Latest filings

Egypt picks up former Dem senator; Turkey loses another firm; Daschle lobbies for Toyota: Monday’s Daily Digest

New lobbying filings

Africa

Rwanda: The Embassy of Rwanda in Washington has renewed its marketing services agreement with Myriad International Marketing on behalf of the Rwanda Development Board. The contract is for $306,000 and runs from June 2020 through May 2021. The board is a public institution that aims to help transform the East African country into a “dynamic global hub for business, investment and innovation.” Los Angeles-based Myriad began working on the campaign in May 2018.

Americas

Costa Rica: MMGY Global, the world’s largest tourism marketing company, has registered three new agents on its account with the Costa Rica Tourism Board: Account executive Brynne Henry; Senior Social Media Art Director Mackenzie Gripe; and Associate Director for Social Media Brandon Layland. The firm signed a two-year, $1.25 million contract with Costa Rica in June 2018.

Mexico: MMGY Global has registered two new agents on its account with Turismo de Los Cabos: Social Community Manager Emalee Crosser and Associate Director for Social Media Brandon Layland. The firm signed a $330,000-a-year contract to promote tourism to the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula in 2017.

Asia-Pacific

India: The Embassy of India paid DiNino Associates $20,000 for the six months through September. During that time firm President Paul DiNino worked to set up calls between Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) as well as Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

The office of India Tourism in New York received $748,000 from the Indian Ministry of Tourism to promote travel to the country in the six months through October.

Japan: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) is lobbying for Toyota’s US affiliate. The contract with The Daschle Group, which is a public policy advisory of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, was effective Dec. 1. Daschle, his son Nathan Daschle and Veronica Pollock will lobby on “tax, trade, and other legislative and regulatory issues impacting the automotive industry.”

The Kyoto City Tourism Association has renewed its contract with Myriad International Marketing to “improve Kyoto’s name recognition as a world travel destination and its brand power.” The newly disclosed contract is for 2 million yen (about $19,000) and runs from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. Los Angeles-based Myriad has represented Kyoto since 2018.

McGuireWoods Consulting of Richmond, Va. received $30,000 from the Embassy of Japan and $15,000 from the Japanese consulate in Atlanta during the six months through November. The firm monitored political and election news in Virginia and Georgia and established contact for the embassy with Virginia Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Lawson. Senior Vice President Tyler Bishop, a registered agent for Japan, left the company on Nov. 23.

Kazakhstan: Los Angeles-based law firm Latham & Watkins has terminated attorney Jonathan Su‘s registration for Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice, effective Dec. 18. Lawyers David Schindler and Richard Bress remain on the account. The firm is part of a team of law and public relations firms helping the Central Asian nation in a $500 million legal fight with Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati. The two parties have been battling in US and European courts for years over Kazakhstan’s seizure of Stati’s petroleum operations in 2010.

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Macao: MMGY Global has registered three new agents on its account with Macao Government Tourism Office: Senior Social Media Art Director Mackenzie Gripe; Social Manager Jenna Larsen; and Social Strategist Megan Conder. The firm signed a $250,000 agreement to represent the Chinese autonomous region in January 2019.

Marshall Islands: The Marshall Islands has hired help for the thousands Marshallese immigrants living in Hawaii. The Pacific island country hired Kekoa McClellan and his McClellan Group for $60,000 per year effective September 2019, according to a newly filed lobbying disclosure. The firm is tasked with helping obtain support for humanitarian aide efforts from Hawaii; assist the Consul General in Hawaii build cultural connections; identify educational and economic opportunities for Marshallese citizens living in Hawaii; and help obtain government resources available under the country’s Compact of Free Association with the United States. Some 7,500 Marshallese live in Hawaii. McClellan is the only registered agent on the account.

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Micronesia: Arnold & Porter has added partner Christopher Allen to its contract with the government of the Federated States of Micronesia. The firm has been representing the federation of western Pacific Ocean islands since 2016 in negotiations over the renewal of the Compact of Free Association with the United States, which expires in 2023.

Samoa: Myriad International Marketing of Los Angeles has signed a new six-month contract with the Samoa Tourism Authority for marketing services. The newly disclosed contract was effective July 1 and is worth $23,800. Myriad has worked for the Polynesian island country since 2018.

South Korea: Cornerstone Global Affairs has renewed its subcontracting agreement with DiNino Associates on behalf of the Embassy of South Korea. Firm President Paul DiNino has been lobbying Congress to approve a professional visa quota for Korean nationals to work in the United States since 2017. the renewal, which was effective July 1, does not specify a fee or an end date but DiNino reported $37,000 in payments from Cornerstone in the six months through September.

