LOBBYING TRACKER

PRESENTED BY

DATAPOINTS

$530,000

LOBBYING SPEND (2018)

2

LOBBYING/PR FIRMS

4

REGISTERED AGENTS

AL-MONITOR
LOBBYING RANK

#15 (tie)

David Keene
(for Algeria)

Hired: Oct. 2018
2018 fees: $60,000

NEW Termination

Former National Rifle Association president David Keene stopped lobbying for Algeria on April 30, according to Donna Wiesner Keene, who was registered to work on the account along with him. On May 11, the Washington Times published an op-ed by the former, who is the publication's editor-at-large, explaining how Algeria’s president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, “is committed to a course that may make Algeria a modern example of how to both weather a crisis and come out of it stronger than when it began.” The article noted that Keene “formerly lobbied for Algeria.”

Foley Hoag
(for Algeria)

Hired: 2006
2018 fees: $420,000

NEW Supplemental
(Oct. 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020)

Algeria paid Foley Hoag $210,000 (including expenses) in the six-month period ending March 31. During that time period, the firm disclosed participating in “exchanges” with 11 members of Congress. The firm reported two exchanges each with staffers for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee (Nov. 1 and Feb. 14); and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. (Nov. 7 and Dec. 11).

International Policy Solutions
(for Sonatrach)

Hired: Sept. 2018
2018 fees: $50,000

NEW Termination (Aug. 31, 2019)

NEW Supplemental
(April 1, 2019 – Sept. 30, 2019)
Fees: $125,000
Meetings: Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and Elizabeth Litchfield (State Department’s Office of Maghreb Affairs)

International Policy Solutions stopped working for Algeria’s state-owned oil company Sonatrach on Aug. 31. The firm was hired in September 2018 for $24,000 per month to “project an up-to-date image of Sonatrach, the Algerian government, and Algeria's role in regional and world affairs.” In the six months through September, the firm met with Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., to discuss relations with the Congressional Black Caucus and discussed “the state of affairs in Algeria during the transition in the government” with Elizabeth Litchfield of the State Department’s Office of Maghreb Affairs.

Political upheaval upends Algeria lobbying

Editor

Julian Pecquet

@JPecquet_ALM

jpecquet@al-monitor.com
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Julian Pecquet is the Editor of Special Projects for Al-Monitor, where he supervises the award-winning Lobbying Tracker as well as managing long-form stories. Before that he covered the US Congress for Al-Monitor. Prior to joining Al-Monitor, Pecquet led global affairs coverage for the political newspaper The Hill.

Posted: September 11, 2019

Algeria ramped up its Washington lobbying last year to help make its case regarding the disputed Western Sahara and attract US investment in its underperforming oil and gas industry.

But political upheaval back home has thrown those plans into turmoil.

The energy-rich North African country hired US law firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle in June 2018 along with other consultancies to help write a new energy law aimed at boosting investor confidence. Two months later, public energy company Sonatrach hired Washington lobby shop International Policy Solutions for $25,000 per month to lobby on behalf of both Algeria and the firm itself.

International Policy Solutions has six agents on the account, including founder and president David Jory and ex- Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., a former member of the House Natural Resources Committee. Public filings show its lobbyists met with officials from the Commerce Department and the US Geological Survey soon after the firm was hired. They also reached out to key lawmakers, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Energy and Commerce energy panel Chairman Bobby Rush, D-Ill.

And in November, the Algerian government hired former National Rifle Association David Keene and his wife Donna Wiesner for $30,000 per month. The contract notably calls on Keene Consulting Services to “promote business, trade and investment opportunities of interest to Algeria.”

In his first six months of work for Algeria, Keene met with an A-list of Republican officials, including national security adviser John Bolton, Chief Justice John Roberts, and a half-dozen lawmakers including Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., a longtime champion of Algerian rival Morocco. Bolton delighted Algiers in December when he reaffirmed his support for a long-delayed independence referendum.

Meanwhile Foley Hoag, which has lobbied for Algiers since 2007, continues to represent the government for $35,000 per month. Following the Democrats’ mid-term victory, the firm notably reached out to freshman Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., in addition to the usual cast of congressional Algeria allies and leaders on foreign affairs.

The lobbying push scored some successes early this year, including a February visit by six lawmakers from oil-and-gas states – the first congressional delegation to Algeria since 2017. Foley Hoag lobbyists met with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., who led the delegation, two weeks before the trip.

The group met with then-Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and other officials, according to Algerian media. They also reportedly visited a camp for Sahrawi refugees in Tindouf. Algeria supports the Sahrawis’ right to independence in their native Western Sahara, which is administered by Morocco, and has long fought an annual influence battle against Rabat for favorable provisions in annual foreign aid appropriations legislation.

Events on the ground however risks setting back any progress in Washington. Mass protests forced out Abdelaziz Bouteflika after the ailing president ran for a fifth term in the April election, which has been indefinitely postponed.

Public unrest is now creating pressure for a purge of Bouteflika allies, potentially undermining lobbying efforts. Ouyahia, the former prime minister, was detained on corruption charges four months after his meeting with US lawmakers. And Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, a US-trained engineer who was leading efforts to reduce red tape and improve transparency, was fired in April – punting needed reforms into the uncertain future.

HIGHLIGHTS

Main lobbying firm:
David Keene

 

 

$530,000

Total lobbying and PR spending for 2018

 

 

WINS
  • US congratulates President-elect Tebboune 
  • NRA-connected lobbyist scores high-level meetings
  • Senators from oil-and-gas states visit Algeria
LOSSES
  • Trump fires Western Sahara-friendly Bolton
  • Pompeo skips Algeria on trip to Morocco
  • Political shake-up purges US interlocutors

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