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Tag Archive: Foreign Agent Registration Act

McCain Campaign Loses a Foreign Agent Whose Firm is on the Saudi Payroll


On April 15, my colleague Anu--who's been digging into foreign agent lobbyist disclosures--posted a piece noting an oddity about the lobbying firm founded by Thomas Loeffler, a national co-chairman of the McCain campaign. The Loeffler Group had been paid more than $15 million by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia since 2003 and had had on average about 10 lobbying contacts a month (that is, meetings, phone calls, lunches, etc.) with members of Congress, their staff, and executive branch officials. After March 26, 2007, the firm stopped lobbying government officials on behalf of the Saudis. Yet the Loeffler Group continued to be paid a retainer--some $990,000 in the last six months--despite not doing very much on behalf of their client. Over the weekend, Loeffler left the McCain campaign; as Mike Allen of the Politico noted,

It’s at least the fifth lobbying-related departure from the campaign in a week. ... The McCain campaign last week announced a restrictive “McCain Campaign Conflict Policy” that included a questionnaire to be returned to the campaign’s legal department as part of a re-vetting of all staff. “No person working for the Campaign may be a registered lobbyist or foreign agent, or receive compensation for any such activity,” the policy says.

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Congressional Staff Need to be Transparent Too


Writing in the Washington Post, Paul Kane explicates the fine print on a fundraiser flier sent out by Sen. Charles Schumer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and finds that the draw for prospective lobbyist fundraisers will be congressional staff members -- not members of Congress:

Officially, lobbyists are asked to give or raise $2,000 to be a "host" or $1,000 to be a "DSCC friend" in order to meet "individuals representing" Senate Democrats. That's code word for chiefs of staff and staff directors of committees, according to lobbyists who received the fundraising pitch. The image of the invite that was e-mailed to Capitol Briefing included the file name of "chiefs invitation".

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