by Arkansas Business staff on Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 12:00 am
His vote-getting ability may not be what it once was, but the Clinton mystique is still strong. His popularity outside the United States remains phenomenally high, as the international delegations to this week's opening of the Clinton Presidential Library attests.
His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is also a best-selling author and an improbably popular U.S. Senator representing New York — a state she never lived in before deciding to seek the seat. She also became the most discussed potential Democratic candidate for president in 2008 the moment Ohio went into President George W. Bush's win column earlier this month.
But what of the other Arkansans who were swept up — willingly or not — in Bill Clinton's presidential wake? The staff of Arkansas Business has tried to catch up with a few dozen of them, or at least shed some light if we couldn't.
Charles A. Banks
Then: U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas
Now: Senior partner, Armstrong Allen PLLC
Residence: Little Rock
Appointed U.S. attorney by President Reagan in 1987, Chuck Banks' Republi-can credentials weren't enough to satisfy conservative conspiracy theorists. He became a favorite target because he declined to prosecute Gov. Bill Clinton, then a candidate for president, as he had Jim McDougal, the savings and loan executive who was Clinton's partner in the ill-fated Whitewater real estate investment.
"I did what I did for the right reasons, I felt," Banks said last week. "I took and oath, not be be a Republican or a Democrat, but to be a U.S. attorney."
He also feels he was vindicated in the final report by Robert Ray, successor to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.
But his bit role in Whitewater didn't affect his career nearly as much as the election of Clinton as president did. He had been nominated for a federal judgeship by President George H.W. Bush, but that evaporated when the Democrats came into power. And he resigned as U.S. attorney as soon as Clinton was elected.
"I figured the president would want to appoint his own guy. ... I didn't want to embarrass myself or my party or the president by being asked to leave," he said.
He resumed a solo practice as a civil and criminal trial lawyer. Eight years ago this month, he joined the Armstrong Allen firm in Little Rock as a senior partner.
Then: U.S. Senator
Now: Of counsel, Arent-Fox law firm, Washington, D.C.
Residences: Little Rock and Bethes-da, Md.
Dale Bumpers, former governor and U.S. senator, doesn't believe his professional career would have taken a much different path had Bill Clinton never been elected president, but he's sure the country's fate would be much different.
"As a president, he did some monumental things," Bumpers said of his longtime friend and political ally.
The man he calls "an incredibly wonderful thinker" presented his political foes with a challenge they never anticipated, Bumpers said.
"With the Republicans, he kept them rocked back on their heels all the time," he said.
Like Clinton, Bumpers blossomed from small-town Arkansas roots to national prominence. After serving two terms as Arkansas' governor, 1971-75, Bumpers was elected to the U.S. Senate four times. During his final stint, Bumpers gave the closing defense argument in Clinton's impeachment trial before the Senate.
When his term ended in January 1999, he "fully retired from politics," Bumpers said. He then spent a year working for the Center for Defense Information, a security policy research think tank in Washington.
Bumpers now serves of counsel for Arent-Fox, also in D.C., and splits his time between his two homes in Little Rock and Bethesda, Md.
Then: Private investigator
Residence: Little Rock
Case was a Little Rock private eye especially skilled at digging up dirt on Bill Clinton's sexual liaisons for mainstream and less reputable media outlets alike.
It's a gig that not only helped fuel the attacks on Clinton but helped Case's bank account as well.
If Clinton had not been elected president, Case said, "I would've probably had less money."
He's still hoping to get more. Case claims authors Gene Lyons and Joe Conason owe him $450,000 and filmmaker Harry Thomason owes him $978,000 (plus interest) for material used in the book and film "The Hunting of the President."
Other than checking out of the snooping game, Case said little else in his life has changed since the Clinton years ended. Or have they?
Case has a prediction for 2008: "Hillary will run and be elected."
Then: U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, 1993 to 2000.
Now: Professor at Oklahoma City School of Law
Residence: Little Rock
It's either fitting or ironic that former U.S. Attorney Paula Casey's best-known connection to President Clinton is through a convicted felon and former Little Rock judge, David Hale.
In September 1993, Casey turned down a plea bargain attempt from Hale's lawyer in an effort to get Hale off the hook for bilking the Small Business Administration for more than $3.4 million. Hale, who was facing felony fraud charges, offered to reveal the banking and borrowing practices of powerful Arkansas politicians in exchange for complete immunity or a guilty plea to misdemeanor charges. Casey insisted that Hale plead guilty to at least one felony count.
