Kenneth M. Duberstein
Posted: 26 December 2010 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  1567
Joined  2006-09-25

Some people worry about conflict of interest, other people make a living basking in it. Kenneth takes it further, pouring it out into a huge pile on his desk and burying his entire face into it instead of merely bumping lines. In the shadow network of hyper connected fat white guys, Duberstein is an exceptionally big deal.

A Deputy Secretary of Labor under President Gerald Ford, Duberstein became an aide to Ronald Reagan for legislative issues in 1981, becoming Deputy Chief of Staff in 1987, then Reagan’s final White House Chief of Staff, succeeding Howard Baker. He was later a political advisor to Senator John McCain.

Corporate Boards he’s served on: Boeing, Conoco-Phillips, Fannie Mae, Mack-Cali Realty, Promontory Interfinancial Network, Travelers. Also: Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institute, AEI, Hudson Institute, and the RNC.

Since 1989, he’s been monetizing his node status through a company, The Duberstein Group.  The current president is a guy named Mike Berman, who is a colorful character. When I talk about “fat white guys,” I’m not being mean: Mike Berman is also the author of “Living Large: A Big Man’s Ideas on Weight, Success and Acceptance”—the original title was “Fuck Your Stairmaster: I Hire $10,000 Escorts Four Nights a Week Now.” His site is Mike Living Large Dot Com:

While working on every Democratic presidential campaign since 1964, and every Democratic convention since 1968, Mike Berman scheduled the public sessions at six conventions. He has also served as an advisor to the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees and worked on a number of other election campaigns.

What follows is a data dump tracking the Duberstein Group’s strategery

Open Secrets: public disclosures of corporate money in

Duberstein’s timeline from history commons—worked with Cheney + Rummy on Continuity of Government exercises, also involved in the Valerie Plame scandal:


...the Delaney Clause, a 1958 federal law prohibiting the introduction of known carcinogens into processed foods, had long been opposed by Monsanto and other chemical and pesticide companies.

In the fight to bring down Delaney, Monsanto also secured the services of the Duberstein Group, the lobbying firm of Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff under George Bush and a close friend of Gen. Colin Powell. Duberstein’s outfit is a sterling example of the bipartisan nature of lobbying, since its roster of lobbyists includes former Reagan and Bush administration officials, an adviser to former Vice President Walter Mondale, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Democratic Whip David Bonior’s former chief legislative aide.

Monsanto’s lobbying apparatus even has penetrated the ranks of a nonprofit consumer group, the Safe Food Campaign, which advocates tougher food inspection standards. The group was founded by Carol Tucker Foreman, who served as an assistant secretary of agriculture in the Carter administration.

Duberstein’s Work @ Fannie Mae:


Mr. Duberstein is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Duberstein Group, an independent strategic planning and consulting company, and is a nominee for election to the Board of Directors. The firm has provided services to Fannie Mae since 1991. During 2003, the firm provided services on an annual fixed-fee basis of $375,000 and will continue to provide similar services during 2004…

Ken garnered $1,875,000 in consulting fees over a five year period.

Both Donilon and Duberstein served during Fannie Mae’s long running accounting scandal. Duberstein sat on the committee responsible for overseeing the use of derivative contracts, which Fannie fudged to boost executive incentive pay. 

More on Fannie Mae via WaPo:

Duberstein Resigns From Fannie Mae Board
The Associated Press
Friday, January 12, 2007; 7:57 PM

WASHINGTON—Kenneth Duberstein, a prominent Republican consultant who has been a director of mortgage giant Fannie Mae since 1998, resigned from the board on Friday, the company announced.

The government-sponsored company, which finances one of every five home loans in the United States, is emerging from a stunning accounting scandal and last month completed a massive restatement of its earnings that erased $6.3 billion in profit for 2001 through mid-2004.

Fannie Mae, in a brief statement, said the company and Duberstein “felt it was important” for him to stay on through the completion of the reworked accounting. It didn’t say why Duberstein decided to leave the board. His resignation takes effect on Feb. 15.

Fannie Mae Chairman Stephen Ashley praised Duberstein for his ”valuable strategic counsel, leadership and service.”

Duberstein, who was President Reagan’s White House chief of staff in 1988-89, is one of several prominent political figures and former government officials of both parties who have sat on Fannie Mae’s board or held high positions in the company. Its former chief executive, Franklin Raines, was White House budget director in the Clinton administration.

