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Whitman Strategy Group

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."

The Whitman Strategy Group is a public relations firm founded in 2004, by former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head and New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. Whitman called the firm "a way to stay involved in public policy and make a difference." [1]

According to the firm's website, their services include: Crisis management, Policy development, Corporate governance, Issues management, and "Brokering agreements among public, private, and non-profit sectors." [2] "I have a feeling, given my last occupation, we will be asked to do a lot of environmental work," Whitman said of her firm, shortly after it opened a Washington DC office. "But I want us to work on more than that." (Donna De La Cruz, "Life after politics busy for Whitman as she opens consulting firm," Associated Press, February 19, 2005)

Clients

Venezuelan oil companies

In December 2004, the Washington Post reported, "Whitman actually found herself last month lobbying her former Cabinet colleague Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton on behalf of Citgo Petroleum Corp., which wants federal protection to preserve Petty's Island, N.J., which it owns." [3]

According to Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter ("Whitman reps Hugo," October 2006), Whitman's firm handled "emissions issues" for the Virgin Islands refinery of Hovensa, "the joint venture oil refining operation owned by Amerada Hess and Petroleos de Venezuela," President Hugo Chavez's national oil company.

Breast implant manufacturer

"Mentor Corp., a California firm that manufactures [breast] implants ... hired the lobbying firm founded by former Gov. Christie Whitman to handle 'government review and oversight associated with its breast implant products,' according to a federal lobbying disclosure form," reported The Star-Ledger in July 2005. A few weeks after retaining Whitman's firm, "the Food and Drug Administration gave conditional approval for the sale of the implants." ("The Auditor," The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.), July 31, 2005)

Arsenic maker FMC

The firm's first ongoing client was FMC Corporation, "a chemical company negotiating with the EPA over the cleanup of arsenic-contaminated soil at a factory near Buffalo, N.Y." In a May 2005 interview, Whitman said she had not worked directly with FMC, but would likely advise them on "how to improve their image" and gain "access to the people they need to speak to." FMC "is responsible for 136 Superfund sites across the country ... and has been subject to 47 EPA enforcement actions." [4]

Whitman said her firm was helping FMC "to help bring a satisfactory conclusion to a 13-year process that hasn't served the community or the company very well." She also said that she herself would not be working on the FMC contract. The contract "came to us because one of my partners had been working with FMC before I even started Whitman Strategy Group," she told the Buffalo News. She also told the paper that "her firm works with companies like FMC that want to do the right thing by the environment but don't know how to communicate their message or have chosen to keep a low profile." (Patrick Lakamp, "Whitman Sees No Role for Her in Arsenic Suit," Buffalo News (N.Y.), May 18, 2005)

Locus Technologies

In April 2007, a press release announced a partnership between Whitman Strategy Group and Locus Technologies, which offers "comprehensive information management and consulting services for the environmental industry." According to the release, the partnership will "help businesses and government better manage environmental data and information using the Web. ... Even the most sophisticated organizations acknowledge that assessing and quantifying environmental liabilities can be extremely challenging. ... Locus is currently working with the U.S. Department of Energy and such companies as Alstom, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Philips Electronics, and Raytheon to help them better manage their environmental data." [5]

Other

In June 2009, Christine Todd Whitman, on behalf of the Whitman Strategy Group, met with "top officials of UAB 'Dujotekana', one of the leading energy companies in Lithuania," according to a press release from the company. "This trip was the beginning of a long term development plan of UAB 'Dujotekana,' which will include construction and financing of a new power plant facility in Lithuania and a new port terminal in Russia," it added. The release described the Whitman Strategy Group as "a consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues." [1]

Lobbying clients

In June 2007, the Lobbyists.info online (subscription-only) database listed the following as clients of the firm:

  • Chevron Environmental Management Company, on environmental / Superfund issues; according to lobbying registration papers filed with the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records, the firm "is assisting Chevron EMC with issues associated with the cleanup of its Perth Amboy, NJ facility" [6]
  • FMC Corporation, on chemical industry and environmental / Superfund issues;
  • L S Power Development LLC, on nuclear and environmental / Superfund issues;
  • Mentor Corporation, on health and science / technology issues;
  • National Re/Sources, LLC, on environmental / Superfund issues;
  • Prologis, on environmental / Superfund issues; and
  • Redzone Robotics, on environmental / Superfund issues.