Hale took his story to the press, insisting Casey's former association with Clinton and former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker made her biased. And the press took the story to the FBI. In November 1993, the Justice Department had Casey recuse herself from the investigation, citing a potential conflict of interest.
On that facet of her former position, Casey's reflection isn't bright, but she doesn't regret her tenure as a U.S. attorney.
"I think it was a great privilege, and I truly enjoy the people I worked with, and with their help I think we accomplished some things that were very good for the state," Casey said. "I just didn't realize going into it what the cost of some of those things would be."
She remained a U.S. attorney through Clinton's administration, and in 2001 she rejoined UALR's faculty after an eight-year hiatus. She is on leave this semester to teach evidence and trial practice at the Oklahoma City School of Law. Every weekend she makes the five-hour commute back to Little Rock.
Joycelyn Jones Elders
Then: U.S. Surgeon General
Now: Distinguished professor of maternal and child health, College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Residence: Little Rock
Elders, now 71, was the U.S. surgeon general, the first African-American to serve in that post, for 15 months under President Clinton.
She angered conservatives and the religious folks from the start by her outspoken and still-controversial support of sex education, distribution of condoms in schools, abortion rights and the medical use of marijuana.
In December 1994 she said "masturbation is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught." Clinton asked for her resignation.
Before her short tenure in Washington, she was named by Clinton to be director of the state Health Department in 1986.
She returned to UA as a faculty researcher and was appointed professor at the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Now retired from practice, Elders is a professor emeritus at UAMS and remains active in public health education.
Then: State Capitol reporter, The Associated Press Little Rock Bureau
Now: White House correspondent, The Associated Press
Residence: Arlington, Va.
Regarded as one of Washington's most plugged-in political reporters, Ron Fournier's road to the White House was inextricably linked to Clinton's.
Fournier, a Detroit transplant, moved to Hot Springs when he graduated from college and landed his first job with The Sentinel-Record. After two years there, he went to work for the Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock. Two year later, in 1989, he landed a job in The Associated Press' Little Rock bureau.
The AP moved him to Washington, D.C., when Clinton was elected president. If Clinton had never been elected president, "I would still be working for the AP in Little Rock covering state government," Fournier said.
Fournier calls his assignment covering Arkansas government "still the best job I ever had," he said. "It wasn't an easy decision to leave the state."
Then: Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Now: Consultant and lobbyist
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Hershel Gober had been director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs since 1988 when his boss tapped him to join him in the big move to Washington, D.C.
From 1993 until the last few months of the Clinton administration, Gober was deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs. Then he was briefly promoted to secretary of Veterans Affairs.
"The opportunity to serve my country after 23 years in the military was just unbelievable — something a small-town boy from Monticello could never expect to do," Gober said of heading the U.S. government's second largest department.
In fact, Gober had already served his country plenty. His 20 years in the Marines and the Army included two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he earned a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Soldier's Medal, to boot.
He is proud that he was "in the right place at the right time" to make a difference on the federal level.
"I served a president who had the largest surplus in history, who did more for the senior citizens and did more for the veterans than any other president we've had," Gober said.
He has remained in D.C. as a consultant on business development and alliance building, and he still lobbies on veterans issues.
Then and now: Editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and syndicated columnist
Residence: Little Rock
Paul Greenberg, who won a Pulitzer Prize during the quarter-century he spent as editorial page editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial, took over as editorial page editor of the Arkansas Demo-crat-Gazette in April 1992. It was only six months after the conservative Arkansas Democrat had vanquished the liberal Arkansas Gazette in a hard-fought newspaper war and barely more than six months before Bill Clinton would be elected president of the United States.
His 15 years of experience watching Clinton as a candidate, state attorney general and governor — and the Democrat-Gazette's new dominance of the Arkansas news industry — made Greenberg a sought-after commentator nationally. He published a collection of earlier columns on the topic of Bill Clinton under the title "No Surprises."
If Clinton had not been elected president, Greenberg said his career would have been different — but not radically so.
"What I would have been writing about certainly would have been different, and I certainly wouldn't have been on so many TV shows," he said. "The Clinton years passed, and I'm still here."
What's more, he said, "Much to the disappointment of my critics, I have no immediate plans to quit."
