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Who's Who.

There's a new consulting firm in town and you might say that its two partners seem an unlikely pair: Henry Kissinger, who became famous as Richard Nixon's national security advisor, and Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, who served as Bill Clinton's chief of staff. This isn't as odd as it appears. It's actually quite customary for a Washington firm to have Republican and Democratic partners so that the firm can flourish regardless of who is in power. Is it possible that lucrative fees could temper ideological differences? We're only asking.

If you watched the first Gore-Bradley debate in New Hampshire, you may be interested to learn that the man who asked Al Gore the question about politicians' behavior and then told reporters he wasn't satisfied with the answer was not exactly a disinterested citizen, reveals Paul Bedard of U.S. News and World Report. In fact, he was a Bradley campaign worker named James Sheridan. On the other hand, when Al Gore cited an Emory University study to support his claim that Bradley's health care plan would cost too much, he didn't mention that the health care scholar who crunched the Emory numbers was Kenneth Thorpe, who just happens to be a former Clinton administration official, according to The Wall Street Journal's Bob Davis and John Harwood.

It turns out there was a Red Bone in George W. Bush's past. Red, you will recall, was the wizard who turned Hillary Clinton's $1,000 into $100,000. Now it seems that Richard Rainwater, a wealthy Texan, turned a $385 investment by W. into $45,512, a feat that in percentage terms is even a bit more impressive than Bone's. But Rainwater's kindness to W. didn't stop there. A long story in the October 30 edition of The New York Times details a list of transactions by which Rainwater helped Bush's wealth to grow, the best known being Bush's investment in the Texas Rangers, which grew in value from $600,000--the stake that was given him by Rainwater and other investors--to almost $15 million in just nine years.

Speaking of Bradley and Gore, Democratic wise man Bob Strauss recently told The Hill: "I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Gore wins Iowa and his opponent wins New Hampshire. And if Gore wins California and his opponent wins New York, we've got a campaign that could go all the way to the convention." Old-timers tell us that the last close race at a Democratic convention was in 1956 when the vice-presidential balloting seesawed back and forth between John Kennedy and Estes Kefauver before Kefauver narrowly eked out a victory.

After we had written the item comparing the investment help Hillary Clinton had received to that given George W. Bush, The Washington Post's Richard Cohen wrote a column that posed an interesting question. Why did the media make a federal case out of Hillary's good fortune, and, except for the story in The New York Times, find the more generous assistance given Bush unworthy of note?

Amanda Ripley described in our October issue how a respected Washington law firm, Verner Liipfert, with such distinguished members as Harry McPherson, George Mitchell, and Bob Dole, had become hooked on tobacco money. Now it appears that the firm is making a major move up the addiction scale. It is working, reports the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News and World Report, "to snuff out legislation presently before Congress that would bar drug traffickers and their business associates from doing business in the United States." Say it isn't so, fellows.

Some cynics suspect that Bob Bennett leaked information unfavorable to client Bill Clinton in an effort to curry favor with journalists--most notably in Clinton's case, Bob Woodward. They will find fellowship with friends of Don Rostenkowski who claim that Bennett did the same favor for the former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, when Bennett represented Rostenkowski a few years ago.

Here's how Bill Bradley explains what he did after he left the Senate in 1996: "I engaged outside of Washington in a dialogue with the American people about where they saw their lives and where they'd like to take this country." What did he actually do? He made $327,000 consulting for J.P. Morgan, made a trip to Scotland for Salomon Brothers, and worked for other securities firms, including Smith Barney, Fidelity, and Dean Witter Reynolds. He earned $2.7 million for speeches to such organizations as Chase Manhattan, the National Wholesale Druggists Association, and the National Association of Pharmacy Boards. Where were the people, you ask? He did speak to Boys and Girls Club, of Long Beach, California. And just to show what a populist he was at heart, he reduced his top fee of $34,000 to $28,000. Anything for the kids.

You may recall our item some months ago about the champion traveler of all Capitol Hill staffers, Leo Giacometto, the assistant to Senator Conrad Burns who managed 13 trips to such places as Hilton Head and Pebble Beach in just one 17 month period. Now we learn from The Washington Post's Al Kamen that Giacometto is going to nirvana for government junketeers. He is becoming a vice-president for public affairs of Morrison Knudsen Corp., a giant construction company. With that rank and that kind of corporate bankroll, he'll be able to sign his own travel vouchers. The only question: Is the next stop Honolulu, Paris, or Rio?
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Title Annotation:politicians
Publication:Washington Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 1999
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