Lockheed Martin Corp. is marshaling its forces to reverse a surprise House vote in July to cut off funding for its F-22 fighter. One new troop is Mack F. Mattingly, the Republican former senator from Georgia.
A resident of St. Simons Island, Ga., Mattingly says he's a lobbying neophyte who until now has been spending most of his time serving on 10 boards of directors. But now he's working the phones on behalf of Lockheed to persuade Congress to retain funding for the F-22, as well as support the C-5 and the C-130 cargo planes.
Mattingly says Lockheed looked to him partly because of his four years' service in the Air Force in the early 1950s and his experience at NATO; he served for three years as assistant secretary general of NATO for defense support following his tenure in the Senate.
"They knew my background. I understand the aircraft," said Mattingly. His new post may also have something to do with his familiarity with Congress--he was chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that dealt with military construction--as well as his ties to Georgia, where Lockheed had located its F-22 assembly operation at least in part to take advantage of the protection of House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Unfortunately for Lockheed, Gingrich is no longer in position to prevent Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) from killing the F-22 funding in the House.
Mattingly says he's "pretty optimistic" about Lockheed's chances of saving the F-22. "With everyone [in Congress] working together," a solution will emerge, he said, adding--not surprisingly--"It's the right aircraft for the country."
Christopher T. Long, president of Washington Resource Associates, former campaign finance director for Democratic Sen. Charles S. Robb's successful reelection campaign against Oliver L. North, is lobbying on behalf of a gaggle of high-tech companies: Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems, Sabre Inc. and Intuit Inc.
For Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Sabre, Long is helping to educate lawmakers on the importance of the government's antitrust case against technology behemoth Microsoft Corp. He's also pushing the need for more visas for foreign high-tech workers and other computer issues. Adds Long, "We're looking for long-term [labor] solutions. . . . We want jobs to go to Americans."
Intuit, big into e-commerce, is particularly concerned, Long says, about proposed reforms that would increase the U.S. Postal Service's ability to compete with private business on the Internet by engaging in such ventures as electronic bill-paying.
The lobby shop helped organize CapNet, the Washington area's high-tech political action committee, Long says. Besides formal lobbying, Washington Resource Associates also has helped its e-clients develop influence in town by setting up the Digital Dialogue Forum. The monthly roundtable, which the clients host over breakfast or lunch, brings other high-tech companies and lawmakers together to discuss legislative and regulatory issues.
"It gives our clients a real leadership forum" and a chance "to set an agenda," Long said.
A PAC for the Jobless Disabled
There's a new political action committee in town that's aimed at supporting federal candidates committed to reducing unemployment among individuals with serious disabilities. Enable America will hold its inaugural fund-raiser/reception at the Mayflower Hotel Sept. 8.
Richard Salem, a blind attorney based in Tampa, active on disability issues and in the Democratic Party, is the driving force behind the new PAC, noting that the jobless rate among adults with disabilities is a "staggering 74 percent."
He says other disability-advocacy groups "have the answers out there but they're not getting the message through," so the PAC's job is to focus lawmakers' attention on employment for disabled adults. "We've got to join in . . . investing in good congressmen. . . . We're investing in good government," Salem said.
The PAC is bipartisan and the Sept. 8 fund-raiser is being hosted by House Appropriations Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.). Salem says the PAC is targeting the 2002 election cycle and hopes to have at least $1 million to invest.
On the Move
Diana L. Banister, a former deputy political director for Patrick J. Buchanan's failed run for president in 1995-96 and a Republican activist in California, moves up from accounts manager to vice president at Craig Shirley & Associates, the public relations, government affairs and political consulting firm. Banister has been overseeing public relations for such clients as Steve Forbes's presidential campaign, the National Rifle Association, American Right to Life and more.
Laura W. Kaloi is the new director of public policy at the D.C. office of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. She previously was director of public affairs for the American Health Quality Association and was a legislative assistant to Rep. James V. Hansen (R-Utah).
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