Moldova keeps going through hell
USA Romania Moldova
* To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day. Moldova.
Newsmaker.MD. The founder of the lobbying company Podesta Group, which promotes the policy of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Tony Podesta, announced his resignation, the Financial Times reported. Such a decision was made in connection with the company’s figure in the FBI investigation of the receipt of illegal payments from the party of former Ukrainian President by the head of Donald Trump’s election headquarters Paul Manafort.
Tony Podesta is the brother of John Podesta, the former head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters. After the departure of Tony Podesta, the Podesta Group was headed by CEO Kimberly Fritz.
Wall Street Journal. Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta is leaving the Washington firm he founded as the Podesta Group finds itself caught up in an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to people familiar with the move.
Mr. Podesta told employees of his lobbying firm at a companywide meeting on Monday that he planned to step aside, according to people familiar with the move.
Politico. Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, is stepping down from the firm that bears his name after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.
Podesta’s decision to leave the firm came on the same day that former Donald Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted on multiple charges, including money laundering, operating as federal agents of the Ukrainian government, failing to disclose overseas bank accounts and making false statements to federal authorities.
Podesta Group has struggled in the wake of the Mueller investigation. More than a dozen of its lobbying clients have cut ties with the firm this year, according to lobbying filings. Revenues have also declined: The firm brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $5.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.
Mold Street. In August 2012, it was the turn of Vlad Plahotniuc, then the vice-speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, to turn to the services of lobbyists. The contract was signed with Mark Robertson, president of Potomac Global Advisors, LLC.
According to the agreement, Mark Robertson agreed to provide logistical support to Vlad Plahotniuc, who in September 2012 was to lead the delegation to participate in the International Leaders Forum, organized by the National Democratic Institute in conjunction with the National Convention of the Democratic Party in Charlotte.
At the same time, Potomac Global Advisors, LLC undertook to assist in the organization of bilateral meetings with officials from the White House, the State Department, the Commerce Department, the Senate and the US House of Representatives.
One of the issues that was to be raised at the talks with US officials was the question of lifting trade restrictions for the Republic of Moldova, that is, the cancellation of the famous Jackson-Vanik amendment.
According to Igor Munteanu, Ambassador of Moldova to Washington, at the time, the delay in removing Moldova from these restrictions was also connected with the fact that many of those who make decisions in the USA continued to regard Moldova as a country in which anti-Semitism is flourishing.
“It was necessary to make great efforts to convince the senators and members of the House of Representatives to cancel this amendment with respect to Moldova. If other countries used the services of consulting firms and lobbyists, we, due to lack of money, acted through personal meetings with representatives of the congressmen’s offices, “the diplomat noted.
Lobby in favor of Moldovan liberals Vlad Filat
In April 2014, the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova resorted to the lobbying services of Fianna Strategies LLC. Although the PLDM was the beneficiary of the agreement and its leader Vlad Filat, sentenced to 9 years in prison in 2016, the contract was concluded by Kapital Invest SA from Yass, the majority shareholder of which was the former prime minister.
For 15 thousand dollars, Fianna Strategies was to prepare Vlad Filat’s visit to Washington, organize meetings with members of the Congress and representatives of the US Administration, representatives of think-tanks, mass media, etc.
What services did the PDM company Podesta provide?
But the most expensive lobbying contracts were signed in the last two years by the Democratic Party of Moldova with the firm Podesta Group.
So, on June 21, 2016, Podesta Group signed a $ 600,000 lobbying agreement with the Democratic Party of Moldova. The agreement envisaged a number of PR-events in favor of the PDM and rendering assistance to this party in the development of Moldovan-American relations.
How much did Podesta receive and what did the Democratic Party report
There is also a financial report “Podesta” on the activities to promote the DPM. It follows from the document that the Democratic Party transferred in the period from April 1 to November 25, 2016 to the accounts of Podesta Group 484 thousand US dollars, which is about 10 million lei at the average rate of that period.
Podesta also indicated an item of expenditure (in a document recorded as a Reimbursement) in the amount of more than 47.1 thousand US dollars, after which it becomes clear that “the expenses indicated as” Compensation “were related to the activities of the company” Podesta “and none of the official representatives of the US Government or the media used these means.
Plahotniuc’s article was sent to more than 200 US officials
The Democratic Party did not separately indicate these costs in the party’s financial report submitted to the Central Election Commission. Based on the document, we can only state that in 2016, DPM spent “over the press and promotional materials” more than 40.5 million lei, or about 87.5% of the total declared budget of the party. Those 10 million lei allocated to Podesta Group accounted for 25% of the total budget of the PDM for its promotion.
In 2017 the activity continued. For example, after the April 12, 2017 publication on the Daily Caller portal of the article “Moldova Steers a Path to Democracy and Reform”, Podesta will present a report in which it will say that it sent a link to the material with a brief summary of it on more than 200 electronic addresses of advisers and assistants to senators and congressmen, as well as to the White House.
New million-dollar contracts
At the end of July 2017, DPM signed new contracts with two major American lobbying companies. It’s about the companies “Cornerstone Government Affairs” and “Podesta Group”.
For the services of these two companies specializing in PR services and lobbies, which will organize meetings in the US at a high level and promote the policy of PDM, Democrats will pay 480 thousand US dollars. “Podesta” undertakes to provide “assistance in informing the relevant American audience about priority issues in bilateral relations between the United States and Moldova, including the Congress and the political community.”
