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Go Fish

June 24, 2009

A few months back on the day Joe Biden got the Vice Presidential nomination I happened to be reading the September 2008 issue of Harper’s where I saw this little tidbit about lobbyist Stephen Payne talking to an undercover reporter about how he could make things happen in DC. Joe Biden’s name came up:

payne: Sure, that can be worked out. I can’t promise that we can get to the president, but the situation in Kyrgyzstan is worse now than it was before. That’s a given. I think some things could be done. The family, children, whatever, should probably look at making a contribution to the Bush Library. How big, I don’t know yet. Not a huge amount but enough to show they’re serious. Maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars. That would get the attention of the people raising the money. The main thing is that he comes and he’s well received, he meets with high-level people in the administration, and, most important, the administration makes positive statements, like, This guy wasn’t so bad; many people have done worse. Those kinds of statements from people in the administration, maybe Senator Biden on the Democratic side. Is he interested in going back and running for president? Anything like that?

Here’s the London Times article that blurb referred to which has a video of part of the interview which mentions Biden’s name.

Stephen Payne also worked with the foreign policy advisor for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, Randy Scheunemann. At this link you’ll see a picture of the two of them together with one of the guys who was very helpful in getting us into the latest Iraq war, Ahmad Chalabi. Now Scheunemann is a very busy fellow and his firm Orion strategies was being paid by the government of Georgia at about the time all hell broke loose there last year.

Thinking about these dirty lobbyists and the politicians who whore themselves out to them brought to mind this Harper’s article by Ken Silverstein where he posed as a representative for some interests in Turkmenistan and approached various DC lobbying firms to see exactly how they could help him out. One of the firms Silverstein approached was Cassidy and Associates. These guys have been handing out cash to politicians in exchange for favors for their clients for many years. At this link you can see a picture of Gerald Cassidy hobnobbing with Joe Biden at some black tie event. A couple clicks away you find this list of contributions to Joe Biden. Doesn’t really look like much but a little searching may turn up more since I seem to remember another link on this subject which I can’t put my finger on right now.

This week the US government signed a deal with Kyrgyzstan for a military base there.

What does it all mean? Are all of these people tied together and if so, how, and for what purpose? Are there direct links between corrupt central Asian governments who have resources the US wants, lobbying firms, and politicians who do their bidding? On the Republican side their certainly seems to be. Payne and Scheunemann and their various lobbying firms work closely together with some of these governments. Scheunemann worked for McCain and the Georgian government. McCain advocated for action in Georgia to help them out last year but the Russians called the bluff.

What about the Biden and the Democrats? Payne certainly seemed to think Biden would be a good person for these bad actors to contact. Is that maybe one of the reasons he was selected as VP? It definitely wasn’t just because he’s a nice man who likes to ride trains. Is there a link between lobbying firms who have donated to Biden and Biden influencing policy on behalf of the lobbyist’s clients in central Asia? That’s what I’d like to know.

Here’s a tool that might be helpful.

Go fish.

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45 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 7:29 am

    A quick search doesn’t show much as far as recent activities for Stephen Payne, Have to look a little harder. Did find this post which mentions that Henry Waxman was launching an investigation into Payne’s activities. Wonder how that’s going? Or if it’s going at all? Sounds like maybe Waxman’s office needs to be contacted and asked about that.

  2. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 12:04 pm

    Not much since last year about Payne from CREW either.

  3. cometman permalink*
    June 25, 2009 12:20 pm

    Here are Payne’s political contributions for the 2008 election cycle. It looks like the list has contributions from several people with the same name but the ones from Houston Texas are the right guy. Gave quite a bit to Ghouliani and even more interesting he gave a lot to something called the Turkish Coalition USA PAC. That warrants further checking. Seem to remember Sibel Edmonds mentioning Turkish groups being involved in her story and IIRC the suitcases of cash Denny Hastert received were connected with Turkey.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 25, 2009 12:24 pm

      More on Hastert and the Turkish cash. Whether the allegations are true or not, it sure seems like those in the Beltway really want to keep the Turks happy. The incident was alleged to have occurred during the end of the Clinton administration. But coincidentally just a few years later we’d be asking Turkey for help in the wars we wanted to get started.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 26, 2009 6:52 am

      Some curious items. Looks like Waxman hasn’t done much regarding an investigation of Stephen Payne who contributed a substantial amount to this Turkish Coalition USA PAC. Waxman was also the one who promised that he would hold hearings into what Sibel Edmonds had to say and he hasn’t done that either.

      Here’s a post from lukery about the Sibel Edmonds case where he mentions the American Turkish Council and that they are related to AIPAC.

      Here’s a Bradblog post from a few months later with this comment at the end that mentions that the Turkish Coalition USA PAC was started by one of the members of the American Turkish Council, G. Lincoln McCurdy.

      Going to have to figure out who that guy is and see if there’s anything to it. Is all of this crap related somehow? There sure are lots of people in the Beltway who don’t want to talk about it at all.

