As a result, Everitt has had to become a lobbyist. Arguably the best known face from Stanford on Capitol Hill, he spends a good chunk of time in Washington every year persuading Congressmen and committee staffers to put GP-B back in the NASA budget. And he has an expert partner in Parkinson, who was nicknamed "Silver Tongue" for his lobbying efforts inside the Department of Defense when he was selling the Global Positioning System.
The two have done an impressive job. For on thing, the latest threat has been overcome, with the program being restored for fiscal year 1993. Says David Gilman, NASA program manager for GP-B, "To show you how strong Congressional support has been, the [previous] two times Congress restored funding for GP-B itís been an outright gift to NASA. Itís really exceptional when that happens."
Still, living and dying every year by the NASA budget sword takes a toll. "I think weíre used to the turmoil," says Parkinson, "but itís a nuisance and a hell of a lot of work for us. And it always puts you in ĎThe Perils of Pauline,í with a train hurtling down the track toward you. Itís a tough problem not to lose your nerve." Everitt seems more disconcerted than nervous. Asked how he would define his job, he smiles wanly and says, "Iím not quite sure what I consider myself. Sometimes I consider myself to be a traveling salesman."