In Re Our Work on the Bailout: Never Mind.

By Al Kamen
Friday, October 10, 2008

Lots of law firms, consultants and lobbyists have been working to advise their increasingly frantic clients as profits and balances quickly tumble.

We were among about 300 recipients of this e-mail from mega-law firm Mayer Brown just after the administration proposed its $700 billion bailout of Wall Street and before the first House vote shooting it down. The Sept. 25 invitation said:

Government Bailout: "View From the Hill"

Two Mayer Brown Partners, former Congressman David McIntosh and [Senate] legislative counsel Carolyn Osolinik, have been advising senior Treasury and White House officials and Congressional Leaders on critical elements of the . . . legislation and related issues of interest. These consultations have included Treasury Secretary Paulson's office and key members and staff of the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee.

Please join David and Carolyn for a question and answer session about the legislation during a 30-minute conference call on Friday. We will also host an update call on Monday September 29 . . . to address additional developments over the coming weekend.

That sure sounded like something worth putting on the schedule. But then, the next morning, came this:

CANCELLATION and CLARIFICATION: Government Bailout -- "View From The Hill." We will not be hosting this teleconference today. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and hope that you will be able to join us for future events as part of our Credit Market Distress teleconference series.

In connection with a statement in our earlier announcement, some have asked if Mayer Brown is providing legal counsel to government officials, including the Treasury Department, the White House, and various members of Congress. In fact we are not. Moreover, we have not received from any government officials non-public information about the legislative proposals. As always, we are advising our clients and in doing so, we are in communication with various government officials.

Res ipsa loquitur.

Warming to the Other Side

John McCain hasn't been making it a habit of late to play up his old support for action on climate change, but he stunned some conservatives last week when he said that, if elected, he would "tap" none other than Al Gore for some role in environmental matters.

In an interview with Reuters, McCain was asked if he'd be up front in international talks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. McCain said he would do "whatever is necessary to try to move forward." He said he would involve Gore in that effort. "I would tap him, I would tap people who have been involved in these issues for many years," McCain said. McCain told Reuters he disagreed with Gore about nuclear energy but added, "I have great respect for Al Gore."

Hey, then he'd have the whole Gore-Lieberman 2000 ticket with him!

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