In the real estate-makes-strange-bedfellows department: Associate Attorney General Stephen S. Trott, awaiting Senate confirmation to become a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, is selling his McLean home to Carter G. Phillips, the lawyer who trounced Trott's department in a recent Supreme Court ruling limiting federal prosecutors' ability to go after corrupt public officials. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Trott's nomination Dec. 3, and it looks like a safe bet for both Trott and Phillips to call the movers.
Filling the Void . . .
It's one undersecretary down and one to go for Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Lyng, who somehow has managed to survive for months without either of those key sub-Cabinet positions filled.
Roland R. Vautour this week was sworn in as undersecretary for small community and rural development, a job that includes oversight of the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), federal crop insurance and rural electric programs.
Vautour, a former state director of the FmHA for Vermont, New Hampshire and the Virgin Islands, was nominated by President Reagan for the job in June and was confirmed by the Senate last week. He succeeds Kathleen Lawrence, who held the job on an acting basis for months after the Senate refused to confirm her. Vautour previously operated a real estate business in Jefferson, Vt., and was commissioner of development and director of industrial development for the state before joining FmHA.
The other undersecretary slot, for international affairs and commodity programs, has remained unfilled since Daniel Amstutz resigned during the summer. Sources say that Lyng's choice, Foreign Agriculture Service chief Tom Kay, is still undergoing clearance procedures.
No Weaseling . . .
One might say that the Agriculture Department's incoming chief of public information is an expert at ferreting out a story. Dave Lane, one of the "Illinois Mafia" who joined the department when John R. Block was named secretary, raises ferrets as a hobby.
Lane will succeed longtime departmental spokesman John McClung, who is resigning to join the staff of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association. Lane had 20 years' experience in print and broadcast journalism before he came here in 1981.
Crime Watch . . .
Thefts from federal offices cost the government $1.2 million and workers $700,000 in fiscal 1986. To encourage a "crime-free workplace," the General Services Administration has issued a pamphlet on theft prevention. In the foreword, agency chief Terence C. Golden urges employes to "keep our 'home away from home' the kind of place in which we want to work."
Treasury 'Fleeced' . . .
In this season of deficit reduction, Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) cites (again) a decade-old "entitlement program" that he thinks ought to go. Handing out his monthly "Golden Fleece" award, Proxmire targets the Treasury Department for its support of a $1.2 billion-a-year tax break for Americans who work overseas.
The foreign income exclusion, which allows Americans to avoid tax on up to $70,000 of foreign earnings per year, "earned a Fleece" 10 years ago, when the exclusion was $20,000 and cost taxpayers about $400 million annually. Since then, Congress has extended the provision several times.
Today, Proxmire said, "This loophole allows these citizens to exclude a $70,000 chunk of their income from our income tax. What a nice reward for working in London, or Paris, or other hardship posts favored by big multinational organizations."
Based on staff reports and news services