Lobbying Firm Brags About Smoothing Way for a Stolen Election
The Sunday Times caught politically-connected lobbyist Stephen Payne on tape suggesting that a $250,000 donation George W. Bush presidential library could help secure access to senior administration officials.
Perhaps even more incredible is the Worldwide Strategic Partners brochure that ran with the expose. [Download payne.pdf]
Here's what WSP claims to have done for Azerbaijan, verbatim, from the last page of the brochure, emphases added:
I. Arranged for the President of Azerbaijan to visit the U.S . and meet with President Bush -- a task the Azeri government had been trying for over 3 years
II. Arranged a private phone call between the Vice-President of the United States and the President of Azerbaijan, prior to the Azeri Elections in November of 2005
III. Arranged a series of meetings for the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan during his September visit to the U.S.
IV. Worked with members of the Helsinki Commission to reduce the negative language in the U.S. press release following the November Elections
V. Implemented an aggressive media campaign to discredit the Azeri opposition candidates, allowing the government for freedom in enforcing election curfews and laws.
VI. Arranged several articles and speeches to be placed into the U.S . Congressional record
VII. Helped create/write the Silk Road II legislation
VIII . Developed a series of Op-Ed's written by influential U.S. officials to boost positive U.S. public perception about Azerbaijan including:
I. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)Arranging for articles and speeches to be placed in the Congressional Record echoes the tactics of Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. One of Abramoff's specialties was "inducing" legislators to insert items into the Congressional Record.
II . A. Elizabeth Jones -- Former Assistant Secretary of State -- Europe and Eurasia
III. Gary Buaer (sic) -- 2000 Presidential Candidate and Leader of the Christian Right