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McCain advisers tied to foreign lobbying
Saying he resigned from BKSH to spend more time on the McCain campaign, Mr. Black said Mr. McCain is not influenced by lobbyists, including those who have worked or raised money for his campaign.
Mr. Loeffler’s firm has received more than $10 million since 2006 from the Saudi Embassy and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Just two months ago, the firm also signed an agreement with the South Korean Embassy to consult on “legislation affecting Korea’s foreign military sales status and related matters.”
Since 2005, the firm reported more than $11 million in fees from foreign lobbying clients.
Legislation pending in the House and Senate would make it easier for South Korea to buy weapons from U.S. companies. The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, has not come up for a vote.
Lorenzo Morris, chairman of the political science department at Howard University, said Mr. McCain can expect some scrutiny in the general election over ties to lobbyists given his reputation as an anti-special interest candidate.
“John McCain has a reputation about being scrupulous since he is the co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law,” Mr. Morris said. But he added that it is also probably unrealistic to expect a candidate to run a campaign without some help from people who work in the lobbying industry.
“K Street takes up a lot of Washington,” Mr. Morris said.
Other McCain campaign bundlers, who have committed to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the candidate, also have received lobbying fees from foreign governments. They include the following:
c Peter T. Madigan, a former top official in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, who is a top lobbyist for the Washington-based firm of Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart.
The firm, whose clients include the Colombian government’s trade bureau, reported more than $1 million in fees from foreign clients since 2006.
c Kirk Blalock, national chairman for Young Professionals for McCain, who is a partner at Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, a government consulting and public relations firm established in 1978 and described by Fortune Magazine as the “hottest lobbying firm on Capitol Hill.”
Mr. Blalock’s firm has received at least $700,000 since 2005 lobbying for clients, including Peru, Vietnam and the Korean International Trade Association. The firm also signed a deal to lobby Congress and the White House for “enhancement of the Bahrain free trade agreement,” records show.
c Rob Allyn, head of the Dallas-based Allyn & Co., a public relations, advertising and political media firm, who was paid $720,000 by the Mexican government in 2006 to polish its image and call for a guest worker program for millions of Mexican nationals illegally in the United States.
The lobbying efforts came at a time Congress and the White House were debating comprehensive immigration-reform legislation, which was defeated in June. Then-President Vicente Fox was an outspoken critic of the proposed legislation.
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