These two companies in recent years are among the top ten US companies for the value of contracts awarded. Thus, Cornerstone Government Affairs already signed contracts worth $ 9.26 million in 2017, while in 2016 the company’s contracts totaled $ 16.8 million, which allowed it to take the eighth place in the rating leading American lobby companies.
At the same time, the data analyzed by “Mold-Street” show that most of the documentation of the lobbying groups working for Moldova indicates that they did not declare the received money, although there is a description of the services provided.
Plahotniuc, anti-Semites and Potomac Global Advisors, LLC
In August 2012, it was Vlad Plahotniuc’s turn, then the vice-speaker of the Moldovan Parliament. The contract was signed with Mark Robertson, president of Potomac Global Advisors, LLC.
The main thing in the contract is to help Plahotniuc in organizing meetings with officials of the White House, the State Department, the Ministry of Trade, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Potomac also undertook to raise the issue of the cancellation of the Jackson-Vanik amendment. After all, many considered Moldova a country in which anti-Semitism flourishes.
The lobby of liberals and “Fianna Strategies LLC”
In April 2014, the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova resorted to the services of Fianna Strategies LLC. She and her leader Vlad Filat were beneficiaries. The leader was then sentenced to 9 years in prison. The contract was concluded by Kapital Invest SA from Yass, the majority shareholder of which was the same Filat. And then he was put in jail.
In September 2014, the PLDM again turns to the services of Fianna Strategies LLC. This time the contract was signed by V. Filat and Molly McKew, the head of the company. “Fianna” pledged to provide liberals with advice, assistance in building partnerships and relations with figures from the Administration, Congress, the media, and others.
In August 2015, a new contract was signed, with similar provisions, only the cost of services is not indicated (?).
Chisinau Democrats and Podesta Group.
On June 21, 2016, Podesta Group signed an agreement worth 600 thousand dollars with the Democratic Party of Moldova. The contract provided PR-activities and assistance in developing relations with the Americans.
According to the company’s report, in 2016 more than 250 events were organized. The beginning was laid on 27.07. 2016 g telephone call to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs V. Nuland. Later, Podesta will call Nuland again and send her two e-mails.
On August 3 and 4, 2016 Podesta sent emails to Forbes journalists, including Michael Noer, executive editor of special projects. Later, the messages were sent to such media institutions: New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, CNN, USA Today, Washlngton Post, Washington Times, The Hill “,” Associated Press “,” Fox “,” Politico “, etc.
Podesta also organized 18 meetings. The first took place on August 8, 2016 with Desmond Butler, reporter for the International Investigation Team “Associated Press”, one of the authors of the investigation of the traffic of radioactive materials through Moldova.
Three meetings were organized in the Atlantic Council. The most significant – a meeting with Bridget Brink (Bridget Brink), deputy. Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs. September 29, 2016
How much did Podesta receive? Report of Moldovan Democrats
There is a financial report “Podesta” on the activities to promote the Chisinau democrats. It follows from the document that the party transferred to the accounts of Podesta from April 1 to November 25, 2016 484 thousand US dollars.
“Podesta” also indicated an expense item of $ 47.1 thousand. There is a clarification: “Expenses referred to as” Compensation “are related to the activities of the company.” But none of the representatives of the US authorities or the media used them. Withdrawal?
Withdrawal! – Based on the documents, we can state that in 2016, Democrats from Chisinau spent “over the press and promotional materials” more than 40.5 million lei – about 87.5% of the declared (?) Budget of the party. 10 million lei, allocated to Podesta, accounted for 25% of the party’s budget for its promotion.
For a “good word” Plahotniuc will pay almost $ 0.5 million
In July 2017, the Democratic Party signed contracts with Cornerstone Government Affairs and Podesta Group. For the services of these companies, which will organize meetings in the US at a high level and promote the policy of Moldovans, Democrats will pay 480 thousand US dollars.
These two companies are in the top ten for the value of contracts awarded. “Cornerstone Government Affairs” in 2017 – for $ 9.26 million, while in 2016 the amount of contracts of this company amounted to 16.8 million US dollars, 8th place in the rating of American lobby companies.
Podesta Group took the third place in 2016, the total amount – $ 24.04 million, in 2017 it entered into contracts for $ 11.02 million. The company was involved in scandals related to the interests of a number of political leaders.
The data show: most of the documentation of the lobby groups working for Moldova did not declare the received funds, although there is an inventory of the services provided. And the prices for them.
Mold Street. Why the Government can not turn to lobbying
IDIS Director Viitorul Igor Munteanu claims that our country needs lobbying in the US because it is otherwise difficult to attract US investments and the entry of giants such as General Electric, General Motors, etc. to our market. However, he claims that it is not as easy to use as these services seem.
“In order for Moldova to use the services of lobbying companies, the Government will have to make a public auction. But very few people in such cases are auctioning. In this sense, politicians have a much greater margin of maneuver to contract such services, “the diplomat explains.
According to Munteanu, Moldova has benefited from unconditional support from some US states with which our country is in partnership.
For example, Elaine F. Marshall, Secretary of State of North Carolina, wrote letters to the White House stating the necessity of lifting trade restrictions, arguing that the state he was conducting had a partnership with Moldova, and their maintenance prevented the development of relations.
“It was not lobbying in the broad sense, but symbolic support, but it was of great help to us”, adds Igor Munteanu.
In December 2011, Elaine F. Marshall was decorated with the Order of Honor of the Republic of Moldova for its work to strengthen the partnership relations between our country and the North Carolina State.
Note that several sources say there have been other politicians who have approached the services of US specialized companies. In the absence of confirmatory documents, Mold-Street could not analyze and report on them.
- The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at :/eu
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