- Meeks win gives Saudi, India inside line to House foreign affairs panel
- Finn Partners scores $200,000 gig to promote travel to Dubai
- South Korea hires ex-journo for $100,000 for one month
- Ex-Trump adviser ends lobbying for Kosovo leader accused of war crimes
Saudi Arabia and India are among several countries that stand to see their recent investment in lobbying firms close to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) pay off after House Democrats today picked Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) as the first African American chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee.
With today’s vote, the CBC reaches another milestone at a time when it is already enjoying unprecedented political clout in its 49-year history. Black lawmakers are set to make up almost a third of the House Democratic Caucus in the 117th Congress that meets in January.
They will also have plenty of influence at the White House: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is one of their own, and former CBC chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) has been tapped to serve as senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Several foreign nations have taken note of the group’s growing influence in recent months and flocked to lobbying firms that boast of their close ties to the CBC.
Read the story here.
New lobbying filings
Ethiopia: Fassika Bellette of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party in Washington organized three videoconferences with members and supporters regarding the current political situation in Ethiopia during the six months through October. The group received about $23,000 from membership fees and contributions during the period.
Japan: California nonprofit group Community Partners was paid $15,000 by the Consulate of Japan in Los Angeles during the six months through October. Community Partners is tasked with helping the consulate better understand California by facilitating monthly meetings with “representative individuals” and conducting “research on various topics related to the history of California’s social and political trends.” California is home to more than a third of all Japanese-Americans and accounted for almost 16 percent of all US exports to Japan in 2019.
South Korea: South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hired the T. Dean Reed Company for about $100,000 for “strategic communications consulting” from Nov. 18 through Dec. 20. T. Dean Reed is a Washington-based public affairs consultant and journalist who previously served as national editor and Washington bureau chief for a group of 30 U.S. daily newspapers. This is his only current foreign agent registration.
Kosovo: Former Donald Trump presidential campaign adviser Samuel Nunberg has stopped representing the Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) and its failed candidate for prime minister, Kadri Veseli, according to a new lobbying filing. The termination was effective May 31, just weeks before the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague announced that it had filed a 10-count indictment against Veseli and then-President Hashim Thaci in April for alleged war crimes during the conflict with Serbia in the late 1990s (Thaci resigned last month to face the charges).
Nunberg, a Manhattan-based public affairs consultant, made national news when he testified before a grand jury in Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation in 2018. The DPK, at the time the dominant party in Kosovo, hired him in late September 2019 for help with elections the following month. He was tasked with preparing “speeches and communications advice” to the party and its candidates and provide strategic communications with US Media and communications with US officials on the results of the election. The DPK lost the Oct. 6, 2019 to a coalition of two former opposition parties. The contract was for $110,000 but Nunberg has only disclosed a total of $25,000 in payments from the party.
Iran: The opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran paid former Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) and his firm Rosemont Associates $105,000 in the six months through October. During that time Torricelli exchanged several emails with State Department officials regarding the resettlement of Iranian refugees in Albania: three emails with then-US special representative for Iran Brian Hook; 10 emails with Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Albania Leyla Moses-Ones; and five emails with Sunil Ravi, a special assistant at the Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.
Israel: The Jewish Agency American Section in New York received $2.5 million from the Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem during the six months through October.
United Arab Emirates: Finn Partners has signed a one-year, $200,000 contract with the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing for “public relations activities to promote tourism in Dubai and increase visitors to the country” in line with “Dubai Tourism’s Vision 2025 goals.” Target markets include :
The contract was effective Oct. 13 and can be extended for another two years. Managing Director Virginia Sheridan is in charge of a team of eight people that will report to Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing CEO Issam Kazim.