Raines and former chief financial officer Timothy Howard were swept out of office by the Fannie Mae board in December 2004. Federal regulators are seeking civil fines of $100 million or more against Raines, Howard and former controller Leanne Spencer as well as restitution totaling more than $115 million in bonus money tied to an improper accounting scheme.

Attorneys for the three former executives have disputed the regulators’ charges and said they were politically motivated.

Marti Thomas

Random paywall escapee:

Marti Thomas Exits Goldman for Duberstein Group

Democrat’s Hire Breaks Gender Barrier at Firm

By Anna Palmer
Roll Call Staff
Jan. 28, 2009, Midnight
In a political environment where corporations are actively looking to add blue to their ranks, the departure of Goldman Sachs’ top Democratic lobbyist, Marti Thomas, to the Duberstein Group Inc. is a big hit for the former investment bank, which faces a litany of issues on Capitol Hill.


Marti Thomas, Vice President, The Duberstein Group

Marti Thomas is Vice President of The Duberstein Group, an independent, bipartisan, analysis and advisory government relations company based in Washington, DC. In this capacity, Marti assists corporations, associations, and other clients to anticipate, plan for, and adapt to national, as well as global government policies.

Marti joined The Duberstein Group in 2009 from the Washington office of firm client, Goldman Sachs and Co. where she had served as a Vice President since January, 2007. Prior to joining Goldman, Marti was a Director and equity partner at Quinn Gillespie and Associates, a bipartisan government and public relations consulting firm.

Marti’s government service included three years in the Clinton Administration as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison under Secretary Summers and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax and Budget under Secretary Rubin. She also served for close to a decade as Executive Floor Assistant to House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, and held other positions on Capitol Hill.

Marti worked on a variety of Federal election campaigns as well as in the political departments at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and National Women’s Political Caucus. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband Michael Zola and two young children, Nate and Iris. Marti is a co-chair of Tahirih’s Public Policy Council and a former member of Tahirih’s Board of Directors.

Posted: 26 December 2010 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  1567
Joined  2006-09-25

Work @ BP


The oil spill set off a flurry of lobbying from offshore drilling companies and environmental groups. In the first two quarters of 2010, BP paid more than $3.3 million to top lobbying firms like Podesta Group and Duberstein Group, according to filings. The American Petroleum Institute, the chief advocacy group for the oil industry, almost doubled its lobbying budget in the three months after the explosion, spending more than $2.3 million since March. And July filings show that other environmental groups ratcheted up their lobbying expenditures since the spill.

Source:CNN Politracker

The fact that BP decided to go with an advertising firm led by experts at political campaigns, rather than the traditional “Madison Avenue” corporate advertising firm, is noteworthy.

Even before the oil spill, BP had beefed up its Washington presence, spending more than $3.5 million in the first three months of this year on lobbying, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The lobbying firms working for BP are among the most influential in Washington, including the Podesta Group (headed by Tony Podesta, one of Washington’s top lobbyists and the brother of former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta) and the Duberstein Group (headed by former Reagan Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein). They were originally hired to represent BP’s interests as major energy and financial legislation moves through Congress.

However, sources involved in BP’s lobbying efforts, say that since the April 20 oil rig explosion, the lobbying firms have had an all-hands-on-deck approach in trying to help BP deal with the myriad of congressional inquiries.

Another source familiar with BP’s communications strategy says the company also hired local public relations firms in the four affected states.

Castellanos and Rosen are both CNN political contributors and Republican strategist John Feehery, who frequently appears on CNN, is also involved in BP’s communications strategy relating to the oil spill.

The Banality of Evil

Duberstein gives really terrifying interviews—some of the most content-free discourse you’ll ever find from an actual human being.
Two prime slices of interview with Tavis Smiley:

And a CNN talk about Obama’s Transition:

Olympics Ethics Board


Kenneth W. Duberstein, the chairman of the United States Olympic Committee’s ethics panel, which exonerated the organization’s chief executive, Lloyd Ward, of conflict of interest charges, has been paid $516,000 since 1999 as a lobbyist for General Motors, on whose board Ward serves.

