Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This Will Have to Make You Smile

For all of the stories that are told of well-meaning folks that get bought and sold in the Washington meat grinder, every now and then there are a few that demonstrate rare principle -- like this one from a great article in TNR on the Turko-Armenian PR blitz currently underway in the nation's capital:

Few niches of Washington lobbying are as lucrative as the foreign racket, which explains why more than 1,800 lobbyists are currently registered to represent more than 660 overseas clients. Thus the Turks have found no shortage of willing pitchmen. Turkey currently maintains expensive contracts with at least four different Washington lobbying and p.r. firms. The result is that unsuspecting congressmen and staffers frequently find themselves badgered by well-heeled Turkish emissaries. Not long ago, one lobbyist invited a senior congressional aide to dinner at his suburban mansion. When he arrived, the aide was surprised to find himself surrounded by Turks keenly interested in his views on the genocide bill. (This time, the hard sell backfired; the staffer indignantly retorted that he believed a genocide had taken place, causing the lobbyist's face to go "ashen.")

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