The current king of the proxy fighters is a tough-talking, dapper Washington lawyer named Alfons Landa, who admits that his role in more than half a dozen battles has made him "as popular as a skunk." Last week Landa, 60, won his biggest battle by unseating pudgy Leopold Silberstein, 54, from the sick Penn-Texas Corp., taking over as president at $36,000 a year. (Silberstein will collect $40,000 a year for five years as an "adviser.") Landa got into the fight nearly two years ago when Chicago's Fairbanks, Morse decided to back him financially as a counterirritant to Silberstein, who...

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