Tahiti: MMGY Global has terminated its registration for Tahiti Tourisme effective May 1, 2020. The Kansas City-based travel marketing giant signed a $9,300-per-month contract to promote US travel to the French Polynesian country in January 2019.

Europe

Austria: The Austrian Trade Commission office in Chicago received $314,000 from the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the taxes in the six months through November. The office is charged with assisting Austrian companies in the US, preparing business contacts for Austrian companies and reporting business opportunities for Austrian companies.

Monaco: Consultant Jane Hoffman of New Jersey ended her registration for the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation effective Oct. 16. The foundation hired Hoffman in May to help raise the profile of its annual Monte Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean. The foundation’s 4th fundraising gala, which took place on Sept. 24 in the French Riviera city-state despite COVID-19 restrictions, recognized musician Sting for his activism as co-founder of the Rainforest Foundation. Hoffman received a total of $60,000 in fees for her work. Last year’s gala raised more than $25 million for ocean preservation.

Spain: MMGY Global, the world’s largest tourism marketing company, has registered Associate Director for Social Media Brandon Layland to its new account with the Tourist Office of Spain. Turespaña signed a two-year, $214,000 contract with the Kansas City-based firm this summer to manage the social networks of the Tourism Office of Spain in New York.

Ukraine: Southfive Strategies terminated its contract with Tricuro to help arrange a delegation of Ukrainian officials to Washington on Sept. 30, less than a month after taking on the assignment. The trip, which never happened, was to be organized by a mysterious group called the Ukrainian Guild of Activists, sparking concerns in Kyiv and Washington of possible political meddling ahead of the US presidential election. A new lobbying filing shows Southfive Strategies pitched coverage to the New York Post, the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal and sought meetings with the US-Ukraine Business Council, the German Marshall Fund, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, Northrop Grumman and Bernstein Private Wealth Management. Southfive reported $8,200 in fees for the work. Tricuro also terminated its contract with the group effective Sept. 30.

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Middle East

Egypt: Brownstein Hyatt has added former US senator and Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (D-Alaska) to its new $65,000-a-month account with the Embassy of Egypt. Begich served in the Senate from 2009 to 2015, during the Barack ObamaJoe Biden administration. Cairo is scrambling to build ties to Democrats following the defeat of the President Donald Trump, who reportedly called President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “my favorite dictator” and shielded Cairo from repercussions over its human-rights record while siding with Egypt in its dispute with Ethiopia over the latter’s new Nile dam.

Others on the account include Nadeam Elshami, the former chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as former House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). The other six people on the account are:

  • Veteran Republican lobbyist and Washington office manager Marc Lampkin;
  • Democratic fundraiser Alfred Mottur;
  • Policy director Douglas Maguire;
  • Attorney David Cohen, a former deputy director for Policy and Government Affairs with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC);
  • Policy adviser Martha Burke; and
  • Policy assistant Charlotte Carstens.
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Kuwait: Southfive Strategies officially terminated its registration for Marsha Lazareva, a Russian businesswoman and former CEO of Kuwait’s KGL Investment who has been convicted of financial fraud in Kuwait, on Sept. 30. Southfive was hired as a subcontractor to Tricuro for $17,000 a month in August 2019 and has only disclosed $39,500 in retainer and legal fees since then. Tricuro meanwhile says it ended its work for Lazareva a year ago, on Sept. 30, 2019.

Turkey: Lobbying firms continue to report that they’ve cut ties to Turkey after blowback from the Armenian-American diaspora over Ankara’s support for Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. Washington law firm Venable has disclosed that it terminated its registration as a subcontractor to Greenberg Traurig for the government of Turkey effective Nov. 5. This comes after Greenberg Traurig itself terminated its work for Turkey at the end of October, citing the “wide range of regional conflicts.” Venable’s contract with Greenberg Traurig dates to January 2019 and was for $270,000 per year. Former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) had been leading Venable’s lobbying on the account along with policy adviser Loren Aho.

Two other Greenberg Traurig subcontractors on the Turkey account, Capitol Counsel and Lydia Borland‘s LB International Solutions, remain registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Meanwhile Mercury Public Affairs ended its $1 million lobbying contract with the Turkish Embassy in Washington at the end of October.

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Caught our Eye

Saudi Arabia: The Brunswick Group has brought on Tom Deegan, a former general counsel of the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, O’Dwyers reports. Deegan will be a partner based in Hong Kong, effective Jan. 4.

Singapore: The Embassy of Singapore in Washington has a tender open for the provision of public relations consultancy services. The deadline is Jan. 7, 2021.

United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates’ influence operations included planting the chairman of Luxemburg-based Banque Havilland on the board of Human Right Watch, Bloomberg reports in a blockbuster story.

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