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Name and title: Cindy M. Lott, chief counsel of the 2004 Democratic National Convention Committee Inc. Age: 37 Presidential powwow: The 2004 Democratic National Convention Committee Inc. (DNCC) is responsible for organizing and conducting the party’s July 26-29 convention, the culmination of the Democratic presidential nominating process. The DNCC is preparing for 50,000 daily guests in Boston’s FleetCenter arena, including media members, 8,000 volunteers and 4,319 delegates, a diverse cross-section representing 50 states, Washington, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Democrats abroad. The convention committee is legally and structurally affiliated with the Democratic National Committee, although fiscally separate, and must be reincorporated every four years. Does it all: By the convention’s close, Lott will have acquired “institutional knowledge of everything.” She oversees all aspects of employment, contracts, insurance, credentials, restrictions and requirements. She supervises vendors (with an emphasis on minority participation), is involved with affiliated and advocacy groups and watches over intellectual property. Lott also vets all communications churned out by her office. In order to receive federal funding, the DNCC must undergo a rigorous audit by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and Lott ensures compliance with it. She also conducts compliance training for committee personnel. Those in her position must be extra scrupulous, she asserted, due to the federal funding and public scrutiny, and the reality that everything she does could be subjected to political spin. To ensure a safe convention, Lott meets regularly with subcommittees from 25 agencies representing federal, state, county and local levels. “This convention is the first post-9/11 one. That’s not lost on anyone,” Lott said. Security is under the aegis of the Secret Service and the Boston police, and she takes direction from them. Conventions have historically spawned suits over demonstrator issues, usually against the host city or police department, and Lott is anticipating the potential for similar legal wrangles as July 26 approaches. Hundreds of agreements: As in past conventions, an overall master agreement “from which most obligations and responsibilities flow,” is entered into between the host city, the arena and the DNCC, along with any other relevant parties. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is a signatory in 2004 because the FleetCenter is built on air rights and the authority owns the ground under it. Election rules permit the DNCC to be a third-party signatory of contracts entered into by the Democratic National Committee, or to be a third-party beneficiary of anything procured for the convention. Lott executes “hundreds of agreements” with media users, and she enters into official provider agreements for necessary goods or services, for which, in return, companies such as General Motors, Nextel and Microsoft get promotional value. All such transactions must be transparent in the FEC auditing process. Lott said she loves to juggle, triage and problem-solve, as she nears the 21-hour workdays that loom as the convention draws closer. Her mantra is “thoughtful efficiency,” noting that “In the political world, things fly at the speed of light. To give the 90% answer now is often much more useful than giving the perfect answer three days from now.” Legal team: Lott “made a point of doing my own legal outreach” when she arrived in Boston, contacting all of the local law schools for volunteers. She also sifted through 200 inquiries from lawyers about working in the legal counsel’s office, but Lott is “the only lawyer working in a lawyerly capacity” for the convention committee. An assistant, Erin Walsh, helps in a variety of ways, and Lott works closely with CEO Rod O’Connor and with FEC-compliance expert Joseph E. Sandler of Washington’s Sandler & Reiff, the general counsel of the Democratic National Committee. She likens her job to that of a GC at a start-up company (the DNCC starts with a handful of staff members, then peaks with 300), “only with a political overlay.” Route to the top: Since earning a 1993 law degree from Yale Law School, after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University, Lott has worked in private practice and government and for nonprofits. She began her career as a clerk on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Relocating to the Midwest, from where her husband hails, Lott worked on her first campaign-for Indiana Attorney General Jeff Modisett-and soon joined his office, overseeing a dozen attorneys as section chief in administrative and regulatory litigation. Promoted to a chief counsel position, she was then selected by Modisett (in his capacity as chief counsel of the convention committee) to serve as deputy counsel at the 2000 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. Washington was her next stop, where she focused on fraud and compliance issues with New York-based Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. During the 2000 convention, Lott worked in tandem with Sandler, who chose her to be the chief counsel of this year’s convention committee. She anticipates a return to private practice after her year-long stint in Boston. Personal: Lott, a Louisville, Ky., native, is married to Kris Grube. They are the parents of two sons, ages 5 and 2. Her hobbies include cross-country road trips, international cooking and, of course, politics. Last book and movie: Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner, and Lost in Translation.

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