Dossier

WHO: Peter Valcarce, 39

WHAT: President of Arena Communications, a $3.9-million direct-marketing company based in Salt Lake City. Valcarce owns 60% of Arena; partner James Ohman owns the rest.

WHY: To help Republicans get elected.

ROOTS: Son of orchard owners in Utah.

FIRST VOTE: Pulling the lever for Ronald Reagan in 1980 while an 18-year-old freshman at Brigham Young University.

FIRST POLITICAL JOB: Working in the Utah office of Senator Orrin Hatch.

WHY DEMOCRATS ARE BAD FOR THE ECONOMY: When Democrats took control of the Senate in 1987, Hatch lost his post as Labor Committee Chairman -- so Valcarce lost his job.

STUMPED: Worked on Salt Lake City's first Olympics bid. Managed a losing congressional campaign in Utah.

HOUSE OF UNREPRESENTATIVES: Valcarce launched Arena in 1996. Clinton's easy victory that year meant that few Republican challengers won House seats. But four of Arena's first five clients were elected. The fifth -- Jane Swift, of Massachusetts -- lost her House bid but went on to become the youngest governor in the United States.

MOST CONSERVATIVE CLIENT: Utah representative Christopher Cannon, one of the 13 House managers during Clinton's impeachment.

FAVORITE CLIENT: New Mexico representative Heather Wilson. "You can see her becoming a fast-rising star in the party."

RANKING CLIENT: George W. Bush

WHERE VALCARCE WAS DURING THE FLORIDA RECOUNT: Tahiti, on a cruise booked before the chads hit the fan. "I felt a little out of it because the ship only received a one-page summary of the news each day," he says.

A JANUARY SURPRISE: At a fete Valcarce threw for his clients at a D.C. restaurant during inaugural festivities, an uninvited guest caused a stir: Monica Lewinsky. "She looks just like she does on TV," Valcarce says.


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