India, Pakistan Sign With U.S. Lobby Shops

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, September 15, 2005

B arbour Griffith & Rogers and officials in the government of India didn't want to talk fees for their new lobbying contract last week. Well, we could wait a bit.

The lobby shop's foreign agent filing finally surfaced at the Justice Department, and it shows that the fees are none too shabby.

Merely $700,000 for a year's work of "developing, refining and expanding relationships between Indian officials and the U.S. foreign policy-making apparatus in the Executive and Legislative Branches."

Too bad the shop can't take advantage of the services of Robert D. Blackwill , former U.S. ambassador to India, who is now president of Barbour Griffith & Rogers International . He is under a one-year ban on representing a foreign government that does not expire until November.

Not to miss out on the benefits of a lobbyist to help navigate one's way in Washington, Pakistan has also retained a top-notch firm, Van Scoyoc Associates , although not at quite as pricey a fee. Pakistan, which has a tense relationship with India, is paying $570,000 for 15 months of work.

According to Van Scoyoc's foreign agent filing, the firm will "engage in discussions with the Legislative and Executive Branches . . . on issues of interest to the Government of Pakistan." That would include helping persuade Congress not to block the Bush administration's plans to sell F-16s to Pakistan as well as to provide about $3 billion over five years in military and economic assistance.

"Pakistan is an important ally," says Mark J. Tavlarides , a Van Scoyoc lobbyist. Tavlarides was director for legislative affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration.

Also on the team: H. Stewart Van Scoyoc and Lee Rawls , formerly chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and chief of staff to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

Viacom Reshuffles Executives

With Viacom Inc. in the process of dividing into two publicly trade companies -- Viacom and CBS Corp. -- the new Washington lobbying offices are starting to take shape, even though the split won't be official until next year.

Viacom is bringing back DeDe Lea to head its lobbying operations as senior vice president for government relations. After working at Viacom for several years, Lea had left last year for Belo Corp.

At Viacom, she'll be responsible for lobbying for MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and others), BET, Paramount and more.

Gail MacKinnon moves over from the Viacom government relations shop to head the new CBS Washington office as senior vice president. She started out in town as legislative director to former House member Jack Fields (R-Tex.).

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