Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Business Side of State Dinners

The Thanksgiving week state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Singh seemed a touch off base, given the holiday's Indian or Native American origins. Setting that aside, several business dignitaries attended the soiree. They include:

Jeff Immelt, General Electric CEO

Neal Wolin, Deputy Secretary of Treasury (formerly of The Hartford, insurance)

Michael Bloomberg, NYC Mayor (owner of Bloomberg)

Nancy Ann DeParle, White House Health Czar (formerly of CCMP Capital)

General James L. Jones, National Security Adviser (formerly on the Chevron Board & head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 21st Century Energy initiative)

David Cote, Honeywell CEO, JP Morgan Board of Directors

Jim Crown, President of Henry Crown & Company

Jackie Clegg Dodd, Member of five corporate boards including CME Group, Managing Partner of Clegg International Consultants, LLC, wife of Senator Chris Dodd

John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (private equity underwriter) & Google board member

Mark Gorenberg, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners & donor

Earl Graves, Earl G. Graves Publishing

Rajat Gupta, McKinsey & Company, Board of Directors Goldman Sachs & others

George Haywood, Obama contributor, financial adviser and former bond trader Moore Capital Management

Chris Hughes, Facebook founder

Vernon Jordan, Director of numerous corporate boards

Matrice Ellis-Kirk, Managing Partner Heidrick & Struggles, former board member Ace Cash Express

Marc Lasry, Avenue Capital Group

Brian Mathis, Provident Group

Martin Nesbit, CEO of The Parking Spot

Jim Owens, CEO of Caterpillar

Colin Powell, Strategic Limited Partner Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Penny Pritzker, Board chair & director

John Rogers, Ariel Capital Management & Goldman Sachs Board Secretary

Marie Therese Royce, Alcatel- Lucent Public Affairs

Jim Sullivan, Public Relations Consultant

Heads of trade groups or lobbying firms:

Andy Stern, President Service Employees International Union

Charlene Gaynor, CEO of Association of Educational Publishers

Robert Creamer, lobbyist with Strategic Consulting Group

Bob Bauer, registered lobbyist with Perkins Coie LLC

Hunter Biden, lobbyist

Marland Buckner, lobbying firm owner

Lucy Calautti, lobbyist for Major League Baseball & Senator Conrad's 2nd wife, she is a registered lobbyist

Kathleen May joined Rep. Steny Hoyer. Is it lobbyist Kathleen May?

Newt Minow, Sidley Austin LLP (not a registered lobbyist)

Kathryn Thomson, Partner at Sidley Austin

Members of the media:

Robin Roberts, ABC

Brian Williams, NBC News

Katie Couric, CBS News

Tom Friedman, NYT

Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek & CNN

Gayle King, editor Oprah magazine

However, two attendees may be a tad embarrassed:

Char Lugar for her DUI arrest after a traffic accident in McLean, Virginia.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky for Sibel Edmonds' testimony. Her husband Bob Creamer is capable of advising her on standing straight.

Hopefully loved ones kept them out of any trouble.

I trust the mainstream media to delve into the entertainment side of the invitee list. What about the donor element? Will the White House get the free pass given to Bush's Dover Sole with Queen Elizabeth?

Illumination of business dignitaries, that's my contribution to open and transparent government. Some oligarchs made the White House visitor list more than once. The visitor list has a private equity underwriter (PEU) taint.