Then: Former municipal judge and banker
Hale was Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's star witnesses in the 1996 Whitewater trial of then-Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and James and Susan McDougal. All three were convicted.
At the time, Hale headed Capital Management Services, a government lending operation for small businesses. He claimed then-Gov. Bill Clinton pressured him to make an illegal $300,000 loan to bail out the Whitewater Development Corp., in which Clinton and his wife, Hillary, were partners with the McDougals.
Later, Hale faced allegations that he received money from the publisher of the conservative American Spectator while cooperating with Whitewater prosecutors.
Hale served 21 months of a 28-month sentence after pleading guilty to defrauding the Small Business Administration.
After getting out of federal prison, Hale was convicted in 1999 on state charges of lying to state regulators about the solvency of his insurance company. His sentence was commuted by Gov. Mike Huckabee, who cited Hale's heart condition.
Hale is living in Shreveport but could not be reached for comment.
Then: Chairman, Republican Party of Arkansas, 1990-95; U.S Representa-tive, 3rd District of Arkansas, 1997-2001.
Now: Undersecretary, Department of Homeland Security
Residence: Springfield, Va.
Rep. Asa Hutchinson, a former U.S. Attorney, voted in favor of all four articles of impeachment against the president from his home state. A member of the House Judiciary Committee, he delivered the opening statements in Clinton's impeachment trial before the Senate in 1998.
But Hutchinson has offered some positive words for Clinton. Even in his impeachment address, he said Clinton offered a small state a "unique opportunity" to produce a president, something he said would likely never be repeated.
After Clinton left office, President Bush appointed him administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency. And in 2003, Bush named him undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security in the Department of Homeland Security.
"My life has gotten a lot more complicated and challenging since the [Clinton] administration ended and since I took responsibilities in the Bush administration," Hutchinson said.
If Clinton had never been elected, he said, "I would like to think I would have had opportunities to serve in the public arena, but there very well could have been different opportunities."
Last week, he told the Stephen Media Group's Washington Bureau that he is considering whether to stay at Homeland Security or pursue other opportunities in and out of government.
As for Little Rock's newest addition, he said, "I am very pleased that the Clinton Library will be opening in Arkansas. I think it will be a great addition to the state and its economy."
Then: U.S. Representative, 3rd District of Arkansas, 1993-1997; U.S. Senator, 1997-2003.
Now: Senior advisor, Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky law firm, Washington, D.C.
Residence: Alexandria, Va.
As a state legislator, a congressman and a U.S. senator, Hutchinson spent 16 years in public office with Bill Clinton as his chief executive.
It's no surprise then that Hutchinson, a Republican, describes his last two years in the Senate — with George W. Bush as president — as "a wonderful time."
And he remembers his years of wrangling with "the most gifted politician of my lifetime, for certain" mainly for his antithetical role. Among other things, he voted with the minority of senators who wanted to convict Clinton of the charges brought by the House of Representatives — including his brother, Asa.
"You want to be known for more and remembered for more than being loyal opposition," Hutchinson said. "Every time there was a State of the Union Address, Arkansas [television] stations would ask for reaction. That's uncomfortable, always having to take that kind of tact."
Hutchinson seems to be enjoying his time out of the political limelight since losing his re-election bid to the U.S. Senate in 2002 to Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.
Hutchinson said, "I'm very grateful for 18 years, but it's been a nice change without the pressures that go with public service."
Then: Associate counsel to the president
Now: Partner, Rose Law Firm, Little Rock
Residence: Little Rock
William H. Kennedy III, a Rose Law Firm partner of Hillary Rodham Clinton, went to Washington with the Clintons in January 1993. He worked directly under fellow Rose partner Vincent Foster, who committed suicide.
Singled out for blame in the "Travelgate" incident and caught in the surprise of attorney general nominee Zoe Baird's "Nannygate" revelations, Kennedy returned to Little Rock in 1995 and resumed his corporate practice at Rose. His client list includes Arkansas Business Publishing Group.
Kennedy had been to Washington before — as counsel to the Senate Appropriations Committee and as legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Kaneaster Hodges, D-Ark. He said he probably wouldn't have gone back had Clinton not been elected president.
"I have no regrets, met a lot of great people, paid a pretty stiff price," he said last week. "Money, grand jury appearances, dealing with independent counsels, testifying before Congress, having people question your integrity."