Two independent ethics experts said yesterday that Duberstein’s work lobbying the United States Senate for General Motors presented a clear conflict of interest in his role as chairman of the Olympic committee’s ethics panel. They said Duberstein’s independence in the ethics panel’s determinations on Ward could readily be seen by people as compromised by his business interest with General Motors and its board. Duberstein declined to comment yesterday.

General Motors is also a sponsor of the Olympic committee and is one of many clients of the Duberstein Group, a consulting and strategic planning concern in Washington.

Duberstein’s company has been a lobbyist for G.M. since 1989 and generally has no contact with the G.M board, a person familiar with the Duberstein Group said.

Posted: 26 December 2010 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  1567
Joined  2006-09-25

Duberstein as DC Consant


‘Sherpa’ for White House nominees

Duberstein is one of the top lobbyists who has been given the role of shepherding Administartion nominees through the Congressing hearings and approval process. (The Washington jargon they are referred to as ‘sherpas’ after the Tibetan assistants for mountaineers).
Duberstein has helped Clarence Thomas, George H.W. Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court as well as Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, CIA Director Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State George P. Shultz. [5]
“There are several roles you play. You are the chief strategist for the ultimate goal of getting that person confirmed. You are also the traffic cop, because everybody wants to see the prospective nominee. You are a coach and you’re also a confidant of the nominee. You are the chief liaison with the Hill, but also the chief liaison within the administration. You are an enforcer, but you are also a negotiator,” he told Christopher Lee from the Washington Post.
Lee cited the 1994 book, Resurrection: The Confirmation of Clarence Thomas, of then-Sen. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), who was also working with Duberstein on Thomas’s nomination. Thomas’s nomination was strongly contested after law professor Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexually harassing her when she worked for him in the 1980’s.
“As Clarence walked past banks of cameras, Ken would say, ‘Give them a thumbs up,’ and Clarence would comply,” Danforth wrote. “When advising Clarence not to respond to press questions, Ken suggested, ‘Tell them, “I wish I could answer that.” ‘ . . . He told Clarence that when he entered the Senate Caucus Room at the start of his first hearing, he should go up and shake hands with each member. He insisted that Clarence, against his will, conclude the first hearing by complimenting the committee for being fair.” [6]

Source: LA Times

December 20, 1992|James Gerstenzang | James Gerstenzang, a reporter in The Times’ Washington bureau, has covered the White House for the last six years
WASHINGTON — From his corner suite in a modern office building, Kenneth M. Duberstein can look down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House and, beyond that, toward the Capitol. During the past three decades, he has spent countless hours in the corridors of power in each building, culminating his public-service career as President Ronald Reagan’s final White House chief of staff. On Jan. 20, 1989, when Reagan walked out of the Oval Office for the last time, Duberstein was there to bid him farewell.

From the inside and now from the outside, he has watched Administrations come and go. He has seen them spring to life in a whirl of energy, and he has helped close them down in the winter of transition--just as is occurring today.

The photographs on his walls are not the ordinary presidential handshakes that decorate so many Washington offices. Rather, they are a testament to his intimate view of political power.

Here he is at a small dining table, with Reagan and then-Vice President George Bush, as Reagan led a toast to a grinning Mikhail S. Gorbachev at an informal meeting on an island in the New York harbor four years ago. And here is a handwritten note Reagan scribbled in the margin of one happy picture of the two of them: “You deserve the credit for both of us being able to wear these smiles. Thanks for all you’ve done and warm friendship. Ron.”

Duberstein, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., 48 years ago, is chairman and CEO of the Duberstein Group, a consulting company he created in 1989. He is married to the former Sydney Greenberg, and has two daughters and two sons.

Duberstein began his Washington career in 1965, as an intern in the office of Sen. Jacob K. Javits, a moderate Republican from New York. After a brief detour into academia, he began his climb through myriad positions in the executive branch, often charged with minding Capitol Hill. For Richard M. Nixon, he was director of congressional and intergovernmental affairs of the General Services Administration; for Gerald R. Ford, deputy under secretary of labor. He began his work for Reagan as a deputy assistant to the President for legislative affairs.

In 1982 and 1983, he was an assistant to the President, serving as the White House liaison with Congress. Duberstein then spent three years in a lobbying firm, before being summoned back to the White House. Reagan was mired in the swamp of Iran-Contra, and Duberstein was part of the team that helped pull him out.