Liz Cheney and Philip Perry: A prominent couple in Washington D.C.

By Gregory Nickerson
— July 22, 2013

Though Wyoming voters have known the Dick Cheney family for decades, some may not know much about Liz Cheney’s personal life, which is rooted in her experience as a member of the Washington D.C. political elite and her marriage to Philip Perry.

While such details may not be touted in Cheney’s campaign, they help flesh out how she lived before she came back to Wyoming in 2012, prior to announcing her run for United States Senate.

Meet the husband

Liz Cheney’s husband is Philip Perry, a fellow graduate of Colorado College. She took his name when they married, but continues to use the last name Cheney in her professional and political life.

Perry is a prominent attorney who is a partner for the large Washington D.C. law and lobbying firm Latham & Watkins. A call to the firm confirmed that Perry continues to work in the Washington D.C. office.

Philip Perry has had a successful career as a Washington lawyer who has alternated between government work and lobbying. He was counsel to the U.S. Senate investigation of alleged campaign finance abuses by Clinton and Gore in their 1996 campaign.

He was among the close circle of advisers in the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000. After Bush and Cheney won office, he served in several high-ranking positions including general counsel in the Office of Management and Budget, acting associate attorney general at the Department of Justice, and general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.

Perry was the subject of an investigative story in Washington Monthly magazine in 2007, which painted him as a highly-intelligent man who knows how to wield power quietly. The article claims that Perry has used his influence to benefit industry while working for the government. For example, it alleges that Perry stopped the development of legislation granting authority to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate security at chemical plants in the wake of 9/11.

During that time, many were concerned that chemical facilities near large urban populations were at high risk of terrorist attack because of their inadequate security measures. The Department of Homeland Security and the EPA were working together to craft legislation to put more stringent security requirements in place. The article credits Perry as the person who scuttled that legislation before it ever made it to Congress. It also stated that Perry later helped put in place lax security measures that met the approval of the chemical industry while working as general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security.

The same article claims that in 2003 Perry worked as a Latham & Watkins lobbyist trying to get liability protections for Lockheed Martin and General Electric. Since leaving his Department of Homeland Security position in 2007, Perry has represented clients like Monsanto, Entergy, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Perry and Liz Cheney have five children. Several of the older children attended a private school in McLean, Va., where tuition is over $30,000 a year.

Homes in Wyoming and Virginia

Cheney and Perry bought a home in Wilson, Wyo., in May 2012. The Associated Press reported the listing price was $1.9 million, and included 2.4 acres and views of the Tetons.

Wilson is located just south of Teton Village in Jackson Hole. In recent elections it has become notable for being an enclave of high-powered political donors, including Foster Friess and a host of others. According to Forbes magazine, the community provided more than $1.8 million in political contributions in the 2012 cycle, most of it to Republican candidates.

Last year, Dick Cheney hosted a $30,000 per-couple fundraising dinner for Mitt Romney at his home in the gated Teton Pines golf community.

Dick and Lynne Cheney bought property in Teton Pines in 1993. They held a mortgage on that property for $455,000, which they paid off in 1995. (Incidentally, Teton Pines is the same golf community where Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill attended a luncheon in November 2012, earning criticism from Department of Education employees who said the trip was unnecessary.)

Mary Cheney holds a bible during Dick Cheney's second swearing in as vice president in 2005. (White House Photo)

Dick Cheney takes the oath of office for the second time in 2005, placing his hand on a bible held by Mary Cheney. His wife Lynne Cheney and Liz Cheney look on. (White House Photo/Susan Sterner — click to enlarge)

In 2000, Dick and Lynne Cheney moved from Texas to Jackson Hole to become Wyoming residents. They likely did so because a president and vice-president cannot be from the same state.

Liz Cheney’s sister Mary Cheney also owns property in Teton County. She graduated from Colorado College in 1991 and worked for the Colorado Rockies and as a public relations manager for Coors Brewing Company. She later served as director of vice presidential operations for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign. She now works as a vice president for Consumer Advocacy at AOL. She married Heather Poe in 2012 and they have two children.

Liz Cheney and Perry still own their home in McLean, Va., a seven-bed seven-bath home with a pool on a cul-de-sac, roughly 23 minutes from the center of Washington D.C.  This has been their base since 2006, shortly before Perry left his work at the Department of Homeland Security and returned to Latham & Watkins. Homes in the neighborhood are valued at more than $2 million.

For an in-depth story on the Liz Cheney family, read this investigative piece from New York Magazine.

— Gregory Nickerson is the government and policy reporter for WyoFile. He writes the Capitol Beat blog. Contact him at greg@wyofile.com.
 
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Published on July 19, 2013

{ 2 comments }

DeweyV July 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

I’d footnote this for some context by adding that Liz had a fairly high powered post at the State Department , created for her out of the ether in late 2001 if you believe the New York Times and Paul Krugman , or a languishing vacancy conveniently filled by Liz upon the recommendation of Colin Powell. She left that post 2 years later to campaign for dear old dad and Dubya , then returned to a very similar post with a different name in 2005 , a spoting that was notable for some dark clouds and duplicity. Cheney’s work with the Iran Syria Policy Operations Group and some covert arms deals certainly deserves more scrutiny than it got at the time…

In fact , she needs to be put under the microscope for a lot of scrutiny on a lot of things. A Wyoming microscope would be nice.

wyominman July 23, 2013 at 7:49 am

It is so nice to see that they have left DC behind and can now focus on Wyoming. I am sure their house in Virginia will be in the DC area realtors guide very soon. I am sure Philip has already given his 2 weeks notice and will start work at a Jackson Law firm soon, or do free country lawyering for the poor people of our state.Their concern for Wyoming will show if these things start to happen. Wake up Wyoming. None of those things will happen. The home in Wilson is their summer home. After Enzi defeats Liz she will move back to DC. I personally think that Mary Cheney is the class act of that family by a long shot.

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