Livingston: I pressed La. gov. for martial law

Like thousands of other Washingtonians worried about family and friends in New Orleans after Katrina struck the Crescent City, former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) and his wife, Bonnie, had some uneasy moments last week.

Livingston, the former Appropriations Committee chairman turned successful lobbyist, said his 83-year-old mother escaped to Shreveport with his sister and brother-in-law. His wife’s mother, also 83, fled the city just in time.

Like thousands of other Washingtonians worried about family and friends in New Orleans after Katrina struck the Crescent City, former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) and his wife, Bonnie, had some uneasy moments last week.

Livingston, the former Appropriations Committee chairman turned successful lobbyist, said his 83-year-old mother escaped to Shreveport with his sister and brother-in-law. His wife’s mother, also 83, fled the city just in time.

Livingston had to wait for word of the fate of his oldest son’s in-laws. On Friday, he received word that they were safe.
Livingston represented the New Orleans metro area for more than 20 years. He owns a condominium and two rental properties there and feared they were damaged or destroyed.

He was particularly critical of Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) for failing to declare martial law promptly to deter widespread looting.

“I raised hell with the governor for not declaring martial law,” he said Thursday. “I told her last [Wednesday] night I was going on ‘Hannity & Colmes’ and criticize her for not doing that, and 20 minutes later, she did.”


Big is beautiful, preaches lobbyist Berman

Fresh on the heels of the controversial Dove ad campaign featuring overweight women, supersized superlobbyist Michael Berman is telling men it’s not a sin to be overweight.

Berman, the larger-than-life president of the Duberstein Group consulting firm, is preparing to hit the book-promotion trail this fall to tout his forthcoming memoir, Living Large: A Big Man’s Ideas on Weight, Success and Acceptance.

Berman’s publisher, Rodale, calls his book, written with the help of ghostwriter and novelist Laurence Shames,  “a poignant, funny and, above all, honest look at obesity from the inside out … as a fat man learns acceptance, loses the guilt and gains the wisdom to manage his weight.”

Berman, 66, a former top aide to Vice President Walter Mondale and the scheduler for six Democratic national conventions, is “a self-proclaimed ‘fat man’ who is also a happy man — successful in his career, marriage and friendships,” according to Rodale’s publicists.

The book is scheduled for publication next spring, said Berman, whose current weight is 230 pounds, well below his top adult weight of 323 pounds and slightly above his slimmest weight of 215. He’s due to have knee-replacement surgery soon.

“My goal is to keep it between 230 and 235 for the next few years,” Berman said last week. “That’s my optimum working weight.”

Living Large isn’t Berman’s first publishing venture. He writes a monthly newsletter, “Washington Political Watch,” mailed to about 750 people.

After taking up photography about 10 years ago as a form of relaxation, Berman also put together a collection of 100 photographs of animals he took at zoos around the world to give as gifts for friends with small children.

As for parents, Berman said, “None of them can name every one of the animals, and I refuse to help them.”


Sanders stars in Rolling Stone expos

More in News

Gov. Pence: Foreign policy looms large for 2016

Read more »