Mark Penn is the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but his public relations firm just retained a client with perhaps a bigger challenge.
Spin Master, which distributes Aqua Dots, the toy recalled for having an exterior that can turn into the date rape drug GHB, hired Burson-Marsteller to help it get through its public relations emergency, according to people at the firm.
Penn has reduced his client work to focus on the Clinton campaign, said Josh Gottheimer, Burson-Marsteller executive vice president worldwide. “We as a firm have thousands of clients, more than 2,000 clients globally, and Mark’s never had any contact with this client at all,” he said.
Penn has drawn fire in the past for his firm’s work, including the help it gave Erik Prince, the head of the company Blackwater, in preparing for congressional hearings after the firm’s employees killed civilians in Iraq.
Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Air Force security satellite launched
A Delta 4 rocket blasted off Saturday night, carrying a national security satellite into space.
It carried the 23rd and final satellite of the Air Force’s Defense Support Program.
The reconnaissance satellites use infrared sensors that detect heat from missile and booster plumes against the background of the Earth.
Santa Fe, N.M.
Udall will run for Domenici’s seat
Democratic Rep. Tom Udall will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Pete Domenici, an aide to the congressman said Saturday.
Udall’s decision to run means all three of New Mexico’s current members of congress are running for Domenici’s seat. Rep. Heather Wilson and Rep. Steve Pearce have said they would vie to be the Republican Party candidate for Senate.
Domenici plans to retire in January 2009 because of an incurable brain disease.
Udall, who was elected to northern New Mexico’s 3rd District seat in 1998, is a former two-term state attorney general and the son of former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall.