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Foreign Exchange New York-based law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton doesn’t traditionally do a lot of lobbying. According to disclosure filings, it worked for only five clients in 2005. But it only takes one whale to ring the register, and Cleary Gottlieb landed one in the Iraqi Ministry of Finance. According to newly filed FARA reports, in the last six months of 2005, Cleary took in $2,495,574 from the fledgling Iraqi government for work the firm did on debt restructuring. That figure represents the biggest FARA haul to date among the firms that have filed year-end 2005 reports. Hunton & Williams also took in a big haul during the last half of 2005, earning $2,112,310. Those fees came from a variety of services it provided for foreign governments, including trade work for the Central American nation of Belize, which garnered the firm $1,518,392; work on border issues for Ethiopia, which bagged the firm $485,918; and work on a free-trade agreement for the United Arab Emirates, which earned the firm $108,000. Patton Boggs was also making frequent trips to the currency-exchange counter in 2005, representing nine foreign clients and taking in $1,656,973 in FARA fees. The lobby giant’s biggest paydays: $549,000 from Angola’s Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis, for work on human rights and trade issues, and $400,000 in lobby work for Saudi Arabia outsourced from Qorvis Communications, the desert kingdom’s PR firm. In the latter half of 2005, Austin, Texas-based Public Strategies, a corporate communications firm, took in $669,909 for media and PR work it did for Chinese oil company CNOOC during its failed bid to buy Unocal. Most of that sum, $572,909, was paid to the PR firm by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which provided lobbying and legal representation to the Chinese company last year during the battle for Unocal. In the same 2005 period, Richard T. Hines & Associates took in $600,000 from the Nigerian state of Akwa-Iborn, the firm’s only client, for lobbying on development-related issues. Van Scoyoc Associates took in $136,000 in FARA fees in the last six months of 2005, primarily for defense procurement work it did for the United Kingdom and Pakistan, while BKSH picked up $126,000, nearly all of which came from its two primary clients, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Finally, the heightened scrutiny being given to lobby disclosure may have prompted one lobby shop to submit a late filing. Philip S. Smith & Associates filed a FARA report for work done in 2002 for Afghan Gen. Rashid Dostum, now the deputy defense minister for the government, but then a general and leader of the Northern Alliance, which was fighting the Taliban. Smith received no monetary compensation for his work, which he says involved disseminating informational materials in the United States, but he did disclose other “things of value” he was given for his services: one bottle of Stolichnaya vodka, one bottle of Finlandia vodka, and one bottle of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky (no word given on whether the label was red, blue, black, or gold). — Andy Metzger
His Army In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Feb. 6, former House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-Texas) commented on the election of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the new majority leader. Armey wrote: “Any serious effort to restore ethics and integrity to the House must start with cleaning up the appropriations process. Over the past five years the number of earmarks has gone up seven-fold — from around 2,000 to 14,000 in 2005 — while the number of lobbying entities doubled during the same time.” The Journal‘s bio of Armey listed his tenure as majority leader as spanning from 1995 to 2002, and also mentioned his involvement in FreedomWorks, a national grass-roots advocacy organization. But the paper didn’t mention Armey’s own affiliation with a lobbying firm. He is senior policy adviser to the law and lobbying powerhouse DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. Armey says he tried to get his identification with DLA to run with the piece, but that the op-ed was arranged between FreedomWorks, a conservative coalition, and the Journal. “If the press event is worked through DLA, that name goes on it. If FreedomWorks gets the engagement [op-ed space], their name goes on it,” says Armey. — Joe Crea

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