Being caught up in the Clinton scandals, he said, "is kind of like going through a divorce. Until someone's gone through it, you just can't connect."
Then: Deputy White House counsel
Now: Of counsel, Wright Lindsey & Jennings law firm
Residence: Little Rock
Bruce Lindsey, a longtime friend of Bill Clinton and member of the White House legal staff throughout the Clinton administration, returned to Little Rock in 2002 and resumed his legal practice at the firm his father helped found. But unlike most of the other "Clintonistas," Lindsey has remained in regular service to the former president.
He is still Clinton's legal representative for records related to the presidency — a job that found him back in the headlines more than three years after Clinton left office. In April, he complained to the press that the 9/11 Commission wasn't getting a full picture of Clinton's anti-terrorism policies because the Bush administration was withholding thousands of Clinton administration documents. The next day, the White House agreed to make all of the documents available.
Lindsey also was called in when staff members suspected that former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger had removed sensitive documents from the National Archives in Washington while preparing to appear before the 9/11 Commission.
Described by Time magazine as Clinton's "White House consigliere," Lindsey and Berger reportedly joined Clinton when he testified before the 9/11 Commission.
Then: Author and freelance magazine journalist.
Now: Political columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and syndication clients, author and freelance journalist.
Residence: Little Rock
Gene Lyons, a New Jersey native who married an Arkansan and adopted her home state, was an award-winning magazine journalist and author whose topics tended toward everything but presidential politics: true crime, educational issues, wildlife management, literary criticism.
"I never wrote about politics before Clinton came along. It was Clinton dragging the whole circus to town that got me involved in his foibles," Lyons said.
In 1996, he published a book detailing the national media's obsession with Clinton's Arkansas years called "Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater" and became a reliably liberal weekly contributor to the op-ed page of the conservative Democrat-Gazette.
Weeks after George W. Bush succeeded Clinton as president, Lyons and New York political commentator Joe Conason published a nonfiction bestseller called "The Hunting of the President: The 10-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton." Movie rights were sold — for cash and a share in any eventual profits — to Arkansas native Harry Thomason, whose documentary of the same name is now available on DVD.
"Now that our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over, I'm still stuck writing about politics, but I'm less happy about it all the time," he said. He has begun branching out to other topics, preferably dogs and horses.
One of Lyons' eight dogs is named Beverly Basset Hound, an homage to Beverly Bassett Schaffer, the former state securities commissioner who found herself and her husband, Archie, swept up in the Whitewater investigation.
Paula Jones McFadden
Then: Arkansas state employee
In May 1994, a state employee named Paula Corbin Jones filed a sexual harassment suit against President Clinton. Testimony from Jones' suit brought up Clinton's affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and ultimately led to the president's impeachment in 1998.
According to Jones, whose last name is now McFadden, then-Gov. Clinton propositioned her and exposed himself to her in an Excelsior Hotel room in Little Rock in 1991. Jones kept quiet until 1994 when writer David Brock told her story in The American Spectator, and Jones filed suit shortly thereafter.
In May 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed Clinton's attempt to put off the trial until he left office. And in June, Jones turned down Clinton's offer of a $700,000 settlement payment to charity but no apology.
After much legal wrangling, in April 1998 U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright threw out the case, saying that even if Clinton had propositioned her, it did not amount to sexual harassment and no emotional or professional harm could be proved.
Jones appealed the decision, and in November 1998 she and Clinton settled their lawsuit for $850,000, but Clinton offered no apology or admission of guilt.
Unfortunately for Clinton, the damage was already done.
On Jan. 17, 1998, while giving a sworn deposition in the Jones case, Clinton denied having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Months later he admitted the affair to a federal grand jury and to the nation in a televised address — a confession that led to impeachment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Since settling her suit with Clinton, Jones has posed for Penthouse magazine's December 2000 issue and lost a celebrity boxing match to former Olympic skater Tonya Harding in 2002.
Jones married her former neighbor, construction worker Steven Mark McFadden, in 1999. The couple lives in Cabot.
Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty
Then: Chief of staff for President Clinton, 1993-94
Now: Chairman of McLarty Cos. Inc. of Little Rock and president of Kissinger McLarty Associates of Washington, D.C.
Residence: Washington, D.C., and Little Rock.
