The state of California is not taking any chances with the next round of military base closings starting up next year. Not only did Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pull together a bipartisan council to advise the state and local communities, as we reported last week, but he's hired a Washington lobbyist who was the Defense Department official responsible for base closings during the 1993 round to help California navigate -- and survive -- the new round.
David J. Berteau, a lobbyist at Clark & Weinstock, was assistant secretary of defense with responsibility for base closings under Dick Cheney and Les Aspin. Under Berteau's tenure, Fort Ord in California was closed -- that site is now home to California State University at Monterey Bay, where the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy is located. Leon E. Panetta, a former Democratic House member from California and chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, was named last week as co-chairman of Schwarzenegger's advisory panel.
"I understand the process," Berteau said.
"I like base closings," he said, quickly adding, "They're important to the country. You've got to make sure they're the right ones."
Berteau noted that the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which is slated to come up with recommendations in September for bases to be closed, has not been appointed yet. The president makes three appointments, the House speaker and the Senate majority leader each make two appointments, and the House and Senate minority leaders each make one appointment.
When the president gets the BRAC recommendations, he has to accept them as a package or kick the whole thing back to the commission, Berteau said. When the president passes the package on to Congress, the recommendations will be approved if Congress does nothing; Congress can stop them only with a resolution of disapproval.
Also on the Clark & Weinstock team: former House member Vic Fazio, a California Democrat; Sandra K. Stuart, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs in the Clinton administration; and Edward Kutler, an aide to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
Career in Flux
Patrick Griffin has been in and out of government over the years. He was a Senate Budget Committee aide to former senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) and secretary to the Senate minority during the Democrats' earlier stint as the minority and when Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) was minority leader. Griffin founded a lobby shop with another Senate veteran aide David Johnson and later went to work for President Bill Clinton as his chief lobbyist before going back to the private sector.
Then, Griffin returned to Capitol Hill to advise Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.). With Daschle's defeat Nov. 2, Griffin says he'll be returning to the private sector. But where?
"I haven't made those decisions yet," Griffin said yesterday.
David M. Landers is leaving MetLife, where he was assistant vice president for government and industry relations, for Credit Suisse First Boston. Effective Dec. 1, Landers will be director for external affairs and public policy in CSFB's Washington office.
Earlier, he was a lawyer at Williams & Jensen, chief counsel for the Senate District of Columbia appropriations subcommittee, banking counsel for then-Rep. Fred Heineman (R-N.C.) and judiciary legislative assistant for Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.).
Carole McGeehan Johnson is the new director of policy for the Alliance of Community Health Plans. She previously was a program officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts and senior government relations manager for the American Heart Association.
Johnson also was a health care legislative assistant to former House member Karen L. Thurman and was on the legislative staff of former House member William Hughes.
Norris E. Dickard, previously director of public policy at the Benton Foundation, has signed up with Issue Dynamics Inc. as a senior consultant, working with IDI's public affairs and strategic alliances group.
Earlier, Dickard was a senior policy adviser at the Department of Education during the Clinton administration.
Former Delaware governor and Republican House member Pete du Pont has been elected chairman of the Dallas-based public policy research group, the National Center for Policy Analysis. NCPA is a nonpartisan institute that "advocates private solutions to public policy problems."
The Hastings Group has signed on Ailis Aaron as a senior associate for public relations. She earlier worked for The Washington Post Writers Group and managed public affairs for the Consumer Federation of America while she was at Gillis and Associates.
Dara Corrigan, previously acting inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, joined Arnold & Porter earlier this week as a partner and co-head of the law firm's pharmaceutical and medical device practice group.
The regulatory practice also advises clients on legislation and crisis management for embattled products as well as "integrated services" in food and drug law, reimbursement under Medicare, and Medicaid and drug pricing.