The Podesta Group will be the first Washington, D.C. lobbying firm representing the government of Iraq, reports Politico.
It’s the first lobbying contract for the post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. The country faces a number of significant challenges in D.C. — including repairing a somewhat strained relationship with the Obama administration in the aftermath of a failure to come to an agreement on a status of forces agreement in 2011.
The Iraqi government is also in the market for a PR firm. Finalists include Edelmen, LEVICK, and APCO Worldwide, among others, according to a source familiar with the government’s thinking.
The firm, founded by Democratic insider brothers Tony and John Podesta, was selected for its close ties to Democrats leaders such as the Clintons and Vice President Joe Biden.
John Podesta is the chairman of the liberal Center for American Progress and former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.
Podesta made news in September 2012 when he joined 50 companies for a State Department and U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsored four-day tour in Cairo, Egypt. The trip was designed to deliver the message that, “Egypt is open for business, and the U.S. business community is ready to invest.”
Ten of the represented companies have ties to the Podesta Group, which exposes the connection between Obama administration officials and Washington lobbyists.
As previously reported by the Washington Free Beacon:
Since President Obama entered office in 2008, Boeing has spent $840,000 on The Podesta Group’s services, relying on the firm to lobby in favor of lucrative defense appropriations at the White House and on Capitol Hill.