As of April 2009, Chevron, L S Power and Mentor were still listed among the firm's lobbying clients. In addition, the firm reported a new lobbying client, Appleton Papers, Inc. The National Re/Sources contract was reported as having expired in January 2009. [2]

A November 2007 CNBC article mentioned "Gale International, which is building New Songdo City, a master-planned business and residential development outside of Seoul, South Korea," as a client of the Whitman Strategy Group. [7]

2006 lobbying reports

According to lobbying reports filed with the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records, the Whitman Strategy Group received payment for the following projects in 2006:

  • $60,000 for assisting "ProLogis with environmental and permitting issues associated with a project in Woodbridge, New Jersey" (the client listed, presumably in error, is FMC Corp.) [8]
  • $60,000 for "assisting HOVENSA in resolving a Title V emissions fee issue" (the client listed, presumably in error, is FMC Corp.) [9]
  • $40,000 for "assisting FMC in its efforts to advance a remediation project in Middleport, NY" (the client listed is FMC Corp.) [10]
  • $60,000 for "helping Air Cycle to interact with the US EPA regarding various aspects of its recycling programs" (the client listed, presumably in error, is FMC Corp.) [11]
  • $120,000 for "assisting NRE with remediation issues in New Jersey under the auspices of the US EPA" (the client listed, presumably in error, is FMC Corp.) [12]
  • $60,000 for "assisting Locus to raise awareness about its software solutions for managing environmental data within the federal government" (the client listed, presumably in error, is FMC Corp.) [13]
  • $60,000 for "assisting LS Power with permitting issues associated with an energy project in Nevada" (the client listed, presumably in error, is FMC Corp.) [14]
  • $60,000 for "assisting RedZone to interact with the US EPA regarding its technology for inspecting sewer systems" (the client listed, presumably in error, is FMC Corp.) [15]
  • $40,000 for "assisting Mentor with the governmental review and oversight associated with its breast implant products" (the client listed is Mentor Corp.) [16]
  • $80,000 for "assisting Mentor with the governmental review and oversight associated with its breast implant products" (the client listed is Mentor Corp.) [17]
  • $30,000 for "assisting FMC in its efforts to advance a remediation project in Middleport, NY" (the client listed is FMC Corp.) [18]
  • $90,000 for "assisting LS Power with permitting issues associated with an energy project in Nevada" (the client listed is LS Power Development) [19]
  • $20,000 for "assisting Locus to raise awareness about its software solutions for managing environmental data within the federal government" (the client listed is Locus Technologies) [20]
  • $60,000 for "assisting RedZone in interacting with the US EPA regarding its robotics technology for inspecting sewer systems" (the client listed is RedZone Robotics Inc) [21]
  • $30,000 for "assisting HOVENSA to resolve a Title V emissions fee issue" (the client listed is HOVENSA LLC) [22]
  • $20,000 for "helping Air Cycle to interact with the US EPA regarding various aspects of its recycling programs" (the client listed is Air Cycle Corp) [23]
  • $20,000 for "assisting NRE with a remediation issues [sic] in New Jersey under the auspices of the US EPA" (the client listed is National Re/Sources LLC) [24]

Firm partners

From their website: [25]

Contact information

Website: http://www.whitmanstrategygroup.com/

116 Village Boulevard, Suite 200
Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: 609-524-4068

Washington Office:
888 16th Street, N.W. Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20006

Phone: 202-355-1374

Interestingly, the firm's Washington DC address is, according to an Internet search, shared by the Iran Freedom Foundation, Hudson Consulting Group, The Future PAC, the Alliance for Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, and Education, Brynteson Reporting, Inc., and the College Loan Corporation (see Google search here).

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Press release, "Top Management of UAB 'Dujotekana' Visits United States," UAB Dujotekana via PR Newswire, June 17, 2009.
  2. "Whitman Strategy Group," Lobbyists.info (sub req'd), accessed April 2009.

External resources

External articles