- Former Dem lawmaker joins Zimbabwe, China accounts
- How COVID-19 upended foreign lobbying
- Iran hawks launch anti-Erdogan group
Former Dem lawmaker joins Zimbabwe, China accounts
Former Rep. Toby Moffett (D-Conn.) has registered as a foreign agent for the government of Zimbabwe as well as the Turkey-US Business Council (TAIK) and Chinese videosurveillance giant Hikvision.
A co-chairman in the Washington office of Mercury Public Affairs, Moffett notably joins former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in lobbying for Zimbabwe. Mercury has lobbied for sanctions removal for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade since September 2019 and just renewed its contract for 12 months starting May 1. The firm disclosed $813,000 in fees and expenses from Zimbabwe last year.
Moffett joins Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) on both the TAIK and Hikvision accounts. The latter has been controversial because of accusations that the company is complicit in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the co-chair of Mercury’s Los Angeles offices, terminated her registration immediately in January after its disclosure sparked a backlash.
Moffett joined Mercury in October 2020.
He served in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1983 and notably chaired the House Subcommittee on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources.
Moffett also lobbies for Libya’s provisional Government of National Unity and China’s Ali Baba Group under previous registrations.
How COVID-19 upended foreign lobbying
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the foreign lobbying industry in the US, writes guest columnist Ben Freeman of the Center for International Policy’s Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative (FITI).
That includes the almost complete eliminaiton of in-person contacts with policymakers over the past 15 months and a refocusing of priorities for many countries, particularly in the developing world.
Caught our eye
A group of prominent US hawks has launched a new group that supports democratic reforms in Turkey, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft reports. The Turkey Democracy Project is led by Mark Wallace, the chief executive of United Against Nuclear Iran, and its members include UANI chairman and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and White House national security adviser John Bolton.
New York CEO advisory firm Teneo is “scrambling to reassure its multinational clients … after allegations that chief executive Declan Kelly inappropriately touched women at a fundraising event,” the Financial Times reports. The firm notably has contracts worth $6 million with the United Arab Emirates and another $2.1 million deal with Saudi Arabia’s Neom megacity, the crown jewel of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman‘s Vision 2030 plan to shift the country’s economy away from oil.