Investigations Are Us. With Hurricane Subpoena bearing down on Capitol Hill, veteran GOP spin masters Mark Corallo and Barbara Comstock are hitching their wagons to help Republicans fight the storm and — well, sure — rake in some dough.
Corallo and Comstock are forming the crisis management firm Corallo Comstock, Inc. They aim to open shop on Jan. 1, just before the new Democratic chairmen will start banging their gavels and demanding information from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Just in time for subpoena season,” Corallo told HOH.
Besides handling press for various Bush administration officials and policies that have come under fire (Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, the USA PATRIOT Act and the war on terror), Corallo and Comstock are masters of Congressional investigations. They go back to the days of the House Government Reform Committee under then-Chairman Dan Burton (R-Ind.), who investigated everything under the sun as it related to the Clinton administration.
Together, they’ll be doing crisis management, communications strategy, strategic consulting, government relations and basically helping GOP folk who are up a creek without a paddle. (Though Comstock expects to continue in her more innocuous roles, such as consultant to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 GOP presidential campaign.)
Comstock, 47, currently a partner at Blank Rome Government Relations, and Corallo, 40, who has his own communications firm, both served as spokespeople for former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Post-administration, Comstock has done strategic PR for then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who was indicted in Texas, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), who’s at the center of an earmarking scandal, and Libby, who got indicted in the CIA leak investigation.
Corallo has represented, among others, Rove, Tom Perkins in the Hewlett-Packard scandal, and eBay in the MercExchange’s suit against the company.
A Lott of Singing. If you’ve been yearning for the glory days of the harmonizing tunes of Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott’s GOP barbershop quartet “The Singing Senators,” we’ve found the next best thing to satiate your nostalgia — in the form of Lott’s son, lobbyist Chet Lott.
With the chiseled features of a country singer and a hint of the laid-back drawl of a native Mississippian, Lott fits the bill in his new CD, “Erased It,” which features original blues songs and twists on such classics as “Tupelo Honey” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” He even does a reggae-inspired rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” (You know, like Singing Senators band member John Ashcroft’s reggae rendition of “Let the Eagle Soar.”)
The Lotts are a singing family. Father and son, future Senator and future lobbyist, would harmonize at birthday parties, at church or around the house, belting out tunes like “Amazing Grace” on a whim. As a teenager, the younger Lott strayed from church music and did “the garage band thing,” though he said that Daddy, shockingly, never “rocked out” with him.
Lott was compelled to make “Erased It” after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his family’s home in Pascagoula, Miss. He got together with J.D. Pennington, who co-wrote Alabama’s hit “Take Me Down” and is a member of the country-rock band Exile, and churned out a professional-sounding CD to raise money for the Red Cross.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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