- Jailed tycoon hires Trump connection for $10 million; US veteran registers as agent of Iran media; Qatar media arm sought CNN partnership; Taiwan renews contract with ex-Rep. Wolff’s New York firm
One of Algeria’s richest businessmen has hired a lobbyist close to President Donald Trump for an eye-popping $10 million just weeks after a court sentenced him to 18 years in prison on corruption charges.
Ali Haddad‘s year-long contract with the Sonoran Public Group calls on the firm to provide “business and personal advisory services.” The push comes as Algeria is cracking down on business leaders and government officials close to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Get the details here.
A decade and a half after he started writing op-eds slamming US interventionism in the Middle East, a 72-year-old writer in New Mexico has become the first American to register as a foreign agent of Iranian state media.
Yuram Abdullah Weiler disclosed his work for Iran’s state-controlled Press TV media network after he says a federal agent approached him in New Mexico.
Our newest contributor Aaron Schaffer, formerly of Al-Monitor, has a great profile here.
NEW FOREIGN LOBBYING FILINGS (FARA)
Qatar: James Hurd of San Francisco stopped working for the Qatari government’s communications office back on June 1, 2019, according to a late lobbying filing. He was paid $2,500 to send two emails to CNN to discuss a “possible business alliance in Qatar.”
Taiwan: Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington has renewed its contract with International Trade and Development Agency Inc. of New York through the second half of the year. The contract with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) is for $30,000 for six months, the same as previously. The firm will act as a “public relations and trade promotion consultant,” “arrange meetings” with Congress and the executive branch and “encourage visits to Taiwan.” During the first half of the year, the firm reported that it consulted with the TECRO “on a weekly basis regarding trade and economic matters, political developments in the United States and international developments.” Registered on the account are the firm’s owner, former congressman Lester Wolff, Democrat of New York; legal consultant Morgan Murphy; and consultant Michael Yorg.
Tourism & Trade
Australia: Tourism Australia in Los Angeles spent less than $2,500 in the first half of the year on tourism promotion in the United States.
China: The China National Tourist Office in New York received $216,000 from the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the first half of the year to promote the country. Deputy Director Fan Xiuyun was terminated on Jan. 4.
France: French tourism development agency Atout France paid Media Planning International Corporation of Miami about $315,000 for digital media in the first half of the year.
Israel: Media Planning International Corporation disclosed that two employees terminated their registrations as foreign agents for the Ministry of Tourism of Israel in the first half of the year: Head of content Monica Cruz (Jan. 1) and local CFO Frederick Harvie (June 30).
Italy: The Italian Trade Agency paid TogoRun of New York $34,000 in fees in the first half of the year. The firm provided “public relations and communications support services … for a January 15, 2020 networking event in conjunction with the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.”
Malaysia: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority office in Chicago spent about $177,000 in the first half of the year to promote foreign investment in the country.
Taiwan: The Taiwan External Trade Development Council paid Far East Trade Services of California $395,000 in the first half of the year to promote the country’s image.