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
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
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."