CACI International Inc. has turned to a high-powered group of Washington lobbyists to help it deal with an investigation by the General Services Administration into whether the company violated federal contracting rules and should be banned from future government work.
The GSA could be a serious problem, since most of CACI's work is with the federal government.
CACI chief executive J.P. "Jack" London told analysts late last month that the GSA is looking into how the company used an information technology contract to supply the Army with civilian interrogators in Iraq. One of CACI's interrogators has been implicated in an Army investigation into abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison.
Other inquiries into CACI's involvement at the prison are being conducted by the Army inspector general, the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Interior Department inspector general.
London said that if there were any contracting mistakes, they were inadvertent and the company will correct them.
The Clark & Weinstock lobby shop recently registered to lobby on behalf of CACI on "General Services Administration contract issues" and "House and Senate issues." One of the lobbyists said their job is to "help them work through this."
The lobbyists on the bipartisan team include former representatives Vin Weber (R-Minn.) and Vic Fazio (D-Calif.) ; David Berteau, director of national security studies at Syracuse University; Edward Kutler, an aide to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.); and Sandra K. Stuart, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs in the Clinton administration.
Gifts of Legislative Love
One doesn't normally find love in the congressional financial disclosure reports, but perhaps this is what goes for romance these days on the Hill . . .
In the section of his report that is supposed to disclose gifts of more than $285, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) pointed readers to attached correspondence concerning his wedding gifts. Blunt married Abigail Perlman, a lobbyist for Altria Corp., the parent company of Philip Morris, in October.
On Sept. 15, Blunt wrote to Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), chairman of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and noted his impending marriage. "I anticipate receiving wedding gifts in connection with this event and I would like to request a waiver of the limitations of the gift rule to allow me to accept gifts in connection with my wedding," he wrote.
Hefley, and ranking Democrat Alan B. Mollohan (W.Va.) responded Sept. 24, granting the waiver, but noted "you should exercise caution in accepting any gift that likely would not have been offered but for your status as a Member of the House." Gifts totaling more than $285 from a single source must still be reported, they wrote, although gifts valued at $114 or less do not need to be counted toward the total.
On Oct. 1, Blunt wrote Hefley requesting a reporting waiver "to prevent the paperwork of filing numerous disclosure forms for every gift my wife and I receive."
Oct. 3, Hefley and Mollohan granted his request.
In Other Moves . . .
Prism Public Affairs has plumped up, adding Rex Granum, a former White House deputy press secretary during the Carter years and a veteran of ABC News; Liese Mosher, a former senior vice president of Powell Tate; Ashley Vanarsdall, who handled communications strategies for the Entertainment Software Association and was manager of media relations at Powell Tate; and Karen Andujar from American Management Systems, a consulting firm.
Bruce Lehman, former assistant secretary of commerce during the Clinton administration and U.S. commissioner of patents and trademarks, has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as senior counsel in Washington. Lehman will continue serving as chairman of the International Intellectual Property Institute, an economic development organization and think tank.
Matt Kibbe, executive vice president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, succeeds Paul Beckner as president and chief executive. Beckner is leaving to become senior vice president of Silk Lintott Inc. Kibbe earlier was chief of staff and House Budget Committee associate for then-Rep. Dan Miller (R-Fla.) and director of federal budget policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Powell Tate raided Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide for Pam Jenkins, who is the new president of health public affairs and will lead its social marketing practice in Washington.
Stephen D. Vermillion joins Object Video, which develops "intelligent video surveillance" software, as vice president of government affairs after serving as chief of staff for Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.).
Changes at Rabinowitz Media -- first being that it's now known as Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications. Matt Dorf, a partner since 2000, served as director of Jewish affairs and outreach for the Howard Dean presidential campaign and earlier was director of government and public affairs for the American Jewish Congress.
Also, Debbie Rosenbaum joins as an associate from Washington University in St. Louis. The shop lost Risa Heller to the office of Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), where she is communications director, and Jesse Derris, to the Kerry campaign as Maine communications director.
After stints at Burson-Marsteller, the Clinton administration's Immigration and Naturalization Service and elsewhere, Cathy St. Denis has returned to Widmeyer Communications.