A childhood friend of Bill Clinton from their hometown of Hope, Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty was president of Arkansas Louisi-ana Gas Co. while Clinton was governor. When Clinton went to Washington in 1993, so did McLarty — as his chief of staff, one of the most powerful and demanding jobs in the federal government.
It didn't last long. Before 1994 was over, McLarty was a private citizen again. But serving in the White House was a great privilege, he said.
"That led me to have much more activities in the international sector than I otherwise would have had," he said.
Nor would he likely be in business with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
And without Clinton in the Oval Office, McLarty said he wouldn't have the opportunity to meet world leaders.
"When we were in Russia, the first meeting we had with President Yeltsin, President Clinton gave me a note," McLarty said. "I've got it framed. It said: 8 a.m. Moscow. Meeting with Boris Yeltsin. Mack, a long way from Hope. Thanks, Bill."
Then: Arkansas State Trooper
Arkansas Trooper Larry Patterson received national attention early in President Clinton's administration when he and fellow trooper Roger Perry told The American Spectator that they had witnessed Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs while he was governor.
Several years ago, Patterson left the Arkansas State Police and became chief of the Quitman Police Department, from which he has since retired.
It wasn't until August that Patterson made the news again, this time charged in U.S. District Court for making a false statement to the FBI about his treatment of someone named Shawn Luepkes. The criminal information sheet only said Patterson told the FBI in February 2002 that "he only shoved Shawn Luepkes and he did not otherwise hit Shawn Luepkes."
Patterson pleaded guilty in August and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 2. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
J.L. "Skip" Rutherford
Then: Senior vice president, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods of Little Rock
Now: President, William J. Clinton Foundation; executive vice president and director of public policy, CJRW
Residence: Little Rock
J.L. "Skip" Rutherford didn't change jobs when President Clinton's administration ended.
Rutherford had been laying the groundwork for the construction of the Clinton Presi-dential Library since 1997. As the president of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Rutherford said momentum for the library picked up after Clinton left office.
"It's been one continuous activity since ... 2001 to Nov. 18, 2004," Rutherford said. "The presidential library will be a lasting gift from the president to the city and the state."
If Clinton had not been president, Rutherford's life would have been "significantly" different, he said. He would never had the opportunity to visit the White House and meet dignitaries.
"And just being a part of it I never dreamed possible, particularly growing up in a small Arkansas town where my only connection with presidents was through history books," Rutherford said.
Archie Schaffer III
Then: Director of media and governmental affairs, Tyson Foods Inc. of Springfield
Now: Senior vice president of external relations, Tyson Foods.
During Clinton's administration, Archie Schaffer was convicted under the 1907 Meat Inspection Act of trying to influence agricultural policy. His crime: He arranged for then-Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy to attend a Tyson party in Arkansas in 1993.
Espy was acquitted of any wrongdoing, and U.S. District Judge James Robertson twice tried to acquit Schaffer, only to be reversed by an appeals court.
At the urging of both Republicans and Democrats, Clinton pardoned Schaffer in December 2000.
"First and foremost, I want to thank President Clinton for putting an end to the nightmare my family and I have been living through the past six years," Schaffer said in a statement in 2000. "We've been on the same side of many issues, and on opposite sides from time to time. This is one time for sure that I'm thrilled to be on the Clinton team."
Since the end of Clinton administration, Schaffer has been promoted at Tyson. In June, he also was elected president of the board of directors of the Poultry Federation, which represents the industry in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Schaffer declined to comment for this piece.
Beverly Bassett Schaffer
Then: Partner, Wright Lindsey & Jennings law firm
Beverly Bassett Schaffer thought she was going to have a quiet life when she and her husband, Archie Schaffer III, left Little Rock to work in northwest Arkansas in 1991 — she as a partner in the Wright Lindsey & Jennings law firm and he as a lobbyist and spokesman for Tyson Foods Inc.
Schaffer had resigned her job as commissioner of the Arkansas Securities Department, to which she had been appointed by Gov. Bill Clinton in 1985.
As securities commissioner, though, she had dealt with regulatory issues pertaining to state-chartered savings and loan associations, and the fate of one of those — Jim McDougal's Madison Guaranty — came back to haunt her.
When Clinton launched his presidential campaign in 1991, "In very short order, our home and work lives were beset with out-of-state media and political operatives," she said in an e-mail statement.
