CMD superman logo.jpg SourceWatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy,

depends on donations from people like you!

Click here to make a tax-deductable contribution.

BGR Holdings LLC

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

Learn about corporate "speech" and other "rights" v. people's rights. And help put Americans before corporations.

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

BGR Holdings LLC, previously called Barbour Griffith & Rogers, is a Washington D.C.-based public relations and lobbying company that boasts its operating philosophy is "performance based: a proactive, creative approach to solving problems and aggressively seeking results". [1]

Controversies

Fundraiser for Wisconsin anti-worker rights politicians

On March 16, 2011, BGR hosted a lavish, Washington, D.C. fundraiser for Wisconsin Republican politicians. Guests were expected to donate a minimum of $1,000 at the door. They could become "sponsors" by donating $2,500 or "hosts" by donating $5,000. Guests included Wisconsin's Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and the state's Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. The event was held just days after Republicans in Wisconsin's legislature voted 18-1 to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees. The vote was held with no Democrats in attendance. All five Republican members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation were invited to attend the D.C. fundraiser, along with Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.[2][3]

The fundraiser sparked protest from pro-worker groups and workers' rights supporters who gathered in front of BGR Group offices to draw attention to Wisconsin Republicans' union-busting bill, and their subsequent efforts to raise money from out-of-state corporations in support of their actions.[4]

History

The company was founded in 1991. On its website it states "the firm represents a diverse, blue-chip clientele which includes Fortune 500 companies, international governments, trade associations, non-profits, academic institutions, hospitals, coalitions, and state and local governments. "[5]

In a profile on the company and its strong connections with the Republican Party, Thomas B. Edsall wrote in the Washington Post that "in less than a decade, the Barbour Griffith & Rogers lobbying shop has become one of the most profitable operations in Washington". [6]

According to Haley Barbour, who was sworn in as the Governor of Mississippi in January 2004, the firm was sold to the Interpublic Group of Companies in 1999. Part of the sale deal was that the name remain the same, even though Barbour no longer had a financial stake in the company. [7]

However in June 2004 O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that BG&R was discussing buying a controlling interest in itself back from Interpublic. It reported that "the former Republican National Committee chairman has put his stake in BG&R into a blind trust. He has said that he isn't sure whether he will return to BG&R after he leaves office [8]

In a September 2003 article on his blog site, Josh Marshall wrote that New Bridge Strategies -- a company established to help clients win Iraq reconstruction contracts -- "looks an awful lot like an outgrowth of Barbour Griffith and Rogers". [1]

In June 2004, O'Dwyers PR Daily reported BG&R recorded $1.6M in fees in 2003, according to Roll Call. [9]

Clients

Domestic (U.S.)

In May 2002, BG&R indicated that on behalf of Virginia-based United Defense it would lobby in favor of the Crusader $11 billion artillery system. Despite attending a strategy session in mid-May 2002, BG&R subsequently decided to drop the account. "The White House contacted BG&R when it heard that the firm was going to represent the Crusader. That contact resulted in BG&R dropping the account," O'Dwyers reported. [10]

In October 2002, Haley Barbour headed up a team "on corporate governance issues" for Citigroup, with assistance with Jennifer Larkin, Dan Murphy and Loren Monroe. "Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney brokerage house faces various probes concerning potential analysts' conflict of interest and how it allocated shares in initial public offerings. On October 14, Citicorp denied charges in a lawsuit filed by New York State Comptroller Carl McCall - who is also running for Governor - that its Travelers insurance unit made improper loans to Bernie Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom," O'Dwyers reported.[11]

International

In June 2002, 'O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that BG&R had gained a $30,000-a-month contract with the Embassy of Bolivia "to deal with tactical planning, trade and appropriations matters." The BG&R team was headed by Barbour and also included Keith Schuette, "a former president of the International Republican Institute, and Scott Barnhart. "Bolivia scored a coup on the trade front as Congress agreed to reduce tariffs on canned tuna, textiles and cut flowers to encourage it, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to fight the drug trade," reported O'Dwyer's. [12]

In July 2004, the Kurdish Democratic Party retained BG&R, "to ensure that Iraqi Kurdistan maintains its autonomy from Baghdad in the new Iraq Government" and for the "return of oil-rich Kirkuk, which Saddam Hussein had "Arabized" as the capital of the region, to Kurdistan." [2]

