Rick Berman, Corporate Attack Dog for Hire

Rick Berman, the corporate lobbyist and front group king who runs Berman and Co. is probably smiling all the way to the bank, no doubt enjoying a prominent profile in USA Today headlined "Got a nasty fight? Here's your man." The article quotes Berman's critics, including CMD's John Stauber who says "He obviously has made a very monetarily successful career out of bashing, smearing and attacking environmentalists... He's perfected the art of the personal attack and the personal smear. We know from political campaigns that it is a very effective device." Most public figures would cringe, but for Berman the piece is simply good advertising and will probably win him more corporate clients who pay him to be their high-profile attack dog while they stay hidden from scrutiny or responsibility. The USA Today article continues, "He seldom mentions his clients ... and he represents them through a variety of non-profit groups he has set up. His targets range from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to the Ralph Nader-founded Center for Science in the Public Interest, which works on food issues, to labor unions." The article notes that Berman now has a staff of 28 and an annual budget of $10 million dollars, but "only Berman and his bookkeeper/wife know for sure what he makes."