Idaho hired PR help early in Pam Lowe firing case, Gallatin Public Affairs

Word is still out on what it will cost the taxpayer to settle the wrongful termination lawsuit brought by former Idaho Transportation Department Director Pam Lowe. The details won't be released until a settlement agreement is formally reached, filed in federal court and approved by a judge.

But a new tidbit emerged in a partially fulfilled public records request I made last week. Shortly after Lowe filed her lawsuit in November 2009, the state's private counsel, Holland & Hart of Boise, hired Gallatin Public Affairs for advice in the Lowe case.

Three invoices released by ITD detail $4,419 billed by Gallatin for "litigation assistance." The bills were for work done by Isaac Squyres and Marc Johnson in January, May and June 2010.

Johnson said Gallatin offered advice on how the lawsuit would be portrayed in the media. "We were retained by Holland & Hart as part of its representation of ITD," Johnson said Monday. "They were anticipating a high degree of interest in the case."

They got that right. The gender discrimination allegations have been in the public eye since Lowe's firing in May 2009. Last week's news that the state would settle with Lowe was the buzz in political circles. Through March 8, the state had paid over $540,000 to Holland & Hart.

Johnson is Gallatin's managing partner in Boise and a former chief of staff to former Gov. Cecil Andrus. Squyres is a former chief of staff to former Congressman Walt Minnick. Squyres left Gallatin in May to become an equity partner at the Boise advertising firm of DaviesMoore. Squyres' father, Newell, is Holland & Hart's lead attorney in the Lowe case.

Johnson billed 2.25 hours at $275 per hour; Isaac Squyres billed 17 hours at $200 per hour. The balance was for administrative fees.

Asked about the father-and-son relationship, Johnson said, "Isaac has done a lot of this kind of thing for law firms for a long time."

The invoices show that two other lawyers at Holland & Hart, Fred Mack and Mary York, received the billings from Gallatin.

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Everyone

gets a piece of the pie, as long as the Idaho taxpayers are picking up the tab.

The State

is using public funds to spin their side of this story?
Wow, just Wow.
Step up Clem, if y'all got sumpin' ta say.

Yep!

Clem doesn't even have to justify that it is a Seattle based firm(screw buy Idaho) because they were subbed by Holland & Hart.

Lipstick

Even the Gallatin Group couldn't put enough lipstick on this pig to make it look pretty. The more we find out about this it just shows how deep the "good old boy" mentality runs during Otter's reign. Since public funds were used in all of this,the case and it's settlement should be open to the public not settled in secret behind closed doors like some tin pot dictatorship.

Welcome

to Idaho politics of the New Millenia. Corrupt, partisan, nepotistic, covert, dependent, short-sighted, and feeble.
Thanks JR. I hope your grandkids get out of rehab someday.

now we know

So this is why they had to cut public school funding.

Butch squandered some more taxpayer money

to see how this would be portrayed in the media and how the public would respond? I guess I better give that boy my phone number. I'll tell him for free what the public thinks of him.

And

if Clem ran again the sheeple of Idaho would re-elect him by a landslide. Even if he ran against a Harvard scholar with real ideas. All it takes is that 'R' next to your name on the ballot.

We have to pay to let them play?

Oh, this is great --- cronyism, political favors, and all at the expense of taxpayers? We pay Gallatin Group so that they can come up with clichés to portray this case in the media at Daddy's law firm and line its pockets at the same time so the Legislature can then slash funding for public schools because we spent all of the money defending a lawsuit that had no substance? Shouldn't this firm been the first to say -- "cut your losses ... this case is a loser"?

The more we know, the more we find out how much this really cost us. Poor people in this state get nothing but the shaft, huh?

Well........

THAT was money well-spent.....

Seriously, how badly (and often) does the current political establishment have to $kru the pooch before we give them their pink-slips?

Three cheers...

...for Pam Lowe. She has more balls than the lot of 'em.

How did this expenditure serve the public interest?

Every dime the government spends must serve the public interest, directly or indirectly. Someone please justify this.

Otter has his own PR people anyway. How come they weren't good enough?

And what did Gallatin produce - what did we get for our money? Mr. Popkey, please get Gallatin's work product and post it online so we can know what we bought.