Posts Tagged ‘Locke Lord Strategies’

K St., Meet Pakistan

Friday, November 15th, 2013 by Vbhotla

EVEN FOR COUNTRIES with troubled relations with the United States, investing in lobbying can pay dividends. That’s why, as The Hill reports, it’s likely that Pakistan will hire a lobbying firm soon after being without representation on K St. since July 31, when Locke Lord Strategies terminated its contract with the country.

Pakistan and the United States have had an uneasy relationship since Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad in May 2011. The discovery of the infamous terrorist leader living in comfort near Pakistan’s capitol city put a strain on the United States’ trust in the country. By the same token, the Pakistani government blasted the raid as an unauthorized military action on Pakistani soil without the government’s knowledge or approval.

Despite the frosty alliance between the two countries, The Sunlight Foundation notes that last month, the United States was preparing to unfreeze approximately $1.6 billion in aid that had been on hold since the Bin Laden raid, but Congress remains  wary of being seen as supporting Pakistan. As a former Pakistani government official notes in The Hill’s article, “Unless Pakistan mounts a major lobbying effort, it will be difficult to turn the opinions on the Hill around.”

Have renewed lobbying efforts by other countries paid off? For Egypt, it’s too early to tell. Last month, Egypt hired the Glover Park Group after the United States put a freeze on military aid to the troubled nation. The hire comes after more than a year-long hiatus without K St. representation, during which time Egypt’s favorability rating has plummeted in the United States.  While this doesn’t prove that hiring a lobbyists automatically earns approval, doing so certainly couldn’t hurt, especially in Pakistan’s case.

Middle East Lobbying

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 by Vbhotla

With every battle — be it over healthcare, transportation, Medicare, or democracy — comes lots of money to be spent (and made) to get voices heard. The conflicts in the Middle East are no different.

Pakistan – As lawmakers grapple with whether or not to rescind foreign aid to the embattled country and whether or not to allow duty-free “reconstruction opportunity zones” in Pakistan, the Pakistani Embassy is revving up its lobbying efforts.  The nation which housed Osama bin Laden (knowingly or unknowingly) for the past 10 year paid Locke Lord Strategies $150,000 in the first quarter of this year to work on budget/appropriations/acquisitions, defense and predictably, foreign policy and affairs issues in Congress.  According to records filed with the DOJ, the firm gets a Generic Cialis $75,000 monthly retainer from Pakistan.

Lobbying is not restricted to nations with present conflict in which the U.S. is directly involved.  Jordan is paying more weekly than Pakistan is signed up to pay Locke Lord Strategies monthly.  With a huge interest in seeing its embassy upgraded “strategically as a key node in a network of relationship involving state and non-state actors,” the nation shells out $77,000 each week to the Racepoint Group to help raise Jordan’s profile and support among Congressmen.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee spent $716,615 in the first quarter of 2011 to petition for continued aid to Israel, West Bank, and Gaza, and for the Iron Dome and anti-rocket system in addition to continued sanctions on Iran.