- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2000

Post Bubba

Women in Government Relations Inc. (WGR) is hosting its annual conference this month at the Capital Hilton Hotel, where attendees will be instructed on how to develop "a positive outlook about politics, politicians."

Eight-pound bomb

Robyn Terry, wife of Rep. Lee Terry, Nebraska Republican, gave birth to the couple's third child on the Fourth of July.
Jack William Terry weighed in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces.
"This makes our Independence Day that much more special," says the congressman. "Our little firecracker is a blessing to Robyn, the boys and me."

Flat hair days

That was Torie Clarke eight years ago chief spokesman to President Bush during his failed re-election campaign, and previously press secretary to Sen. John McCain of Arizona lunching at Dominique's at the Watergate.
Which makes sense, since Ms. Clarke is now general manager of Hill and Knowlton in Washington, its suite of offices directly upstairs in the Watergate landmark.
Having assumed the helm of the Washington office of the public relations giant last October, Ms. Clarke is already making waves. Instead of billing clients by the hour, she's started writing clients "results-based contracts," focusing on a company's business objectives as the key criteria in establishing compensation.
A marketing client, for example, can now base its payment to the firm on stock performance, brand name recognition or a significant increase in product sales.
"We are establishing the gold standard in customer service among consulting firms," says Ms. Clarke, "by tackling head-on one of the biggest complaints clients have about agencies busting budgets and missing deadlines."
Besides politics, which included a White House stint, Ms. Clarke was president of Bozell Eskew Advertising, spent six years with the National Cable Television Association, and somewhere in between was an assistant U.S. Trade Representative.
Does she miss politics?
"Yes, I miss a lot of the people," she tells Inside the Beltway. "There's just nothing for hair-raising excitement and challenges as presidential politics."

Got work?

Helen Thomas, who quit as White House correspondent for United Press International when UPI was bought by News World Communications, publishers of The Washington Times, has a new job as columnist for the Hearst News Service.
Miss Thomas, 79, spent four decades covering the White House. With Hearst, she will write two columns a week on national issues. But she won't any longer close presidential press conferences with the traditional, "Thank you, Mr. President."

Granny ears

In this age of rapidly expanding technology, you never know who's eavesdropping on your conversations. And not just over the telephone.
James A. Ross, who heads the Security and Investigations Group in Washington, is one of the world's leading private-sector experts on eavesdropping. In 1986, Congress hired him to prepare a report on the vulnerability of telephone calls to eavesdropping through taps placed on telephone lines.
"In that report I detailed how a tap that could not be remotely detected by any electronic means could be made for less than $4 worth of common parts available in any Radio Shack," Mr. Ross says.
"By the way, I also pointed out that remote monitoring [through other sophisticated listening devices] looked to be a far greater threat than taps," he adds. "Too bad the White House did not read my report, they could have blocked out Mossad."
(FBI counterintelligence is said to be tracking a covert operation to spy on high-level U.S. officials, including at the White House, by hacking into telephone networks. One suspect reportedly under surveillance was an Israeli businessman working for a local phone company whose wife is reputed to be an Israeli Mossad intelligence officer under diplomatic cover at the Israeli Embassy in Washington).
So how did bugs and taps get into Mr. Ross' blood?
"I can remember when the telephones out in farm country were installed all in series, and the operator would signal who the call was for by cranking the proper combination of long and short rings for the intended recipient," Mr. Ross says.
"In fact, I can recall my grandmother's dash to the phone when she heard the ring for a lady she did not like. Yes, my grandmother used to listen to other folks' telephone calls. Ah, me."

Ben's bugs

While we're on the subject of eavesdropping, earlier this week we'd written that employees of The Washington Post were questioning the security of their own newsroom, which backs up to the former Soviet Embassy and now Russian ambassador's residence.
Considerable correspondence has since poured in on the possibility of electronic eavesdropping at the newspaper, much of it saying Mother Russia not The Post should be concerned.
"With respect, I think your Postie had it all wrong," writes Dr. R. Jones, speaking of our source. "Frankly, I had an 'Aha' moment when I realized the ease with which The Post could eavesdrop on the embassy. No wonder all that Soviet tripe appeared so rapidly in The Post."

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