In February 2005, O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that the government of Qatar had "hired Barbour Griffith & Rogers to a $300K pact to smooth relations with the Bush Administration."[13]

In August 2006, the Washington Post reported that BG&R was working for the "National Dialogue Party of Lebanon and its chairman, Fouad Makhzoumi. The Republican shop registered to lobby for the Lebanese party in mid-June, with an effective start date of April 15." After armed hostilities between the Israeli government and Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia began in July 2006, BG&R started promoting "Makhzoumi's message of support for a cease-fire and a diplomatic solution to policymakers in Washington." The contract totaled $300,000 over six months.[14]

BG&R had also registered with the State Department "to 'provide guidance and counsel' on foreign policy to the embassy of Eritrea. That contract, which paid $65,000 a month for six months, or a total of $390,000, expired last month," the Washington Post reported in August 2006. [3]

BGR’s involvement and efforts in 2007 in ousting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to replace him with former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, were documented in hundreds of emails sent in Allawi’s name, Think Progress reported in 2007.[15]

Allawi was called “Saddam lite” by Slate in 2004[16] for his “mostly rhetorical” toughness and alleged courting of insurgents. Robert Blackwill, the lead BGR lobbyist on the account, oversaw the creation of the new Iraqi government, National Public Radio reported in 2007.[17]

BG&R landed a $60,000 a month contract to represent Serbia. The contract, which was signed by Serbia's Minister for International Economic Relations, Milan Parivodic, runs until January 2009. Serbia has been criticized for being half-hearted in its cooperation with investigations into war crimes committed during the 1990's. [4] (sub req'd)

BGR has also had extensive contact with the Embassy of Poland in 2008-2009.[18]

Client List

New clients since 2004, according to Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, accessed March 16, 2011:

  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
  • Weil Gotshal and Manges
  • LMVH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
  • WE Energies
  • Loop Capital Markets
  • Laurinburg Institute
  • ACS-XEROX
  • USEC
  • Uranium One
  • Trust for the National Mall
  • Thomson Reuters Inc.
  • Pew Charitable Trusts
  • American Chamber of Commerce
  • Kenyon Energy
  • AIT Worldwide Logistics
  • Tamares Management, LLC
  • T.Y. Lin International
  • Sxp Analytics, LLC
  • State of Qatar
  • Arrow General Supplies and Services Company
  • RFA Management Company LLC
  • Jeeran Holding Company
  • Revere America
  • Reliance Industries Limited
  • Ingenieria y Control Remoto, S.A.
  • IMS Government Solutions
  • Reed-Joseph International Company
  • Housing Finance Alliance
  • Health Data Insights
  • PJSC Trustbank
  • Association for Homeowners Across America
  • Patni Computer Systems
  • Oversight Systems, Inc.
  • Health Data Insights
  • National Restaurant Association
  • GSS Netglobal Security System
  • MR Ray Ruddy
  • Gas Natural SDG
  • Broward Health
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai
  • Business Software Alliance
  • Monument Strategies, LLC
  • Children’s Hospital and Health System, Inc
  • City of Cottonwood Heights, Utah
  • MEAB sal
  • Freedom Capital, Inc
  • FMS, LLC
  • Lean Flame, Inc
  • Lanmark Technology, Inc
  • First View, LLC
  • King Engineering Associates, Inc
  • Kinetic Concepts, Inc
  • Claremont Group
  • Amsterdam and Peroff
  • Andrew L Asher
  • JM Eagle
  • Innovida
  • Embassy of Poland
  • Electronic Knowledge Interchange
  • Dupont
  • DuPage County
  • Delos Living
  • D-J Engineering
  • Eko Rail
  • Berwick Development I, LLC
  • Coventry Health Care Inc
  • Bird Law Group[19]


As listed on the company website January 2004, except where referenced:

Former Clients

  • Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs [10] In April 2007, O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that "Taiwan has ended its PR contract with Barbour Griffith & Rogers, a year before the three-year pact was set to expire." [11]

Political contributions

Lanny Griffith, Chief Executive Officer of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, is a Bush Ranger having raised at least $200,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. [21]

