Wednesday, November 30, 2005


20TrueBlue Examples of what's considered standard-operating-procedure in the DC lobbying culture? Take Brad Card, brother of White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and brother-in-law of another Bush family retainer, Ron Kaufman. Not too long ago, Card was making an honest wage as a New Hampshire state trooper. Most of the ten years he put in with the force in the Granite State, he was an undercover narcotics officer. Not long after he got his badge, a September 1989 Union Leader article chronicled his bust of a two kids from New Jersey bringing a couple thousand dollars of weed into the state where they want to live free or die. But the last few years have opened up all sorts of new opportunities for Card. Just about the time George W. was shifting into high gear in the 2000 presidential race, for instance, Rep. John Sweeney (R) of New York tapped Brad to be his new Chief of Staff. But just after President Bush's inauguration and brother Andy's appointment as White House Chief of Staff, the folks at The Dutko Group, a DC lobbying shop, could see Brad's unique talents and they hired him away from Sweeney. Perhaps they reached out to him through his brother-in-law, Ron Kauffman, since he works at Dutko too. Who knows? In any case, it was a good thing that Card got a few months experience in the luxe lobbying business before 9/11. Because about six weeks after the towers fell, New York real estate developer Larry Silverstein needed a man in Washington to tell his story to powers-that-be in the nation's capital. And he had quite a story to tell, seeing as he'd taken out the lease on the World Trade Center not long before they were destroyed. Silverstein, being the shrewd man that he is, hired Card to be that man in Washington in his titanic struggle to see how many billions in insurance money he would be able to collect from the towers' destruction. Perhaps it was Card's law enforcement background that made him so valuable to Silverstein. But then, terrorism isn't a law enforcement matter. So it's hard to know what to think. -- Josh Marshall


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