department.
A memo from the National Association of Manufacturers urged lobbyists to "dress down" when attending a rally and photo opportunity supporting George W. Bush's tax cut plan. "The Speaker's office was very clear in saying that they do not need people in suits," the memo stated. "If people want to participate -- AND WE DO NEED BODIES -- they must be DRESSED DOWN, appear to be REAL WORKER types, etc. We plan to have hard hats for people to wear. Other groups are providing waiters/waitresses, and other types of workers."
Latham & Watkins, a top-rank law firm, has announced that the two highest-ranking former United States Department of the Interior officials are joining the firm. Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior, and David J. Hayes, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, are joining the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Secretary Babbitt joins the firm as counsel. Deputy Secretary Hayes is returning to Latham & Watkins as a partner. Hayes was previously a partner with Latham & Watkins from 1990 until he entered the Clinton Administration in March 1997.
This study shows how the tobacco industry manipulated opinions in Switzerland, nurturing "controversy" over the link between smoking and disease using regular media briefings and scientific meetings with carefully chosen scientists who would publicly support the industry
Lobbyist Jack Abramoff sets up and funds coalitions of conservative organizations that then work to push the agendas of his clients. Gambling, sweatshops, you name it and he represents them in Washington.
Bob Dole pulled no punches in his op-ed piece in the Boston Globe. Slobodan Milosevic, he wrote, should be indicted as a war criminal for his brutality in the Balkans. The tag line at the end of the piece identified Dole as a former Senate majority leader and past presidential candidate. What it didn't say, however, is that Dole works for the powerful Washington lobbying and law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand. The company represents -- in addition to numerous corporate clients -- the government of Slovenia, a former Yugoslavian republic and NATO ally.