Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Ky. chasing dollars from Uncle Sam

State reopening office in D.C., hiring consultant

By Charles Wolfe
The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — The state is opening an office in Washington, D.C., and hiring a prominent Republican's consulting firm, Gov. Paul Patton and other officials said Monday.

        It's to help the state as a whole, and the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville in particular, jockey for position in the chase for federal research money, the officials said.

        “The federal government ... has got billions of dollars and they're looking for ways to find people to do research for them,” Mr. Patton said in a news conference.

        The universities are attracting experts and building research capacity, Mr. Patton said. But “the federal government is not here asking how they can give us money,” he said. He said a Washington office would help bring the two sides together.

        The plan carries an implicit promise that the state's two largest institutions will be collaborating more and competing less, Mr. Patton and their presidents said.

        Kentucky has had a Washington office off and on — the last time five years ago, when the Patton administration closed it. “We did not see a crying need to keep it open because there was not a strategic plan to focus on,” Secretary of the Cabinet Crit Luallen said.

        The permanent office will cost $700,000 a year, with the two universities contributing $50,000 apiece, Ms. Luallen said.

        The new consulting firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, is headed by Haley Barbour, a former Republican national chairman and chief fund-raiser for Republicans in the U.S. Senate.


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- Ky. chasing dollars from Uncle Sam