About This Series | Chapters:

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.

[Photo of Gerald S.J. Cassidy]

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.

[Photo of Kenneth Schlossberg]

Kenneth Schlossberg,

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.

[Photo of George McGovern]

George McGovern,

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.

[Photo of Jean Mayer]

Jean Mayer,

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.

[Photo of 'Tip' O'Neill]

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.

[Photo of James P. Fabiani]

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.

[Photo of Frank Godfrey]

Frank Godfrey,

an aide to O'Neill who came to work at Schlossberg-Cassidy.

[Photo of William Cloherty]

William Cloherty,

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.

[Photo of John Silber]

John Silber,

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.

[Photo of Frank Rose]

Frank Rose,

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.

[Photo of Sen. John Danforth]

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.

[Photo of Sen. Robert C. Byrd]

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.

[Photo of Dan Morgan]

Dan Morgan,

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.

[Photo of Jody Powell]

Jody Powell,

press secretary to President Jimmy Carter, was hired by Cassidy to create the Powell-Tate public relations firm.

[Photo of Marty Russo]

Marty Russo,

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.

[Photo of Lester Crown]

Lester Crown,

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.

[Photo of Lee Teng-Hui]

Lee Teng-Hui,

president of Taiwan, hired Cassidy to try to help him gain a U.S. visa so he could speak at his alma mater, Cornell.

[Photo of Sen. Daniel Inouye]

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.

[Photo of Rudy De Leon]

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.

[Photo of Dan Goldin]

Dan Goldin,

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.

[Photo of Gregg Hartley]

Gregg Hartley,

now vice chairman and chief operating officer of Cassidy & Associates, a former aide to Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). He has reorganized the firm and turned it into a predominantly Republican operation.

About This Series | Chapters:

Photo Gallery

An overview of Gerald Cassidy's life and career.

Key Players

A "cast of characters" in the life and career of Gerald Cassidy.


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Lobbyists are the devils of democracy. They use money to pervert the democratic system. They use every means to get special breaks for special interests. If the politicians weren't so corrupted by the money and favors, they would do the right thing and outlaw lobbying. Our system of government is at stake here. I believe we the people, have lost it.

Posted by: Tom | March 4, 2007 05:27 PM

I can't see the justification--ever--for the existence of a corporate or trade group lobbyist. It seems obvious that a corporation should not be able to use its profits to pay a team of influence-peddlers to influence public policy so that it increases the corporation's profits.

By any definition, legal or otherwise, what these guys are doing is nothing but old-fashioned bribery. If anyone in this town had balls, they'd all be under indictment.

Posted by: Craig | March 4, 2007 10:29 PM

If it wasn't for lobbyists offering a point of view to our congress all policy would be in the hands of the 20 somethings that seem to decide on policy and come to the hill with their own agendas either right or left. Lobbyists bring real issues to our elected reps and even if they are quite on sided, doesn't many sides of an issue allow concensus. Not only corporations lobby the hill but charities, schools and many promoting minority issues. I am not a lobbyist but shouldn't those who present the members with information get paid? I can't see Robert Byrd or Ted Kennedy sitting at their computor looking up an issue to decide how to vote. Even the President has lobbyists pushing his point of view no matter how inane.

Posted by: steve jacobson | March 6, 2007 10:18 AM

Interesting how few women are in his circle. Especially for one who is such a 'liberal' democrat. Thank goodness things have changed and we finally have some decent women role models -- on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: Madison | March 6, 2007 04:50 PM

Our system of government is designed to allow citezens to influence lawmakers. That's why representavives and senators represent citizens in geographic areas. When a corporation lobbies for an item beneficial to its business, the workers and shareholders benefit. I would expect General Motors to lobby the Michigan delegation. I would also expect that delegation to be receptive. There's nothing undemocratic about lobbying.
Consider the Siera Club, veterans' orgainizations etc.

Posted by: Lefty | March 6, 2007 08:52 PM

There should be a tax on those that lobby the government. It should go to the opposition. That way we would get both sides of the issue.

Posted by: Tax lobbying | March 11, 2007 09:02 PM

Greetings! Have a nice day!


Posted by: Bob-pbg | March 13, 2007 10:53 AM

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people ... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

How else will Congress get feedback from the academy, industry or labor? Watch alot of TV?

Posted by: Blue | March 15, 2007 01:21 PM

I think the real issue under discussion should be earmarks. There is certainly a place for lobbying in our democracy--constituents bringing their concerns to those who represent them. However, earmarking public money for pet projects subverts and corrupts the system. Public money should be used to support public policy. There is no debate on earmarks--no balancing of priorities. They are are a poor substitute for real policy. As long as organizations can do an end run around the process and rake in millions and lobbyists take a cut from the beneficiaries of the earmarks, the system will remain corrupt.

Posted by: Carol | March 16, 2007 07:33 AM

See my proposal for ethics reform in Congress at ConnerForUS.com.
Bill Conner
Democratic Candidate for Congress
Ohio 7th District

Posted by: | March 16, 2007 09:28 AM

The real game of lobbyists is bribery and this bribery has turned the land of the free into the "foreclosure capitol" of the world. Our forefathers faced great hardships so each American could say, "A man's home is hos castle," butt hanks to unethical lobbyists, the majority of private homes were replaced with common interest developments that have nothing in common but fraudulent seizure of family homes in non-judicial foreclosures and now-there are more foreclosures nation wide than we saw during the great depression...because these CID Corporations licensed directors and managers to lien homes so a man's home is no longer his castle, it is a noose around his homeless familie's neck...
If Congress does not take steps to restore property rights the land of the free will soon become the land of the homeless. The only protection offered is an Allodial Title, on each home, but escrow companies take great care to avoid educating buyers how to protect their over mortgaged homes...
The land of the free is now the land of the imprisoned...and God Help America as the next generation seeks affordable homes or privacy to enjoy them...
My own ancestors arrived in Jamestown Village, VA in 1607 and furnished descendants to fight each war, but now their spirits cannot rest because their sacrifice was in vain--as the states compete for which one has the largest foreclosure rate, coast to coast.
Our only hope is a congressional hearing to restore property rights...so please let your elected official know the need for a hearing. Willowdean W.Vance, WW 11 Military widow and mother of two Vietnam Vets wondering why did my fmaily pay such a dear price for freedom to see
so many homeless families from loss of our constitutional property rights as our nation became the Land of the Greedy...to enrich law firms and management companies...God help America...

Posted by: willo701 | March 29, 2007 01:54 AM

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