Not a Client to Bring Home to Mom

Eritrea "signed Alexander Strategy Group, a firm with strong Republican ties, to a contract worth more than $300K a year to improve its ties with the United States." According to Amnesty International, "torture, arbitrary detention, 'disappearances' and ill-treatment of political prisoners" are common in the Horn of Africa


PR Firm Needs Good PR

As if it hadn't gotten enough bad press lately, PR firm Fleishman-Hillard "is taking a media hit for its failed campaign on behalf of Enterprise Rent-A-Car to defeat a ... car rental tax to help pay for ... a $250 million arena in downtown Kansas City." A mayoral aide suggested the firm "stay out of issue campaigning ...


Convention 'Hospitality'

Candidates, delegates, protesters and media aren't the only folks attending the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer. Lobbyists, by the thousands, are doing "what amounts to the only real work going on at the convention - the nonstop currying of favor of elected officials by the most powerful interests in the country," the Washington Post writes.


Lobbying for Solitude, Oil

The Iraqi Kurdish region's "leaders try to project a united front in Baghdad and abroad, but few Kurds in the north or Arabs in the south have forgotten that" the Kurdish Democratic Party and the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan "spent four of their Saddam-free years fighting a civil war." Now, the KDP "has retained Barbour Griffith & Rogers as its lobbyist to ensure that Iraqi Kurdistan maintains its autonomy" and to push for "the return of oil-rich Kirkuk,"


Bush Administration Pressures EU On Chemical Rules

It used to be that the U.S. chemical industry lobbied lawmakers in Washington. Now the White House is aggressively lobbying on the industry's behalf in Brussels, opposing new European Union regulations on chemicals. The EU's proposed Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals or REACH would require chemical makers to publicly report the potential harmfulness of their products - both for new chemicals being introduced and those already available.


High-Priced Friends in Need

Russian oil company OAO Yukos has seen hard times since the arrest on tax evasion and fraud charges of its former chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The company "is trading at a fraction of its value at the time of Mr. Khodorkovsky's arrest," and owes $3.4 billion in back taxes, according to the Russian government. "Company executives say Yukos could be driven out of business," writes the Wall Street Journal.



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