Faced with a shortage of military recruits, the Pentagon has turned to a pair of lobbyists/media strategists for help.
Undersecretary of Defense Rudy F. de Leon, the man in charge of personnel and readiness, hired Democrat Carter Eskew, chief executive of Bozell-Eskew, and Republican Mike Murphy, vice president of Murphy Pintak Gautier Hudome, to screen the ads.
Neither Eskew, a close friend of Vice President Gore, nor Murphy, a GOP strategist who has advised presidential candidate Lamar Alexander, has had much experience with military recruiting, but an individual familiar with the contract said de Leon was looking for "a fresh perspective" on the $300 million the Defense Department spends on recruiting ads.
The review, which began a month ago, is expected to last three months and cost $500,000. It will include focus groups of recruiters, surveys of new military recruits and reviews of where military ads are being placed. "In a nutshell, they are looking at the effectiveness of the recruiting advertising efforts," said one Pentagon official.
Eskew won't be looking at Air Force ads because they are produced by Foote, Cone & Belding, a New York ad agency that is controlled by True North Communications, the same firm that controls Eskew's company. Murphy has drawn that assignment.
A New Broom Named Horvath
The scandal-tainted Natural Gas Supply Association has turned to R. Skip Horvath, former executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, to help restore its credibility. Horvath, who was at the pipeline association for 16 years, will replace Nicholas Bush, who was dismissed by the gas producers group after he was suspected of looting its treasury. Federal prosecutors have accused Bush of taking $2.8 million from the association over nearly 13 years.
Horvath, 51, who has been running a consulting service for the past year, says rebuilding NGSA will be a top goal. The association, composed of major natural gas producers, said it has instituted new financial controls and has taken steps to recover the losses it suffered under Bush. Those may be "the easy things" to do to restore credibility, Horvath says.
Another major trade group also gets a new boss on Aug. 1. Steven C. Anderson, an aide to former representative John B. Anderson (R-Ill.), is moving from the American Frozen Food Institute to the National Restaurant Association. He is replacing Herman Cain, chairman of Godfather's Pizza Inc., who is leaving June 30 after three years in Washington.
The Revolving Door
Former Clinton domestic economic adviser Kathleen M.H. Wallman, who set up Wallman Strategic Consulting after leaving the White House in late 1997, has begun lobbying telecommunications issues. Her first client is a big one: AT&T. The phone giant is getting Wallman's advice on the "competitive direction of the Telecommunications Act of 1996."
Also working with her on the issue is her executive vice president, John E. Logan, who met Wallman at the Federal Communications Commission when they both worked there.
Kimberly Kranys Cobb, former counsel to the Senate Republican Conference and aide to Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), moved to Charlotte with her husband and has become a long-distance lobbyist. She is offering her first client, Freddie Mac, advice on "how things work" in the GOP Senate. Her office, she jokes, is an area-code 202 cellular phone, which allows easy access to Washington.
Timmons and Co. Hires Bennett
Douglas F. Bennett, the former House Commerce Committee counsel who left the Hill in mid-1995 to join Public Strategies Washington Inc., has jumped ship. On Monday he joined Timmons and Co. as vice president. Bennett was one of the key players in the House passage of product liability legislation in the 104th Congress and played a similar role in the development of legislation implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Timmons's Bryce L. "Larry" Harlow, a former Reagan and Bush aide, says the hire does not signal an expansion in the limited number of clients Timmons serves, only a desire to give greater service to the existing clients. Bennett is the grandson of the late former senator Wallace F. Bennett (R-Utah) and a nephew of Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah).
The Sky's the Limit
Michael E. Korens, former counsel to the Senate aviation subcommittee, where he pushed the "open skies" aviation policy, likes to brag that he wears out a lot of shoe leather as a lobbyist. Lately he has been wearing out a lot of nameplates.
Korens has changed jobs twice since September. He and Mark Gerchick, who was the Clinton administration's deputy assistant secretary of transportation for aviation and international affairs, left APCO Associates to establish their own lobbying shop, Gerchick, Korens Associates.
But in early April, Korens struck out again, this time joining Sunrise Research Corp., the lobby shop formed by former senator Bob Packwood (R-Ore.). Korens says he brought with him two of his aviation clients, United and Northwest airlines, carriers he has represented since 1997. Korens said he "just decided it was time to move in a different direction."
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