Aide in Schiavo Case Lands a Lobbying Gig

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's become a Washington truism that there may be flameouts, arrests, firings and other falls from grace, but rarely is anyone truly down and out. Keep your head down at least briefly, and you're sure to pop up again.

The latest to pop up is Brian Darling , the former counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), who wrote a memo that discussed the political ramifications of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman who died in March after she was taken off a feeding tube. Darling resigned after the ensuing flak over whether Republicans were trying to use the Schiavo tragedy to political advantage.

A Republican activist and former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group , Darling recently registered to lobby for the Sprenger & Lang law firm on enforcing judgments won under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The law firm had won a $90 million-plus judgment for about 178 Americans taken hostage by Iraqi forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but it is still trying to get compensation for another group. Managing partner Steven Sprenger said with the new government in power, it is uncertain what will happen to the case.

"We are working on a legislative solution," Darling said yesterday. "We're just getting started."

Darling declined to talked about the memo days. He said he's working solo now and has not decided what he will be doing in the future.

Strategizing a New Start

Can there be too much strategy?

Four veteran political strategists don't think so. Tucker Eskew , Matthew Dowd and James S. Taylor and Blaine Bull are merging their public affairs strategy shops into one bipartisan company: ViaNovo , the new way or new path.

"We can never have enough strategy. We have enough tactics but not enough strategy," Dowd cracked.

The strategists are not lobbyists. Their services for corporations and nonprofits include strategic planning, crisis communications, issue campaigns, coalition building and grass-roots mobilization.

Dowd, Taylor and Bull earlier were founders of Public Strategies . Dowd, whose most recent shop was Dowd Strategic Consulting , was chief campaign strategist for Bush-Cheney 2004. Taylor, whose company was CIMA Strategies , was a special assistant to former senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.). Bull, who started the StratCom Group , was a legislative director for Bentsen.

Eskew of the Eskew Strategy Group was a spokesman and strategist for the Bush-Cheney campaign and deputy assistant to President Bush for global communications.

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