Latest filings

Ex-Florida Rep. lobbies for Colombian president; El Salvador swaps Trumpworld pick for Bill Clinton aide; former AG Mukasey paid $15,000 for Iran speech: Tuesday’s Daily Digest

Former Florida Rep. Connie Mack registers as lobbyist for Colombia’s Uribe

Ex-congressman Connie Mack (R-Fla.) has formally registered as a foreign agent for Alvaro Uribe weeks after he started publicly defending the former Colombian president in a years-old investigation into mass killings during Uribe’s time in office.

Connie Mack

Mack signed up as a subcontractor for Republican lobbying and public relations firm DCI Group on Aug. 31, according to a new filing with the US Department of Justice. Mack’s Liberty International Group is providing “communications and public affairs support” on Uribe’s behalf.

The DCI Group was hired by 31416 S.A.S., a company in Medellin run by Uribe’s son Tomas Uribe Moreno, for $40,000 per month on Aug. 21. The contract runs through Nov. 30. 

The campaign comes as Uribe is fighting allegations that he pressured witnesses into retracting damaging statements about his alleged links to right-wing paramilitary groups responsible for several massacres in the country’s war against left-wing militants. 

Read the story here.

El Salvador enlists former Clinton aide after Trumpworld hire comes under fire

El Salvador has hired a Washington firm led by a former aide to President Bill Clinton for public relations help after its previous contract with a lobbyist close to President Donald Trump came under fire.

The country’s presidential palace signed a six-month, $65,000-a-month contract with Washington strategic communications firm Rational PR for help with “public relations and communications support, consultation, and technical support.” The contract was effective Oct. 23.

Rational PR is owned by managing partner Patrick Dorton, a former special assistant to President Clinton and communications director for the White House National Economic Council. The contract comes two months after the country’s national intelligence chief signed a $75,000-a-month with the Trump-connected Sonoran Policy Group that the office of President Nayib Bukele vowed to rescind.

Read the story here.

New foreign lobbying filings (FARA)


Ecuador: Balsera Communications founder Alfredo “Freddy” Balsera stopped working on the firm’s account with Ecuador’s Center for Strategic Intelligence as of Sept. 19. The Florida public relations firm was hired in June after Ecuador’s reputation was battered by its response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Balsera is a political consultant who served as President Barack Obama‘s Hispanic media director. Firm president David Duckenfield, a deputy assistant secretary of State for Public Affairs under Obama, left the account in August, leaving director of special projects Julio Ligorria as the only registered foreign agent.


China: Levick Strategic Communications ended its registration as a foreign agent for China Telecom Americas, the largest subsidiary of the China Telecom Corporation, effective Sept. 30. Levick registered to provide “crisis communications counsel, support, and services, and professional services related to the advancement of US-China techno-relations” for the integrated communications and information technology service provider in October 2019. Since then the firm has reported in $309,000 in payments from the company.

South Korea: Washington trade law firm Kingery Samet & Sorini received $114,000 from the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in the six months through September for “government relations and legal advice regarding the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement and other general trade issues and US trade measures.” Lobbyists for the firm reported communications with congressional staff regarding “Buy American policies and other trade matters” in April, including phone calls with Angela Ellard, the chief counsel for Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, and Payne Griffin, the staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s panel on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. In May and June the firm held phone calls regarding Hong Kong customs changes with the Democratic and Republican counsels for the House Ways and Means Committee, Julia Friedman and Josh Snead, as well as with Mike Dankler, the chief of staff for Ways and Means Committee member Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.).


Bosnia-Herzegovina: Texas law firm McGinnis Lochridge continues to discount its services for Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Bosnian Serb entity because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Republika Srpska is being charged $60,000 per month from September through the end of the year, down from the regular $80,000. The firm started applying the discount in April. Republika Srpska hired McGinnis in April 2019 to represent the entity’s “legal rights and obligations under applicable international law” including the Dayton Peace Accords, the European Convention on Human Rights and other international agreements. 

Iceland: Media Planning International Corp. has registered vice-president of client services Camila Juricic to its account with Promote Iceland. The Miami office of French multinational advertising and public relations company Havas disclosed a three-year contract between Havas Media Frankfurt GmbH and the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation’s campaign to attract more visitors from the US earlier this month.

Middle East

Iran: Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey reported $15,000 in speaking fees from the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran for a July 17 speech advocating for sanctions during the group’s virtual Free Iran 2020 Global Summit. Mukasey in turn paid DLA Piper $3,300 in legal fees connected to his work for the NCRI.