An elderly man in a widely seen Democratic TV ad who assails Virginia Senate candidate George Allen for backing partial privatization of Social Security, possibly threatening his fixed income, is a prominent Democratic trial lawyer known for defending former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke in his legal tussles with flamboyant former wife Suzanne Cooke.
In the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad blanketing Virginia, Edwin Williams is portrayed as a home-bound retiree on fixed income. "I count on Social Security and and I don't want Washington politicians like George Allen privatizing it," says the still active lawyer.
The ad does not further identify Williams, other than show his Social Security benefit papers and the street number on his McLean mailbox on leafy Swinks Mill Road populated with million-dollar brick colonials. His home is assessed at over $987,000. The text of the ad simply calls Williams, "senior."
The ad has been a blockbuster hit against Allen who is tied or slightly trailing in polls against Democrat Tim Kaine.
Asked about the ad and Williams, DSCC spokesman Matt Canter said, "Virginia seniors count on Social Security and don't want Washington politicians like George Allen to privatize it. George Allen's Wall Street backers may love his plan to privatize Social Security, but it's a disaster for Virginia seniors."
Williams did not return multiple calls to his Vienna, Virginia office or home, though a woman who answered at his home promised a return call.
Williams helped start the boutique law firm, Kellogg, Williams and Lyons in 1972. He has led the firm's Vienna branch for years. Calls to the firm's Washington office were referred to Williams in Vienna. His partner, Philip Kellogg, also did not return a call or email.
Williams has been a Washington area legal fixture for years, serving as an assistant U.S. attorney and as ex-Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke's lawyer in at least two famous cases, one to challenge his ex-wife's alimony request and another involving a child custody case.
Williams is a Democratic donor to Sen. Mark Warner and former Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello who lost to Republican Robert Hurt in 2010.
His firm specializes in auto accidents, medical malpractice and tax cases and brags on its website that it has "recovered millions of dollars for civil plaintiffs."