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Cheney son-in-law used revolving door to stop chemical security regulations
Michael Roston
Published: Friday February 16, 2007
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The son-in-law of Vice President Dick Cheney, Philip Perry, has entered and exited the Bush administration twice, and in the process helped shield the chemical industry from upgraded security measures in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, according to an article in the March edition of the Washington Monthly.

Philip Perry is married to Cheney's daughter Elizabeth, also a former executive branch official. An article by Art Levine in the upcoming Washington Monthly details his work in and out of the Bush administration since 2000, saying, "A flippant critic might say the father-in-law has been prosecuting a war that creates more terrorists abroad, while the son-in-law has been working to ensure they’ll have easy targets at home."

Before entering the Bush administration, Perry worked in the powerful Washington, DC law firm Latham and Watkins, and also on the Republican side of the Senate. After joining the Bush-Cheney transition team in late 2000, he became the third-ranking official in the Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft. In 2002, he moved to the White House's Office of Management and Budget, where he served as general counsel.

It was in this last role that he initially blocked security upgrades on the chemical industry. When the EPA attempted to gain authority to regulate security at chemical industry facilities, Perry used the Office of Management and Budget to block the move. Levine reports that at a 2003 meeting in the White House, he told gathered executive branch officials, "If you send up this legislation, it will be dead on arrival on the Hill."

Perry left the government in 2003 and re-joined Latham and Watkins, which includes a major chemical industry trade group on its list of clients. But in 2005, when Michael Chertoff became Secretary of Homeland Security, Perry joined that department as general counsel.

In this position, Levine says, Perry completed another pro-chemical industry move. When the Department of Homeland Security Regulations were released, "Hill staffers noticed that the department had effectively granted itself the power to set aside state laws," decreasing the amount of security regulation that the chemical business might face.

In January, Perry announced his intention to leave the government again to spend more time with his family, including his wife Liz who recently gave birth to the couple's fifth child.

The full story can be read at the Washington Monthly's website.