Thursday, April 12, 2007
my seeds grow with his seeds:
Don't miss Laura Rozen's piece in MoJo about Kurdistan's emergence as a gateway of for-profit regional gamesmanship.
Plenty of non-Kurds would like to help—and make a little profit along the way. According to lobbying records, the high powered, White House-connected lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, LLC has earned $800,000 promoting the Kurdistan Regional Government’s interests since 2004; before hiring the firm, two U.S. sources say, Michaels had approached Jack Abramoff about representing the Kurds, but the discussions never went beyond the initial stages.

Russell Wilson, a former senior professional staffer for the House international relations committee who helped advise the Kurds on Washington representation and who was formerly listed as a non equity officer in Interop, notes that Kurdistan has many of the things the rest of Iraq lacks: “It’s safe, secure, it’s geographically rich”—features include plenty of unexplored potential oil and natural gas reserves—”and the people are extremely nice.” Wilson says it was he who recommended in the spring of 2004 that the Kurds hire Ed Rogers, a former political director in the Bush I White House, of Barbour Griffith & Rogers as their Washington lobbyist.

--Spencer Ackerman