PR Scandal in Hong Kong, But Not So In Washington

In Hong Kong, ex-legislator Gary Cheng Kai-nam has been convicted of corruption after he was caught double-dipping. While acting as a government official, Cheng set up his own PR firm and worked as a paid lobbyist. "It was bad enough that Cheng should have found it proper to set up a public affairs consultancy after becoming a legislator," observes the South China Morning Post. "It was worse that he sought to wear two hats at the same time by concealing his interest as a consultant when he was seen to be acting as a legislator." Meanwhile in the United States, former Montana governor Marc Racicot will serve as Republican National Committee chair while remaining an active lobbyist for the Houston law firm of Bracewell & Patterson. The Center for Public Integrity reports that Racicot has personally represented "the controversial energy firm Enron, the American Forest and Paper Association, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the National Energy Coordinating Council, the Recording Industry Association of America, and Quintana Minerals. According to lobbying disclosure records, Racicot's clients paid $710,000 in fees to his firm in the first half of this year."