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Tag Archive: Arab Spring

Could sequester hit Israel?

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Photo of Secretary of State John KerryWhen John Kerry takes the stage at the University of Virginia today to deliver his first major address as secretary of state, he'll be making a plea  for one of the spending areas likely to draw the least amount of sympathy when the sequester axe hits. In a letter to the Senate, Kerry warned that foreign aid may have to absorb a $2.6 billion hit if a deal to avert the automatic budget cuts isn't reached.

While money U.S. taxpayers sent overseas might be considered a rare appealing target for the budget axe since there is ...

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Egyptian military aid still flying high

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planeThe planned delivery of 20 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter planes to Egypt is the perfect symbol of iron triangles at work--special interests and their lobbyists, federal agencies and the lawmakers who fund them.

But in the years since President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his warning about the inertia of defense contracts in 1961, the lobbying has only grown more sophisticated.

The U.S. government gives Egypt foreign aid, which it uses to buy U.S. military hardware. Lobbyists for the Egyptian government and Lockheed Martin (they both used the same firm) arranged meetings between the buyer and the seller, between representatives of Egypt's military and the Defense Department and key members of Congress who provided Egypt with the U.S. taxpayer dollars--some $213 million--to pay for the planes.

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Arab Spring Data

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Location Lobbying and PR totals 2010 Recent events U.S. lobbying summary
Algeria $205,000 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has remained in power since, 1999. In March, the government boosted wages of government employees to soothe protesters. Spring protests were dispersed by riot police. Small-scale protests against housing shortages and unemployment continue. Algeria has hired Foley and Hoag since 2007. Lobbying efforts focused on reducing Morocco's influence in Western Sahara.
Bahrain $63,000 Bahrain began to crackdown on protests mid March. Protests left 30 dead, the state of emergency was lifted June 1. Negations were set up between the government ...

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Arab Spring: One Year Later

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International lobbying is the hidden story to come out of the Arab Spring, which hits a major landmark Saturday, the first anniversary of ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation. Lobbying represents a vital puzzle piece in an international structure of power that propped up dictators and oppressed millions of people. The Sunlight Foundation has been tracking these developments using the Foreign Lobbying Influence Tracker, a searchable database of international lobbying records gleaned from the Department of Justice that we've just updated.

The project started in partnership with ProPublica, aiming to make this treasure trove of information accessible to the ...

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Gaddafi’s long history of lobbying comes to an end

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Libyan Dictator Moammar Gaddafi was killed today in his hometown of Sirte, a showman to the end, “brandishing a golden pistol.” Lobbying, in many ways, was part of his political arsenal that boosted Gaddafi’s international prowess, helped protect him from additional sanctions and promoted the business interests of the Libyan ruling elite and U.S. business. We’ve covered several of these instances in the past. Here’s a look at a few:

Paul Blumenthal reported, on the Monitor Group, an international firm that contracted with the Libyan dictator, which should have filled under the Foreign Agent Registrant Act ...

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Israel, Palestine spend millions on lobbying, PR campaigns

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As the United Nations considers the Palestinian referendum for statehood, possibly as early as Friday, both parties are vying for an approval from the UN Security Council and for a U.S. vote. Both Israel and Palestine have a long history of lobbying the U.S. and in the past year alone, the Palestinian Liberation Organization spent over one million on public relations. During the same time, Israel spent over $13 million on lobbying, public relations and related costs. Both interests contacted important policy makers and set up a vast PR campaign.

In the last few months as the issues ...

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A look back at Gaddafi’s lobbying as his regime falls

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Libyan rebel forces now hold most of Tripoli. Gaddafi’s sons have been captured but the eccentric Libyan dictator remains elusive.

Gaddafi’s political craftsmanship carried him through 42 years. The reign of Gaddafi “Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution” was bolstered first by the fear of the international community, then its support, achieved by the Libyan dictator’s skillful pirouette from flouting international norms to making concessions to come back into the international fold. That he did so with the aid of Western lobbyists, intellectuals and former heads of state is less well known.

While the public recalls ...

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Egypt’s transitional government lobbies on seeking funds, debt reduction

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While the Egyptian uprising earlier this year saw the ousting of long time leader Hosni Mubarak and ignited a mass movement across the Middle East, the regime change has not translated to a different approach to U.S. policy. Lobbying records filed by the hired guns of the Egyptian government show a seamless transition from promoting the Mubarak regime to the transitional military rule, seeking funds for Egypt and then asking for a reduction in Egypt’s debt burden.

Lobbying records filed by the Livingston Group show that they lobbied the U.S. federal government and military command on these ...

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