COLUMNS

Karl helping Jeb?

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • December 02, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz
Some Florida election-watchers are curious as to how much advice White House “brain” Karl Rove has been offering first brother Jeb Bush, especially since there have been shakeups in the Florida governor’s Cabinet. “Is it bigger than Florida?” wondered Francico Pardo, a Miami resident who was in D.C. this week on business. Several FOIA requests – both personal and from interest groups – for all communications between Jeb Bush and Rove have gone unanswered.Check that list twice

Some of the lucky recipients of invitations to White House holiday parties and photo ops this year have complained that the starting time is “before” cocktail hour. No surprise, since our president does hit the sack at an early hour. But we’ve learned that the Bushes have invited very special guests to seated dinners at 7 p.m. following the buffet receptions. Now you know which list you’re on – and who’s making it.

Conconi aligns with Qorvis

Retirement was short-lived for former Washingtonian magazine editor at large Chuck Conconi. He’s now crossed over from journalism to PR and begins work for Qorvis Communications as senior counselor on Monday. “It’s energizing for me to start something new,” said Conconi, 67, who will be consulting about 20 hours per week.

Promoters of the powerful

Michael Petruzzello, founder and managing partner of the five-year-old powerhouse firm, said, “I’m sure he’ll get very busy very fast working with clients on crisis management and with CEOs who want to develop a stronger position in Washington.” By adding Conconi to its constellation, Qorvis sticks to its star tactics – including the law firm Patton Boggs, which is an investor and strategic partner. As for the ongoing FBI investigation into one controversial Qorvis client – Saudi Arabia – Qorvis was paid $14.6 million by the Saudi Arabian Embassy during a six-month period.

Lottery winner helps homeland

One Urdu-speaking Pakistani taxi driver in D.C. certainly found the American dream come true. Ihsan Khan, now 47, left his hometown of Battagram for the United States in 1977. He arrived broke but managed to get a college degree and American citizenship. While driving a taxi in D.C., he played the lottery regularly. Sure enough, in November 2001, he won a $55.2 million jackpot and opted to take the lump-sum payout of $32,499,939. He didn’t go from living in his taxi to living the life of a millionaire in D.C., although he keeps a home here. Instead, he went back home to Pakistan wearing his favorite jacket from L.L. Bean – the average salary in his hometown is $500 annually – a wealthy man. He was elected district nazim, the equivalent of mayor, of Battagram. We wonder which political consultants rode in his taxi. Kahn spent his own money campaigning, became an outspoken critic of local government corruption and the Pakistani army, and is using his personal funds to help rebuild his hometown after the recent earthquake – and he isn’t taking a government salary.

‘Dog Days’ dazed?

“Chick lit is not a genre.” That’s a quote from our source who was privy to an advance manuscript of the new political novel “Dog Days” by Ana Marie Cox, aka Wonkette, due out in early January – just in time to warm the coldest month. “It’s terrible,” the critic tells me. Apparently, the characters were too identifiable. So she’s now revised it to make them look like more of a composite – read: to avoid lawsuits. In the original version, the reader who sneaked a peek tells us that Mike Allen, Rich Leiby, Mort Halpern and Joe Lockhart were barely disguised. We also hear that the book’s Cleveland Park Group is modeled too closely on Lockhart’s Glover Park Group.

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