Cassidy & Associates

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Cassidy & Associates is a Washington D.C headquartered lobbying and public relations company that was formed in 1975.

Cassidy EU Employees jump ship, organize first EU law & lobby firm

Cassidy's European work took a hit in April, 2007 when it was reported that six top lawyers had left the firm to set up a new company, Alber & Geiger. "Former Advocate General of the European Court of Justice Siegbert Alber and former CEO of Cassidy in Brussels Andreas Geiger set up Alber & Geiger, a specialist government lobbying law firm in the Belgian capital last month. Founding partner Geiger said: 'We're the first lobbying-focused law firm in Europe and we're following the lobbying law model from Washington [DC]. It wasn't possible for us to have this set-up under the umbrella of Interpublic, which owns Cassidy & Associates."[1]

Working for Philip Morris

A 1993 internal budget review document for the Philip Morris group of companies had Cassidy and Associates with a preliminary budget allocation of $78,000. Describing the consultants, the documents states, "Jack Brennan is a former Massachusetts state Senator who has excellent ties with members of the Massachusetts legislature. He is especially close to the Senate President Bolger, who maintains significant influence over the activities of the legislature. Mr Brennan is an experienced lobbyist who is familiar with KGF's solid waste issues, and has been retained to defeat MassPIRG's continued efforts to boycott KGF's products. Mr Brennan is also charged with representing KGF in the upcoming MassPIRG ballot initiative on expanded bottle bill legislation".[2] (KGF is the acronym for Philip Morris subsidiary, Kraft General Foods.)

Brennan is not listed on the company's website as a current employee. (Accessed November 23, 2003).

Polishing a blood-soaked dictator's image

According to a May, 2007 article in MotherJones, Cassidy and Associates has worked hard to improve the image of Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang:

"Since 2004, according to Department of Justice reports, Equatorial Guinea has paid Cassidy and Associates at least $120,000 per month to overhaul the country's image. At times, Cassidy almost functions as a shadow foreign ministry for Equatorial Guinea. One longtime Africa observer says that at a recent D.C. event, he saw Cassidy staffers flanking the Equatoguinean ambassador passing her notes throughout her speech. "She was literally in the hands of her handlers," he says. Cassidy has also helped set up a social development fund to channel the country's oil money into welfare projects: "Obiang is intent on improving the country," says Juan Carlos Benitez, who is responsible for Cassidy's Equatorial Guinea account."[3]

Benitez's outlook is surprisingly optimistic, according to the article:

"Equatorial Guinea has one of the world's highest incomes per capita, but in one of the 10 most corrupt nations on earth, little of that money trickles down. Obiang rules the country with an iron fist: According to State Department reports, suspects have been tortured to death and prisoners raped by police. Still, Cassidy has delivered results for Obiang in D.C. 'A few years ago, at least U.S. officials wouldn't talk about the relationship with Equatorial Guinea, or they would admit all the problems and horrible human rights abuses,' says Frank Ruddy, the former U.S. ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. Now, he adds, 'you would have thought this is Mother Teresa's brother running Equatorial Guinea.'"[3]

From President Obiang to Presidential hopeful Dodd

Until recently, the lead lobbyist for the account was Amos Hochstein.[4] He left Cassidy and Associates in January 2007 to join Senator Christopher Dodd's campaign for the U.S. Presidency.[5] In an April 2006 interview with the Washington Post, Hochstein was effusive about Obiang's regime:

"I don't know where The Post got those numbers [about malnutrition in Equatorial Guinea]. I've seen them on the opposition's Web site, but never anywhere else... [Obiang has] convinced me of his deep care for his people. And I've seen the changes. I know that he sent 120 Equato-Guinean nurses to Israel for training. I've seen the kids going to new schools in their blue pants and white shirts."[6]

The malnutrition figures that Hochstein challenged had been published in a Post editorial a few days beforehand. The editorial did not cite its sources.[7]

Contact information

700 Thirteenth Street, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 347-0773
Fax: (202) 347-0785
Email: info AT cassidy.com
Web: http://www.cassidy.com

Resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Julia Berris, Cassidy splits to form Brussels lobby firm, The Lawyer, 16 April 2007.
  2. Philip Morris, "Corporate Affairs: corporate cost review, Bates No 2046996735, July 1993 (estimated), page 5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Joshua Kurlantzick, "Putting Lipstick On A Dictator", Mother Jones, May 7, 2007.
  4. Ken Silverstein, "Obiang's Banking Again: State Department and Washington insiders help a dictator get what he wants", Harpers Magazine, August 9, 2006.
  5. "Amos Hochstein to Join Presidential Campaign", press release, Cassidy and Associates, January 16, 2007.
  6. Michael Grunwald, "A conversation with Amos Hochstein", Washington Post, April 23, 2006.
  7. "With Friends Like These... Condoleezza Rice's inglorious moment", Washington Post, April 18, 2006.

External articles