The Committee on the Present Danger was relaunched this week -- the reincarnation of the 1950s and then 1970s group that lobbied for fighting Soviet communism. But this time the committee, a group of mostly Cold War warriors and neocons, is fighting global terrorism.
In full-page ads in The Washington Post and the New York Times yesterday, the committee said it "will raise a unified voice for a policy of national resolve in the War on Terrorism. We are joined together by the recognition that no accommodation can be made with terrorists and that democratic values must be affirmed to provide lasting peace."
The committee makes clear in the ads and on its Web site (www.fightingterror.org) that the terror is "inspired by radical Islamists."
Peter D. Hannaford, a legendary communications consultant who was a key adviser to Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns, notes that the committee is bipartisan. It is chaired by R. James Woolsey, director of central intelligence in the Clinton administration. The honorary chairmen are Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).
Hannaford said the committee was resurrected after "a series of conversations I had with a variety of friends -- Republicans, Democrats and independents -- [that there] ought to be an advocacy group on fighting the war on terror."
"Like everyone else, I've thought a lot about the war on terror," Hannaford said. He noted that he has represented six Arab or Muslim nations in the Middle East and Asia, but none currently.
As of yesterday, there were 50 members, including Henry Cooper, former director of the Pentagon's Strategic Defense Initiative; Midge Decter, former director of the Committee for the Free World; Richard Fairbanks of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former special Mideast envoy; Frank J. Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy and an aide to the late senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson (D-Wash.); Max Kampelman, ambassador and head of the U.S. delegation to the negotiations with the Soviet Union on nuclear and space arms in Geneva; Jeane Kirkpatrick, former ambassador to the United Nations; Dave McCurdy, former Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee; former representative Stephen Solarz (D-N.Y.); and Dov Zakheim, former undersecretary of defense.
The committee is organized as a 501 (c)(4) entity, which can lobby but not support or oppose political candidates. It will have to do some fundraising to finance its work, Hannaford said. Initial costs have been paid by a grant from two businessmen, whom he declined to identify except to say they are not defense contractors.
Under One Roof
Johnette McCrery, wife of Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.), is becoming a spinmeister in Washington in an effort to bring the family under one roof on a regular basis.
She and their two young children have been living in Louisiana, where she has been a professor teaching public relations and communications at Louisiana State University at Shreveport, while he has been in Congress and commuting home.
"We decided we needed to be a family together most days of the week," she said. Her husband, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, considered retiring from Congress, she said, but she decided to find a job in Washington.
Starting the second week of August, McCrery will be a vice president of Ketchum Public Affairs. She said she will be doing PR, not lobbying.
Philip A. Musser, former aide to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson and former HUD secretary Mel Martinez, has returned to the Dutko Group Cos. He had worked for Dutko's state and local lobby firm K*N*P before joining the Bush administration. Musser most recently was part of a team that organized the G-8 Summit in Sea Island, Ga.
Speaking of HUD . . . retiring from the department after more than 30 years, Ken Markison has joined the Mortgage Bankers Association as senior director and regulatory counsel in the government affairs department. At HUD, he was assistant general counsel for government-sponsored enterprises and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
William R. Deere has left the State Department, where he was deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, for the U.S. Telecom Association. As vice president for government affairs, Deere will lead the group's lobbying efforts on the Hill.
At USTA, he succeeded Brad Edwards, who left this year to set up a lobby shop with lobbyist and Hill veteran Jeffery Walter -- the Walter/Edwards Group.
Furthermore . . .
David Yudin, who retired last month as chief lobbyist for the Washington office of the mayor of Chicago after 13 years, is setting up shop in the District. Yudin was succeeded by Peter Halpin, a veteran Democratic lobbyist.
The Business Software Alliance has taken on two new folks: Dexter Ingram, a staff member of the House Homeland Security Committee, as director of information security policy, and Wendy Rosen, former press secretary for Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.), as director of public relations/policy.
Updating the American League of Lobbyists' Capitol PurSuit Drive last week: The league with a lot of help on the Hill collected more than 7,000 items of clothing that will be donated to low-income job applicants.