Latest filings

Colombia ex-president fights death squad claims; Canada’s Alberta hires US trade help; Daschle lobbies on Hong Kong democracy: Wednesday’s Daily Digest

Ex-Colombian president accused of links to right-wing death squads hires GOP firm for PR help

The former president of Colombia has hired a Republican lobbying and public relations firm as he battles allegations of links to right-wing paramilitary groups responsible for multiple massacres in the country’s long war with Marxist guerrillas.

Alvaro Uribe, Colombia’s president from 2002 to 2009, has hired Washington’s DCI Group for $40,000 per month to serve as Uribe’s main point of contact with the international media. The firm has close ties to alumni of the George W. Bush administration, which awarded Uribe the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999 for his efforts to battle the country’s drug-funded insurgency.

“The illegal arrest and detainment of former President Alvaro Uribe – while avowed terrorist leaders are walking free today in Colombia – is an outrage,” DCI Managing Partner Justin Peterson said in a press release. “He should be freed immediately and allowed to defend himself against these baseless and politically motivated allegations. We are proud to help President Uribe tell his story.”

Read our story here.

Canada’s Alberta hires lobby firm amid twin trade threats from Trump, Biden

The energy-rich province of Alberta has hired a Canadian lobby shop to tackle twin economic threats from President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden.

Crestview Strategy signed a $5,000-per-month contract for congressional lobbying with Alberta’s senior representative to the US, James Rajotte. The contract started Aug. 1 and runs for three months.

The contract comes as Biden has vowed to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta to Texas while Trump risks reigniting a trade war with Canada. Read our story here.

New foreign lobbying filings (FARA)

Bahrain: Bahrain’s ambassador to the United States, Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, bemoaned the UN Security Council’s decision to ignore the Gulf Cooperation Council’s request to extend the international arms embargo on Iran. At an American Jewish Committee (AJC) panel discussion last week featuring former Rep. Steve Israel, Democrat of New York, and AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson, the ambassador described the GCC as “much closer to the action” and worthy of being listened to. His comments were subsequently distributed by Bahrain lobby shop BGR Government Affairs:

BGR lobbying filing with the Department of Justice

Norway: Innovation Norway in New York received $1.5 million from its headquarters in Oslo to promote travel to the country in the second half of 2019, according to a late lobbying filing.

Saudi Arabia: Hogan Lovells has renewed its $175,000-per-month contract with the Embassy of Saudi Arabia until the end of 2021. The firm has represented the Saudi embassy since 2007.

New domestic lobbying filings (LDA)

The Daschle Group has registered to lobby for Project Hong Kong, a New York group that advocates for “democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.” Registered on the account are former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota; his son, president and COO Nathan Daschle; senior public policy adviser Veronica Pollock; and vice president Spencer Wolf. The Daschle Group is a public policy advisory of Baker Donelson.

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