June 10, 2005

2nd District (OH) Race: The McEwen Connections, Part 2–
The Jefferson Group and the 12-Year Gap

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 11:49 am

Part 1: Who is Advantages Associates, Inc.?
Part 2: THIS POST
Part 3: The Non-Disclosure Gambit
Part 4: Those “Self-Employed” Contributors
Part 5: The Amway-Quixtar (AQ) Business
Part 6: The McEwens and Amway-Quixtar (AQ)

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Note: One of the central issues voters face in the 2nd District GOP Primary is whether the candidate selected, if he or she is the ultimate winner August 2, will represent the interests of the 2nd district or the interests of someone else. Accordingly, BizzyBlog has investigated, to the extent possible within the constraints of a fulltime business and the compressed primary election time frame, what Bob McEwen has been up to in the 12 years since he left Congress.
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A somewhat-dated bio of Bob McEwen notes that he is (now apparently was) “Washington senior counsel for the Jefferson Group, an international professional services company.”

There are two lobbying outfits in Washington currently operating with the name Jefferson:
- Jefferson Government Relations (JGR)
- Jefferson Consulting Group (JCG)

I learned in a phone call to JGR that the two Jeffersons were once one, and that there was a split in 1998 that created both firms, which are now apparently independent of each other. I do not know when McEwen left the original Jefferson organization.

For those of you interested in the current missions of each firm, here they are (bolds are mine, indicating the issues I have with the Washington-access lobbying game):

JGR

Effective advocacy requires access, experience, and expertise. Jefferson Government Relations’ record of success comes from our ability to transform these elements into a focused strategy. We combine this ability with a balanced approach to advocacy and long-standing relationships in Washington and around the world, which enables us to promote and achieve your priorities. This sets us apart.

At Jefferson, we know and work closely with policymakers to establish your credibility and work toward outcomes that benefit your bottom line. As experts in strategic planning, policy research and analysis, we influence the legislative and regulatory process by raising awareness of and generating support for your most important needs.

JCG

Jefferson Consulting Group, LLC (JCG) is a full-service, Washington D.C.-based professional services firm representing corporate and government clients across the nation and around the world.

As the pioneers of federal marketing, JCG has helped a wide variety of clients meet and exceed their business objectives by penetrating or expanding their reach in the federal market. Our substantive process expertise, industry and government relationships, customer focus and results-driven approach create business opportunities for corporate clients within the government. We work with leading companies in a number of industries including biotech, construction, health care, homeland defense, information technology and telecommunications.

Jefferson Solutions, our government division, enables state and federal agency customers to maximize their purchasing power and manage complex government programs. Our expertise lies in helping government agencies analyze and respond to sensitive policy and operational issues as well as in introducing performance-based management techniques into everyday operations.

Since McEwen moved on from Jefferson at least several years ago, there’s not a lot of news here, except to note McEwen’s former senior status at Jefferson, to raise some of the same general questions raised in Part 1 (near the end of the post), and to simply ask about something that just occurred to me but now seems very obvious: Why hasn’t Bob McEwen accounted for what he has done in the past 12 years (his campaign web site bio is here)? Not only hasn’t he been here, McEwen’s past 12 years inside the Beltway are a near-mystery, except in the most general of terms. The Men-Are-From-Mars types tell us (paraphrasing): “A man defines himself by what he does.” Well, how can we “define” Bob?

If I went to a prospective employer with a 12-year gap in my resume and wouldn’t explain it, I’d be laughed out of the interview room. Why shouldn’t voters expect at least some kind of disclosure (in general and confidential terms, of course) as to what Bob’s major accomplishments were between mid-1993 and early-2005? The other candidates don’t seem to have a problem telling us what they’ve been up to and what they’ve done. Why does McEwen get a pass?

Or would he rather we NOT know?
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UPDATE (referred to and excerpted with permission): Eric Minamyer (yup, the candidate) commented at NixGuy yesterday about a 4-person interview he was involved in at The Dayton Daily News, with candidates McEwen, Schmidt, and Morgan as the other attendees. Here is most of it (bold is mine):

I was interviewed by the Dayton Daily News at the same time that Bob McEwen, Jeff Morgan and Jean Schmidt. We were all asked what we had been doing for a living. Mr. McEwen said he worked for AAI. He was asked what that was, he said it was a consulting firm. What type of consulting? Well you get the picture.

Eventually he uttered the word “lobbyist.” He was asked to name clients. He responded they were companies in need of assistance with government red tape. But who are they? Again you get the picture.

Eventually he named his clients all of whom were foreign governments and foreign companies doing business with the US. Remember he was a representative to the European Congress after leaving Congress.

I was a bit surprised by all this and even more surprised that no newspaper has ever reported that he makes his living representing foreigh (sic) interests.

The answers finally given by him to the questioning by the editor explain his attempts to avoid giving a staight (sic) answer. As a trial lawyer, I admired the interrogation very much.

Geez, at least SOMEBODY is doing a hard-hitting interview (Hint to DDN: Publish the transcript.).

Oh, and Bob, why the squeamishness?

And finally, are you guys who are giving me grief about my blogging Bob’s past 12 years in Washington still going to say this doesn’t matter?

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