NEW YORK — Former presidential aide Lyn Nofziger, whose lobbying on behalf of a defense contractor is under federal scrutiny, also successfully influenced the White House for a rice company, according to a report published today.
According to the New York Daily News, Nofziger wrote then-National Security Adviser William Clark on behalf of Early California Industries, a Los Angeles rice company, because it had supported the Republican Party.
Nofziger, now head of a Washington public relations firm, lobbied for both the rice company and New York defense contractor Wedtech Corp. less than a year after leaving his job as a political aide to President Reagan, the News said.
Under federal law, top White House officials cannot try to influence former colleagues for at least one year after leaving their posts.
The Justice Department has said it is examining whether Nofziger was covered by that law when he lobbied White House aide James Jenkins on behalf of Wedtech four months after leaving the White House in January, 1982.
On Dec. 16, 1982, the News said, Nofziger wrote Clark in an effort to prevent Early California from losing a lucrative contract to sell rice to South Korea. The company faced objections from the U.S. Agriculture Department, according to the newspaper.
In his letter, Nofziger said that the Democratic-backed California cooperatives affiliated with the Connell Rice & Sugar Co. of Westfield, N.J., should not be allowed to regain the contract.
According to published reports, Nofziger helped Wedtech win a $28-million engine contract from the U.S. Army. The contract proposal had been opposed by the Army. Through Nofziger's efforts, the small machine shop was able to grow into a $100-million-a-year defense contractor, the reports said.