- Libya’s rebel army stops lobbying; Ethiopian-Americans seek shift on Nile dam diplomacy; Pokemon hires lobbyists; Mercury still working on Nigerian candidate’s WTO bid
It was fun while it lasted.
Libyan rebel leader Khalifa Haftar‘s army has ended its US lobbying amid a string of military defeats. As lobby shop Linden Government Solutions told us, they’ve got bigger fish to fry right now.
The $2 million contract was signed last May as President Donald Trump dithered on whether to support the UN-backed government in Tripoli. With Turkey jumping in the fray and sending Haftar’s forces fleeing, the tables have turned dramatically. Read our story here.
Earlier this week, the Congressional Black Caucus urged the Trump administration to rethink its Nile dam diplomacy.
As it turns out, the statement didn’t come out of the blue: For months, two Ethiopian-American groups have been arguing that the US-led talks favor Egypt over Ethiopia. They’ve even gotten the Rev. Jesse Jackson on board.
Their stance mirrors that of the Ethiopian government, but they insist they’re independent of the Addis Ababa. Read our story here.
Pokemon hires lobbyists
The US subsidiary of the Japan-based Pokemon Company has hired its second Washington lobbying firm. Platinum Advisors DC will lobby on “electronic commerce, particularly regarding the video game industry, and mobile gaming” for the Bellevue, Washington Pokemon Company International. The lobbying registration was effective June 24. Erik Huey, the former Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the Entertainment Software Association, will lobby on the account along with Anthony Hobbs.
Platinum Advisors DC joins Greenberg Traurig, which has been registered to lobby for the Pokemon subsidiary since July 2016. Greenberg Traurig however has not reported any lobbying activity for the company since the first quarter of 2019. At the time it disclosed working on “congressional outreach and monitoring of administrative and legislative action related to technology and intellectual property.”
The hire comes on the four-year anniversary of the wildly successful Pokemon Go videogame. The videogame helped The Pokemon Company have its second best year ever in 2019.
TODAY’S DOMESTIC LOBBYING FILINGS (LDA)
Mystery solved: Mercury Public Affairs is still helping Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala with her run to lead the World Trade Organization. Mercury terminated its registration effective June 6, a day after it was filed, but the firm tells Foreign Lobby Report that’s only because it never had to register in the first place for the kind of work it’s doing. Read our original story about the registration here.
Pennsylvania-based Magnesita Refractories Company has hired Akin Gump to lobby on trade and manufacturing issues effective June 10. The company is a subsidiary of Austrian refractory company RHI Magnesita. Lobbying on the account are: Former House Energy and Commerce Committee staffer Chris Treanor; Steve Kho, a former lead US Trade Representative attorney on intellectual property and government procurement matters; and Hans Rickhoff.
IN OTHER NEWS
The US government has charged lobbyist Jack Abramoff with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in what it’s calling the “first ever known prosecution of a lobbyist for a criminal violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act.” Abramoff is accused of failing to register after being hired by an undercover FBI agent. He has agreed to plead guilty.