For Melton, Time and Time Again
The latest buzz is that Carol A. Melton , executive vice president for government relations at Viacom and one of the most senior women in the lobby biz, will be moving to Time Warner Inc. as executive vice president for global public policy.
This is the position left vacant by Robert M. Kimmitt , who left earlier this year for Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and then was named by President Bush to be deputy secretary of the Treasury.
At Time Warner, Melton will be responsible for domestic and international policy. The move would be a sort of homecoming for her. Before joining Viacom, she was vice president for law and public policy at Time Warner. Melton earlier served as legal adviser to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
Doing Justice to the War on Drugs?
Bush administration plans to slash funding by more than half for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and move it from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to the Justice Department has the programs across the country in an uproar.
The 33 HIDTA directors have formed the National HIDTA Directors Association which, with the National Narcotics Officers' Associations' Coalition, will let their opposition be known at a news conference today.
"We needed a voice," said Thomas Carr , director of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA.
HIDTA provides additional funds to the areas in the country that have the most serious drug trafficking problems. The HIDTA group says HIDTA-funded initiatives seized drugs with a wholesale value of $10.5 billion last year, and identified and dismantled more than 6,700 illegal methamphetamine labs.
John Walters, director of the drug control policy office, earlier this year proposed cutting the current $227 million funding to $100 million and moving the program to DOJ.
Jennifer DeVallance, a spokeswoman for the office, said that "the administration and Director Walters feel the program is extremely important" and noted that "it is not zeroed out."
The move to Justice will allow for some efficiencies that would offset the cuts and "it is a tighter budget environment. It is necessary to do more with less," she said. Also, DeVallance said: "We are essentially a policy shop. We don't implement law enforcement programs. The Justice Department does."
Carr said the directors fear, however, that the program will get lost at Justice, which "has more concerns than just drug control."
Principi, Running Bases
Catching up . . . Anthony J. Principi , former secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, was a great catch earlier this year for the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's Washington office.