The Washington lobbying boutique of Timmons & Co. Inc. has added some Republican lobbying talent to the firm’s high- powered lineup. Douglas F. Bennett, 46, a former House Commerce Committee senior counsel, started on June 7 as a vice president. He most recently served as a vice president with the Washington lobbying firm Public Strategies Washington Inc., where he represented such clients as Chiquita Brands International Inc., Honda Motor Co., and Southwest Airlines Co. Timmons, which ranked 12th among Washington lobbying shops and billed more than $ 6 million in 1998, has only eight staff lobbyists, so all hires are vetted with extreme care, said company VP Ellen B. Fitzgibbons. It doesn’t hurt, however, when the company president is a family friend, Bennett acknowledged. Tom C. Korologos, Timmons’ top dog, was an administrative assistant to Bennett’s grandfather, former Republican Sen. Wallace F. Bennett of Utah, in the 1960s. Each Timmons lobbyist works for every Timmons client, and the firm’s client list includes Anheuser-Busch Inc., the National Rifle Association, and the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Bennett worked for House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley, R-Va., from 1991-94, handling such issues as interstate and foreign commerce, product liability, trade, foreign investment, insurance, and automobile safety. Bennett also represented the GOP in debates over implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He left the committee in 1995 to join Public Strategies Washington. Bennett has taught two courses—one on lobbying and one on the role of congressional staff—for the Washington Campus, a program on government run by several major universities.
David S. Osterhout, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s longtime VP for Washington operations, is leaving the defense contractor’s Arlington, Va., office at the end of the year. Osterhout, 59, was traveling and could not be reached for comment, but three sources confirmed his departure. During his 11-year stay at Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed, Osterhout headed the company’s lobbying operation. A likely replacement, according to one source, is Brian Dailey, who’s now the chief operating officer of Lockheed Martin’s telecommunications division. Media People
Longtime Washington scribe Owen Ullmann is leaving Business Week’s Washington bureau to cover politics and the economy for USA Today as a senior writer on the national desk. For the past six years, Ullmann, 51, has covered economic policy, the Federal Reserve Board, economic trends, and fiscal and economic policy for Business Week, first as a news editor and later as a senior writer. The move comes six months after Ullman became a Business Week senior writer in the wake of a power struggle with Bureau Chief Lee Walczak. Ullmann, however, said he is joining USA Today because the job offers an opportunity to reach more readers. Business Week is still considered a specialty publication, and ”doesn’t have the breadth of audience that USA Today has,” he said. Ullman is a former reporter in Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau, where he covered beats ranging from the White House to foreign policy. At USA Today, Ullmann said, he’ll be writing about ”the intersection of economic policy and politics,” which may include the federal budget, taxes, trade, and Social Security.
Veteran Washington Post Local Business Editor Jodi Schneider is the most recent addition at U.S. News & World Report. Later this month, Schneider, 38, will become an assistant managing editor at the newsweekly, where she’ll take charge of the magazine’s trademark News You Can Use section. At The Post, where Schneider worked for four and a half years, she handled coverage of the retail industry, tourism, health care, commercial real estate, and local investing. Before joining The Post, she was deputy managing editor of The Orlando Sentinel. The News You Can Use job is a ”perfect fit” for her, Schneider said, given her interest in consumer issues. She isn’t planning any major content changes, but said she hopes to beef up the section and better integrate it with the magazine’s Web site. News You Can Use ”should be like a wise old friend who’s done some research and can provide some good advice,” she said. Around the Agencies
Thomas R. Bloom, the Lone Ranger of accountants, is riding into the Pentagon to take on his toughest challenge yet: He’ll tackle the Defense Department’s notoriously messy ledgers as director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. The 45-year-old Bloom is a troubleshooter who’s spent his career taming the books at one fiscally unsettled agency after another, starting with an assignment as top auditor for the Federal Home Loan Bank System under President Reagan. Under President Clinton, he was chief financial officer at the Commerce Department, then inspector general at the Education Department, and most recently, chief financial officer at the General Services Administration. At the GSA, Bloom’s deputy, 30-year agency veteran William B. Early Jr., 55, will succeed him.
The National Labor Relations Board has a new cop on the beat. Earlier this month, Jane E. Altenhofen, 46, was hired as the NLRB’s inspector general; her duties include conducting its audits and investigations. Altenhofen spent the past 10 years as inspector general at the U.S. International Trade Commission, where her most recent task was a crackdown on commission employees who falsified car pool applications to get reduced parking rates. She’s excited about her new job at the NLRB, but points out that an inspector general’s lot is sometimes not a happy one: ”You’re always doing something that makes people uncomfortable—whether it’s an audit or an investigation,” she said. Image Makers
Ketchum, the New York City-based public relations firm, has hired Elizabeth McLean, 44, as its senior vice president in charge of the firm’s corporate and technology groups. McLean joins Ketchum from First Maryland Bancorp in Baltimore, where she was a senior vice president for corporate communications. McLean is no stranger to Ketchum: She had a three-month free-lance consulting gig there in 1998. Also at Ketchum, associate Washington Director Mark Schannon, 51, recently moved up to the top spot after Director Lorraine Thelian was promoted to senior partner for North American operations. During his eight years at Ketchum, Schannon has handled crisis management PR for several companies, including the Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co., which found itself in the spotlight after its silicone breast implants were alleged to have caused health problems. Hill Dwellers
Former GOP leadership aide Greg Sedberry is now a Web entrepreneur. Sedberry, 25, who left the House Republican Conference when Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, lost the chairmanship in January, has just launched his own company, Wedge Internet. The fledgling company fills a uniquely inside-the- Beltway niche: Web development and maintenance for members of Congress, congressional committees, and trade groups. As the Republican Conference’s information technology director, Sedberry spent a year doing Web design and system support, and helped create HillSource, the Conference’s Web page. Sedberry first discovered the communications value of the Internet during a yearlong stint as a state affairs coordinator for the Chemical Manufacturers Association. After he left Capitol Hill, Sedberry said, his thirst for politics remained—so he tapped into his technology experience and Hill contacts, and staked a claim in cyberspace.
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After initially promising it in August, "President Trump said Monday that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic." When asked, he also "declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies."
In the wake of Sunday's blockbuster 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on opioid regulation and enforcement, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has introduced legislation that "would repeal a 2016 law that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioid distributors it suspects of misconduct." In a statement, McCaskill said: “Media reports indicate that this law has significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities."
"The United States military said on Monday that it would practice evacuating noncombatant Americans out of South Korea in the event of war and other emergencies, as the two allies began a joint naval exercise amid heightened tensions with North Korea. The evacuation drill, known as Courageous Channel, is scheduled from next Monday through Friday and is aimed at preparing American 'service members and their families to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as noncombatant evacuation and natural or man-made disasters,' the United States military said in a statement."
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Speaker Paul Ryan threatened, "We’re going to keep people here for Christmas" if tax reform doesn't get passed. He added, "I don’t care. We have to get this done." However, hopefully this won't happen. Senate is set to pass a budget resolution next week and then resolve differences with the House. Hopefully the House will pass the measure and send it to the Senate by November.