Her husband's situation was even worse. When it became apparent that he would be indicted on felony charges for inviting U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy to a party given by his employer, Tyson Foods, she resigned from Wright Lindsey & Jennings and focused on her family.
"My husband's battle with that independent counsel finally ended in December 2000, with a much-appreciated presidential pardon from Bill Clinton," she said.
These days, Beverly Schaffer said she is looking to return to work.
She said Clinton becoming president didn't change her life, but it did rearrange some of her plans.
"Needless to say, my husband and I did not end up with that quieter, simpler life in the hills that we imagined was waiting for us when we left Little Rock," Schaffer said. "But what person can ever say for certain how his life might have been different if unplanned events had not occurred? That is life."
She said the experience she and her husband had during the Clinton administration made them stronger.
"[It] deepened our belief in the value of defending one's integrity, honor and character, regardless of the consequences," she said. "Perhaps many of us would know much less about who we are, really, if Bill Clinton had not been elected president. In that sense, it was a gift."
Rodney E. Slater
Then: Federal Highway Administrator, 1992-96; Secretary of Transportation, 1997-2000
Now: Partner, Patton Boggs LLP law firm and vice chairman and senior advisor, James Lee Witt Associates, both of Washington, D.C.
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Rodney Slater went from being a star football player at Eastern Michigan University to quarterbacking the execution of many historic legislative initiatives while serving with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
After graduating from law school, Slater became an assistant Attorney General of Arkansas, and remained in that position until 1982. In 1983, then- Gov. Clinton called on Slater to handle economic and community affairs, and then later as a special assistant for community and minority affairs. In 1987, Clinton named Slater to the Arkansas Highway Commission, where he became chairman in 1992. During that time, Slater served as director of government affairs for Arkansas State University at Jonesboro.
During President Clinton's first term, Slater was immediately named Federal Highway Administrator, the first African-American in that role.
He has remained in D.C. post-Clinton. Slater is a partner in the lobbying law firm of Patton Boggs and works with fellow Arkansans James Lee Witt and retired Gen. Wesley Clark in Witt's crisis consulting firm.
Kenneth L. Smith
Then: Assistant secretary, U.S. Depart-ment of the Interior
Now: Executive director, Audubon Arkansas
Residence: Little Rock
Ken Smith, a former teacher who had established the Nature Conservancy program in Arkansas, worked with the Department of Arkansas Heritage from 1981-88 and as part of Gov. Bill Clinton's staff from 1989-93.
When his boss became president, Smith went to Washington. He spent eight years with the Department of the Interior, ending up as assistant secretary over the U.S. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The end of the Clinton administration in 2001 was also the end of Smith's government service. But the Audubon Society knew of him, through his work at the Interior and also because his wife was a field director for Audubon in the District of Columbia, and asked him to help establish the society's first presence in Arkansas.
As executive director of Audubon Arkansas, Smith was a finalist in the Arkansas Business of the Year nonprofit executive category earlier this year.
Jim Guy Tucker
Then: Governor of Arkansas
Now: Building PT K@belvision network in Indonesia
Place of Residence: Little Rock and Jakarta, Indonesia
Convicted of bank fraud in the first Whitewater trial, Tucker reluctantly resigned as Arkansas governor after the verdict came down May 28, 1996. He was sentenced to four years' probation.
In December of 1996, he received a transplanted liver.
Tucker also pleaded guilty in 1998 to not disclosing the sale of a Florida cable television business when filing for bankruptcy in Texas in the 1980s in a case brought by Ken Starr. Prosecutors claimed he was trying to get out of paying $3 million in federal income taxes. Tucker said he agreed to the plea in order to save himself a prison term because of his health.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Tucker's appeal on the 1998 tax conspiracy conviction, despite the fact that the Internal Revenue Service had agreed that the law under which he was convicted had been repealed in 1986.
The Indonesian cable TV company that Tucker and his wife, Betty, have an equity stake in is controlled by Clinton friend James Riady, former president of Worthen Bank and son of Mochtar Riady, who heads the the multibillion dollar Lippo Group.
William W. Watt
Then: Little Rock municipal judge
Residence: Little Rock
This past summer, former Little Rock Municipal Judge Bill Watt was cleared to return to the bench by the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, although he said he didn't plan to seek another judgeship.
It was, however, the final step toward getting back to where he was before the Whitewater case, in which he was identified by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr as an unindicted co-conspirator.