Barbour, Griffith and Rogers gave $73,603 to federal candidates in the 2006 election through its political action committee - 100% to Republicans. [22]

Personnel

Current staff: [23]

Former staff

  • Haley Barbour - former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Note that in February 2011, BGR founder Barbour refused to publicly denounce a Mississippi license plate idea proposed by the white supremacist group, "Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans". The license plate would honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was "a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army and is believed to be one of the earliest members of (and first "Grand Wizard" to) the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan."[24]

Contact information

Barbour Griffith & Rogers
Tenth Floor 1275 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: (202)333 4936
Fax: (202)833 9392
Email: information AT bgrdc.com
Web: http://www.bgrdc.com

References

  1. Barbour, Griffith and Rogers Profile Approach Accessed October 3, 2007 - the statement quoted is no longer on its current website, noted as of March 16, 2011)
  2. David Green BGR Group Hosting $1,000 Fundraiser For Wisconsin Republicans, Gather.com, March 11, 2011
  3. Evan McMorris-Santoro Report: Major DC Lobby Firm Throwing Fundraiser For Wisconsin GOP Leaders, Talking Points Memo, TPMDC, March 11, 2011
  4. People for the American Way PFAW Rallies to Support Wisconsin’s Workers, press release, March 16, 2011
  5. BGRDC BGR About, organizational web site, accessed March 16, 2011
  6. Thomas B. Edsall Another Lobbyist Emerges From the GOP Trenches, Washington Post, Page A15. January 13, 2004
  7. Aziz Haniffa Blackwill factor in US lobbying firm deal, Rediff News, September 17, 2005
  8. O'Dwyers BG&R Nears Buyback, June 1, 2004
  9. O'Dwyers BG&R Nears Buyback, June 1, 2004
  10. O'Dwyers [http://www.odwyerpr.com/members/archived_stories_2002/may/0521crusader.htm BG&R SHOOTS DOWN CRUSADER AFTER TWO DAYS], May 21, 2002
  11. O'Dwyers CITIGROUP HIRES BG&R, October 17, 2002
  12. O'Dwyers BOLIVIA INKS DEAL WITH BG&R, June 6, 2002
  13. O'Dwers QATAR HIRES BG&R, February 1, 2005
  14. Judy Sarasohn Clients Don't Come Much Hotter, Washington Post, August 3, 2006
  15. Think Progress Right-Wing Operatives Plot To Overthrow Maliki, Replace Him With Reliable Collaborator Allawi, Think Progress, August 23, 2007
  16. Slate Magazine Iyad Allawi: Is Iraq's new strongman strong enough?, Slate Magazine, August 3, 2004
  17. National Public Radio Lobby Firm Tied to Bush Aids Allawi in Ouster Bid, National Public Radio, August 24, 2007
  18. Foreign Lobbying Influence Tracker Barbour, Griffith & Rogers contacts for Embassy of Poland, accessed March 16, 2011
  19. Lobbying Disclosure Act Database BGR, accessed March 16, 2011
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 20.11 20.12 20.13 20.14 20.15 20.16 20.17 20.18 20.19 20.20 20.21 20.22 20.23 20.24 20.25 20.26 20.27 20.28 20.29 20.30 20.31 20.32 20.33 20.34 20.35 20.36 20.37 20.38 20.39 20.40 20.41 20.42 20.43 20.44 20.45 20.46 20.47 20.48 20.49 20.50 20.51 20.52 20.53 20.54 20.55 20.56 20.57 20.58 20.59 20.60 20.61 20.62 20.63 20.64 20.65 20.66 20.67 20.68 20.69 20.70 20.71 20.72 20.73 20.74 20.75 20.76 20.77 20.78 20.79 20.80 20.81 20.82 20.83 20.84 20.85 20.86 20.87 20.88 20.89 20.90 20.91 20.92 20.93 20.94 20.95 Barbour, Griffith & Rogers client list. Opensecrets.org. Retrieved on 25 October 2007.
  21. Lanny Griffith, Texans for Public Justice, accessed August 2007.
  22. 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed August 2007.
  23. Bios, Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, accessed August 2007.
  24. Lucy Madison Haley Barbour Won't Denounce Proposal Honoring Confederate General, Early KKK Leader, CNS News, February 16, 2011

External links