"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sleazy DCI lobbyists for Burma jump McCain's ship

DCI Group is a Washington based strategic public affairs and global issues management firm. They are also associated with some interesting Phoenix AZ connected outfits ;

Feather Larson Synhorst-DCI, a telemarketing and political consulting firm with offices in Washington, St. Paul and Phoenix;
FYI Messaging, a political direct mail company based in Phoenix; and
TSE Enterprises, a Phoenix-based internet PR company that creates and host websites and does electronic direct mail.

(During the 2004 election cycle, DCI Group, FLS-DCI and FYI Messaging took in US$17 million from the Bush campaigna and the Republican Party according to FEC data released on October 30, 2004 and posted on the Center for Responsive Politics website.)

Among the folks at DCI are Phoenix resident , CEO Douglas Goodyear (who is one of the 10 Partners in DCI) and Doug Davenport, a regional manager who focuses on the mid-Atlantic states.

Mr. Goodyear was a leader in the campaign that brought major league baseball to Denver in 1990, as well as the campaign to build Denver's new international airport.

According to their website the company uses " a campaign-style approach to help corporations, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations address their most critical communications and public policy challenges. "... the site also says .."Our work has taken us to all 50 states and throughout Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa. "

Douglas M. Goodyear, used to work on behalf of tobacco company R.J. Reynolds, as a vice president at Denver based Walt Klein and Associates, a PR firm whose work for RJR dates back to at least the1980s. In 1993, Goodyear was instrumental in the creation of supposedly arms length Ramhurst Corporation, an organization that received money from R.J. Reynolds to ensure that tobacco industry efforts in Washington were supported by and coordinated with RJR's nation-wide fake grassroots operations. According to internal RJR documents, in 1994 Ramhurst received US$2.6 million for "executing tactical programs on federal, state or local issues; developing a network of smokers' rights groups and other coalition partners within the region that will speak out on issues important to the Company; implementing training and communication programs designed to inform activists and maintain their ongoing involvement in the grassroots movement." . Another DCI partner Thomas J. Synhorst was one of Ramhurst's field operators.

In 2002 DCI took on a pretty hefty challenge - to represent Burma / Myanmar's military junta to try to begin a dialogue of political reconciliation with the United States - apparently their first experience of representing overseas interests in the US. Newsweek posted a story that they were paid $348,000 in 2002 and 2003 to represent Burma / Myanmar's junta - this work for the Union of Myanmar (Burma) State Peace & Development Council was public knowledge in 2004.

The Washington Post's Al Kamen wrote, ("Escalation of the Appellation," Washington Post, February 28, 2003. ) "DCI's filings with the Justice Department offer an unusual glimpse into the efforts by the Rangoon junta. DCI lobbyists, featuring Charles Francis, a longtime family friend of the Bushes, ran a sophisticated campaign to improve the regime's image - and steer the conversation away from its rampant human rights abuses and such."

Francis "even set up two meetings with White House National Security Council Southeast Asia director Karen B. Brooks," Kamen continued, " - an unusual feat given that Burma is under U.S. sanctions and its top officials are barred from coming here - to tout Burma's cooperation on anti-drug, HIV/AIDs and anti-terrorism efforts and in finding the remains of U.S. soldiers from World War II." After lobbying congressional officials, the Defense Department, and well connected think tanks. Francis, along with Barry M. Broman, a retired U.S. government employee who was stationed in Rangoon, lobbied lawmakers and staff on the Hill, including Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), as well as Defense Department officials and think-tankers such as former U.N. ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick. The "campaign was on the verge of success - the State Department was about to certify the regime - but the administration backed off amid pressure from the Hill, human rights groups and the media."

Justice Department records covering agents of foreign agents that are required to register with the U.S. government show DCI signed a contract to work to "improve relations between the United States and Myanmar" and to act as the junta's public relations agent in Washington.

Newsweek reports that DCI drafted press releases praising Burma's efforts to curb the drug trade and denouncing claims by the Bush administration that the regime engaged in rape and other abuses.

"It was our only foreign representation, it was for a short tenure, and it was six years ago," Newsweek quoted Goodyear as saying. They added that Goodyear had said that the junta's record in the current cyclone crisis is "reprehensible."

Now this historical connection has become public ,both Douglas Goodyear and Doug Davenport have resigned from working for the John McCain Presidential campaign. Douglas Goodyear, had been selected to run the 2008 Republican National Convention as the GOP Convention Coordinator. he released a statement ..." "Today I offered the convention my resignation so as not to become a distraction in this campaign. I continue to strongly support John McCain for president, and wish him the best of luck in this campaign."

The convention runs Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.

McCain — reportedly said in October last year that the Burmese monks, not former Vice President Al Gore, should have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — he also called for a multilateral arms embargo after scores of peaceful protesters were arrested, beaten and fired upon by the regime soldiers.

McCain has long been a critic of the Burmese regime and wrote an article in the Nation in June 2003 "Crisis in Rangoon" when Secretary of State Colin Powell was setting off to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)annual ministerial summit and security meetings in Phnom Penh and called for him to refuse to attend unless they agree to a comprehensive list of demands .

1. That they address the crisis in Burma as their central agenda item
2. Agree to forcefully condemn the crackdown on democracy in Burma
3. Agree to require the release of Burma's detained democracy leaders in order for Burma to participate in the ASEAN ministerial meetings
4. Agree to issue a concrete action plan to move Burma towards a negotiated settlement with Aung San Suu Kyi that grants her a leading and irreversible political role culminating in free and fair national elections.

When the The Bush administration announced financial sanctions targeting 14 senior members of Burma’s ruling military in September last year , which was popular in Congress - Bush was asked to go further still by McCain, who with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) proposed sanctions legislation BIlls to close loopholes on existing Burmese export bans.

We mustn't forget that his wife Cindy said she would like to go out to Myanmar and sort out the relief herself.

The ultimate paradox is that before selecting Goodyear to front the Convention the McCain camp had considered Paul Manafort, who runs a lobbying firm with McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis. Their firm had a long history of representing controversial foreign clients, including Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. More recently, he was chief political consultant to Viktor Yanukovich, the former Ukrainian prime minister , and ciorrupt Russian stooge - embarrassing for McCain, who in 2007 called Putin a "totalitarian dictator."

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