Cast of Characters
Here are some key figures in the 30-year story of Cassidy & Associates, one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington.
Gerald S.J. Cassidy,
chairman of Cassidy & Associates, creator of the modern version of the firm, the big man at the center of this story.
the first president of Schlossberg-Cassidy & Associates, the original name of the lobbying firm. He now runs his family's business, a funeral home in Canton, Mass.
former senator from South Dakota and Democratic presidential nominee. He hired Cassidy for his first job in Washington — as general counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.
the famous nutritionist, long a professor at Harvard and president of Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Mayer was Schlossberg-Cassidy's first academic client. Tufts was the recipient of the first modern earmarked appropriation — $27 million from Congress to build a human nutrition research center.
Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill,
Democratic congressman and Speaker of the House. O'Neill's Massachusetts district included Tufts, and he helped win that $27 million earmark.
James P. Fabiani,
a former aide to Rep. Silvio Conte (R-Mass.) and the first outsider to join the firm of Schlossberg-Cassidy. Fabiani was famous for finding new clients. For many years he was Cassidy's most important associate.
an Irish fireplug, a gregarious and charming salesman who was the first to successfully sign up university clients for Schlossberg-Cassidy and take a ten percent commission on all the fees they paid the firm.
the president of Boston University, who became Cassidy's good friend, business partner and client extraordinaire. BU has been the firm's biggest academic client over the years and has won more than $100 million in earmarks from Congress.
president of the University of Alabama who went on to become one of the most successful salesmen in the firm's history. His stature among fellow university presidents helped him persuade dozens to sign on as Cassidy clients.
Sen. John Danforth,
a Missouri Republican. He proposed an amendment that would have put the Senate on record as opposing directed earmarks for individual universities.
Sen. Robert C. Byrd,
the powerful West Virginia Democrat who has been both majority leader and chairman of the appropriations committee. He proposed the Byrd Amendment ostensibly to crack down on lobbying.
a Washington Post reporter, wrote some of the earliest stories about Cassidy & Associates and the way it won earmarks for its clients.
Lester "Ruff" Fant,
the lawyer who helped Gerald Cassidy wrest control of his firm from Kenneth Schlossberg, then emerged as Cassidy's most important financial advisor. Fant helped Cassidy sell the firm three times in artful transactions that made Cassidy progressively richer.
press secretary to President Jimmy Carter, was hired by Cassidy to create the Powell-Tate public relations firm.
a former Congressman from the suburbs of Chicago, joined Cassidy & Associates after losing his seat in Congress. After several years as a successful lobbyist, he became president of the firm.
was the patriarch of the family that controlled General Dynamics Corp., builder of the Seawolf submarine. When the administration of George H. W. Bush decided to kill the Seawolf, Crown hired Cassidy as General Dynamics' lobbyist.
president of Taiwan, hired Cassidy to try to help him gain a U.S. visa so he could speak at his alma mater, Cornell.
Sen. Daniel Inouye,
(D-Hawaii) has long been one of Cassidy's most important allies on Capitol Hill. Cassidy hired Inouye's best friend and principal political associate, Henry Giugni.
Rudy De Leon,
longtime aide to former Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.), deputy secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and head of the Washington office of the Boeing Corp., which employed Cassidy & Associates.
former administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a paid consultant to Cassidy & Associates. He was recruited to be President of Boston University with Silber's and Cassidy's support.
An overview of Gerald Cassidy's life and career.
A "cast of characters" in the life and career of Gerald Cassidy.
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