As an attorney, Watt handled some real estate business for David Hale, one of President Clinton's chief accusers in the Whitewater affair. Watt was granted immunity during the grand jury investigation for his testimony about Hale's lending company and Jim and Susan McDougal's Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan.
Watt resigned from his judgeship under pressure in 1996, five months before his term was to end. The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission determined that he was unfit for the bench.
"It's taken 10 years for my public and political life to come full circle," Watt said of the reversal by a unanimous decision of the judicial panel.
In meantime, he said, "I survived. I learned how to make the best of it and get through it."
He said he's happy to be in private practice. "I never realized how tired I was of putting people in jail," he said of his days as municipal judge.
Watt said he would not have sought re-election to the post but would have finished out his term.
If Clinton had never been president, Watt said he would have been $100,000 better off and have far fewer gray hairs.
James Lee Witt
Then: Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1993-2001.
Now: Founder, James Lee Witt Associates, Washington, D.C.
Residence: Alexandria, Va.
One of the most highly praised of all of President Clinton's appointments, James Lee Witt intended to spend four years in Washington and then come back to Arkansas.
But when Clinton won a second term, he asked Witt to stay on. Now he's been in Washington for 12 years, spending about one week a month at his old home at Dardan-elle.
The company he founded in 2001 now includes fellow Arkansans Rodney Slater and retired Gen. Wesley Clark. It handles issues of public safety and emergency management, disaster mitigation and continuity of operations. It does lobbying work, advises educational institutions, and assists state and local governments and international bodies to prepare for and recover from disasters and crises. High-profile contracts have included an independent review of a deadly high-rise fire in Chicago and short- and long-term recovery planning for the Cayman Islands following Hurricane Ivan.
Business has been good, Witt said.
"Starting with a borrowed office and a borrowed desk, the business plan came together well," he said. James Lee Witt Associates has offices in Atlanta, Chicago and Sacramento, Calif., and is planning to open an office in Little Rock by the beginning of 2005.
If Clinton had not been elected, Witt said, "I'd never had the opportunities to do what I've done. I've traveled the world, meeting top officials. I do miss public service."
Then: Presidential adviser
Now: Anti-death penalty activist; part-time gubernatorial archivist, Central Arkansas Library System.
Betsey Wright revels in the fact that she now can read a newspaper or watch television without nausea because Indepen-dent Counsel Ken Starr is no longer in the news. Besides doing a lot of public speaking, she's glad she's out of the high-profile political field and has been able to start working on a goal that has been important to her for her entire life — the abolition of capital punishment.
She recognizes that most death row inmates are guilty of horrible crimes, but she believes the death penalty is not administered equitably and that life without parole, based on studies in several states, is less costly to the state than capital punishment.
She said she was tired of living in Washington and relieved when Clinton's presidency ended.
"The Clinton presidency was utterly miserable to me because of all the investigations," Wright said. "It was horrible for me."
Susan Webber Wright
Then: U.S. District Judge
Now: Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
Residence: Little Rock
Judge Susan Webber Wright, a moderate Republican nominated to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, presided over many of the high-profile legal issues related to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's investigations known collectively as Whitewater.
The Texarkana native gained the national spotlight when she dismissed Paula Corbin Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton in 1998. A year later, she held the president in contempt of court after he admitted to a grand jury and then in a televised confession that he had a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky — something he had lied about in a sworn deposition in the Jones case.
Wright also presided over the bank fraud trial of Jim and Susan McDougal and sent Susan McDougal to jail for 18 months for refusing to testify before a Whitewater grand jury.
Wright said she simply applied the law based on the facts as she would in any case in her court.
She didn't ask for any of the Clinton cases and despite the national attention, she said her life hasn't been changed by it.
- YRC CEO is Done Talking About That ABF Freight Takeover Offer
- More Trouble at David Henry's Plaza Towers
- Arkansas Times: Sources Say Martha Shoffner Source Is Steele Stephens
- Mike Duke Among Top 50 Highest-Paid CEOs As Ranked by AP 16 hours ago
- UA, ASU Boards Approve Tuition Hikes 12 hours ago
- Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs for Sale 20 hours ago
- Historic Fort Smith Building to Be Renovated 20 hours ago
- Update: Intruder Arrested at Arkansas Governor's Mansion 17 hours ago