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GOVERNMENT / THE ELITE -
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Bush Names Cheney Kin to Legal Post

Posted in the database on Saturday, April 02nd, 2005 @ 01:19:49 MST (1425 views)
by Eric Lipton    The New York Times  

Untitled Document WASHINGTON, March 30 - President Bush has nominated the vice president's son-in-law, Philip J. Perry, as general counsel of the Homeland Security Department, where he would oversee 1,500 lawyers who work on legal matters like Coast Guard maritime laws and immigration.

Mr. Perry, who is married to Elizabeth Cheney, is leaving the Washington office of the Latham & Watkins law firm, where he was a partner, as well as a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin, one of the top 10 contractors for the Homeland Security Department.

Before joining Latham & Watkins, Mr. Perry was general counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget and, before that, acting associate attorney general at the Justice Department, where he oversaw civil litigation divisions. In 2000, Mr. Perry, who has a law degree from Cornell Law School, worked on the Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition team and was an adviser to Dick Cheney as he prepared for the vice-presidential debates.

Mr. Perry, according to disclosure forms filed last year with the Senate, lobbied the Homeland Security Department and House Homeland Security Committee on behalf of Lockheed Martin as it applied for a government designation that certain of its products were "qualified antiterrorism technologies" and approved for sale. Last year, it was among the first companies to win such a designation.

Lockheed Martin and its partners have won hundreds of millions of dollars worth of commitments in the last two years for products and services it sells, including a contract to train airport security screeners for the Transportation Security Administration.

Mr. Perry, who faces a confirmation in the Senate, would succeed Joe D. Whitley, general counsel since August 2003.

If confirmed, Mr. Perry will not be the only member of Mr. Cheney's family working for the administration. Elizabeth Cheney, the vice president's daughter and Mr. Perry's wife, was appointed last month by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the second-ranking United States diplomat for the Mideast.

A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Mr. Perry's nomination had nothing to do with his relationship to the vice president.

"The president," Ms. Perino said, "nominates individuals he believes are the best qualified for the job to serve the American people."



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