- UAE surveys US opinion; AIPAC steps into annexation minefield; Georgia trade promo contract ends; Cameroon loses Clout; Daschle renews Taiwan contract with eye to 2020
The United Arab Emirates is looking for a read on US public opinion heading into the 2020 election.
The UAE Embassy in Washington hired the Glover Park Group to conduct “survey research regarding public attitudes” last week. Glover Park previously had an $80,000 contract for similar services last year.
The hire comes as the country faces criticism on Capitol Hill regarding its interventions in Yemen and Libya. Saudi Arabia has retained similar public opinion services, as you can read here.
The ever-cautious pro-Israel lobby AIPAC took the unusual step of squarely weighing in on the West Bank annexation debate today.
Faced with a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and three other progressive Democrats that uses the dreaded
“apartheid” word and threatens to withhold US aid, the lobby group tweeted its disapproval. AIPAC also noted that presumptive Democratic 2020 nominee Joe Biden helped negotiate the current 10-year, $38 billion aid package to Israel.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying President Donald Trump‘s evangelical base for support for his annexation plans. Read our round-up story here.
New York PR firm Hill & Knowlton terminated three of its foreign clients in its most recent lobbying filing. The only account with any recent activity was its contract with Georgia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
The trade promotion contract was signed last year ahead of Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze‘s June 2019 visit to the United States. Bakhtadze met not only with Washington officials during his 10-day trip but also visited San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas
The ministry paid Hill & Knowlton about $750,000 for “outreach to state and federal lawmakers, US businesses and US audiences” while spending another $1.1 million on media advertisements. You can read more here.
NEW FOREIGN LOBBYING FILINGS (FARA)
Cameroon: Clout Public Affairs of Austin, Texas has stopped providing public affairs and media consulting for the Republic of Cameroon effective Tuesday, June 30. The firm has disclosed $436,000 in payments since being hired for $55,000 per month in July 2019.
Taiwan: The Daschle Group has renewed its $25,000-a-month lobbying contract with Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), for another year, effective April 1. The new contract hints at the need for Taiwan to cover all its bases ahead of the 2020 elections:
Saudi Arabia: The McKeon Group received $270,000 for “unpaid invoices for 2019” from the Saudi Embassy in Washington on Jan. 2, according to the firm’s disclosure for the six months through May. The firm founded by former House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, Republican of Texas, did not disclose any lobbying during the period.
South Korea: The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) paid Florence Lowe-Lee $140,000 for the six months through April to promote US-Korean cooperation in the field of nuclear energy research and development via her Global America Business Institute.
Japan: Former history teacher Bowen McDonald Peard has registered as a “political assistant” to the Consulate General of Japan in Boston. He started in November 2019.
Taiwan: Yi-Rou Wu has registered as an agent of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council via Far East Trade Services, Inc..
NEW DOMESTIC LOBBYING FILINGS (LDA)
Smart thermometer company Kinsa hired Bay Bridge Strategies effective May 11. The firm and its founder, Alix Burns, are slated to lobby on “issues related to COVID-19, including early warning about outbreak” for the company. Kinsa is 16.8% owned by GSR Ventures, a private equity fund with offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Singapore (the lobbying filings list a Singaporean GSR affiliate). Bay Bridge Strategies in turn has hired a subcontractor, Peck Madigan Jones, whose registration was also effective May 11. Registered on the account are:
- Matt Leffingwell, a former aide to House Appropriations Committee ranking member Kay Granger (R-Texas);
- John Michael Gonzalez, a member of President Barack Obama’s transition team;
- Ashli Palmer, a former aide to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.);
- Andrew McKechnie, a former aide to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa); and
- Jeff Shapiro, a former aide to Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.).
Crestview Strategy US lobbied Congress regarding US-Canada trade policy, implementation of the USMCA free trade agreement, cross-border commerce and COVID-19 legislation on behalf of the Canadian American Business Council during Q2 2020. The firm disclosed less than $5,000 in lobbying fees.