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Stephen Payne of Houston, Texas is a lobbyist and owner of Worldwide Strategic Partners and Worldwide Strategic Energy, an energy and international business consulting firm. He is also board member of the National Defense University Foundation and the U.S. Baltic Foundation. He served on the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Advisory Council from 2007 until he was asked to step down in 2008.
In July 2008, Payne was filmed in a video sting operation organized by the Sunday Times of London, in which he promised to arrange meetings with officials in the Bush administration in exchange for a fee of $600,000 to $750,000, of which $200-250,000 would be given as a donation to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
A biographical note states that "Payne is an accomplished governmental and international affairs consultant with vast experience as a corporate and political advisor and foreign diplomat. His extensive clientele roster ranges from large international corporations, including Morgan-Stanley, Nextel Communications, Yukos Oil, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to serving NASA as a Senior Advisor and guiding diplomatic negotiations for foreign heads of state in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Mr. Payne has established strong diplomatic relationships with top officials in the U.S. and internationally, with particular emphasis on relations with and projects in Pakistan, U.A.E ., Iraq, Libya, Turkey, Azerbaijan, India, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Russia and China, as well as leading energy security talks for the NATO Summit."
"He began his career in government and politics in the late 1980s in the Texas State Senate. During the 1988 Bush for President Campaign, Payne served as George W. Bush's travel aide, (son of the Vice President). In 1993, Mr. Payne subsequently worked on the special election campaign for then State Treasurer Kay Hutchison. After Ms. Hutchison's election to the United States Senate, he served as the State Director of Special Projects and Deputy Director of the Southeast Texas region for Senator Hutchison," it states.
"In addition, Payne is currently the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Latvia, and is part of Latvia's Diplomatic Corps in the United States. He serves as Latvia's official diplomatic liaison to the South Central region of the United States, working closely with the leadership and is one of the chief US advisors to President Vaira Vike-Freiberga. Payne is also a Senior Presidential Advance Representative and travels regularly with President Bush. Mr. Payne accompanied President Bush to Jordan for the Red Sea Summit in June 2003 and to Europe in 2001. In 2002, he traveled with Vice President Cheney to the Middle East and Afghanistan for the historic inauguration of Afghan President Karzai," it states.
"Payne is a Board Member of the National Defense University Foundation. He is also a Republican National Finance Committee Member and is also Head of the Foreign Policy Committee for Presidential Campaign of Rudy Guiliani. In July 2007, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff appointed Mr. Payne to the Homeland Security Advisory Council Board," it states.
- Daniel Foggo and Steven Swinford, "Stephen Payne: a hotshot lobbyist who can get you into White House," Times (UK), July 13, 2008.
- "Washington, D.C.'s Nuclear Solutions, Inc. Retains Worldwide Strategic Partners, Inc. -- Augments Green Fuel Project Development Team (11831)", Manufacturing and Technology eJournal, undated, accessed July 2008.