  4. cometman permalink*
    June 26, 2009 6:58 am

    Here’s something from McCurdy’s website for the Turkish Coalition of America which appears to back up what that Bradblog commenter said. He was a member of the American Turkish Council, he started these other groups, and there’s Waxman’s name right on the list of members of the Congressional Turkish caucus.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 8:19 am

      Some links

      About the TCA

      Board

      #
      G. Lincoln McCurdy, President
      #
      Guler Koknar, Vice President
      #
      Bruce Fein, Resident Scholar

      #
      David Saltzman, Counsel
      #
      Sema Muslu, Project Coordinator
      #
      Leah Ersoylu, Program Manager
      #
      Beril Unver, Project Manager
      #
      Zeynep Guven, Project Manager
      #
      Basak Kizildemir, Program Manager, Turkey

      Fein rings a bell as one who has spoken out quite a bit on the infractions of the Bush Admin against the US Constitution. He currently works with The Litchfield Group which has a good bio. He mingles with the neo-con think tanks, the AEI and the Heritage Foundation.

      TCA Congressional page lists stories relating to TCA lobbying efforts. There’s a number of interesting ones in there.

      Assembly of Turkish American Associations This shows the state offices connected to the larger TCA national group. Who knows, might be of use.

  5. cometman permalink*
    June 26, 2009 7:10 am

    More political donations from Cassidy and Associates including one for $4000 to Joe Biden and lots more to the DSCC and the DCCC.

    Going to have to figure out who some of this firm’s clients are and what if any policies have been enacted on their behalf by politicians who’ve gotten donations from Cassidy.

  6. cometman permalink*
    June 28, 2009 5:07 pm

    What is this all about? Payne listed the Latvian Embassy’s website:

    Houston, TEXAS:

    Mr. Stephen P. Payne, Honorary Consul
    5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 5004 (new address)
    Houston, TX 77057
    Telephone: (713) 888-0404
    Fax: (713) 952-1110
    E-mail: spayne@swbell.net

    Is this the same guy? Pretty sure it is. And I think this is current info. Still can’t find anything else on Payne since the Times story broke last year. No updates on any of the blogs and sites that covered the story at the time it broke since about last August that I can come up with yet.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 28, 2009 5:13 pm

      More on the Latvian connection here. And this, again from the Latvian Embassy site, dated from last November. So far the most recent thing I can find.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 8:36 am

      Have you seen this one yet? Lindsay Beyerstein’s blog? She covers Payne quite a bit around the time of the 7/08 Times article

      link

      She might be a good source to contact for more info

      • cometman permalink*
        June 29, 2009 8:54 am

        Yeah, one or two of the links I posted are from her blog. She was one of the few who was covering this quite a bit when it broke. TPMMuckraker also has several posts on this story here, many of which repeat the same info from Beyerstein. I do want to try to contact a few people who were covering aspects of this story – her, lukery, and maybe Ken Silverstein. I’d like to figure out a little more first so I might have something new to mention that they weren’t aware of. That’s why I’d like to find more on Biden specifically and also about this Turkish connection with Payne. I also need to summon up a little courage if I’m going to contact someone like Silverstein :) But his email is available on the Harper’s website.

  7. cometman permalink*
    June 28, 2009 6:55 pm

    Here’s the guy I had forgotten about that links Payne to Joe Biden – Brian Ettinger. Saw him mentioned again here.

    Another former member of Team Eagle and current member of Worldwide Strategic Partners is Brian Ettinger, a former legislative aide to Sen. Joe Biden. This is especially interesting because Biden’s name came up in the influence-peddling sting operation.

    Going to have to look up more on Ettinger. I remember pulling up some good links on him a few months ago, including one off the wayback machine IIRC.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 28, 2009 6:59 pm

      Guess he was just getting his feet wet with Biden. His campaign contributions lately all go to republicans.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 28, 2009 7:34 pm

      And don’t miss the connection between Payne and Frank Carlucci of the Carlyle Group in the link above.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 8:47 am

      Could this be related? Democrats On K Street: How supply and demand works in Washington

      Note mention of Biden “intern” I wonder who that former intern is?

      • cometman permalink*
        June 29, 2009 12:17 pm

        Silverstein names her in this post – Gwen Mellor. The name of the firm she works for doesn’t ring a bell so far but it’s worth looking into what they do and who their clients are. I think that poring over relevant government docs like those DOJ ones may be the way to go.

        This stuff just makes your head spin trying to piece it all together and figure out who’s doing what for whom.

  8. cometman permalink*
    June 28, 2009 7:18 pm

    Here we go!! This is what I remembered from earlier – Ettinger still touts his connections to Biden on fairly recent bios. This is a different link than what I had found before but an even better one – a confidential document from Worldwide Strategic Energy which is/was a subsidiary of Worldwide Strategic Partners. Bios of their executive team including Payne, Scheunemann, Bracewell & Giuliani (which would explain all the donations from Payne to Giuliani’s campaign), Ettinger and lots of others who I haven’t heard of before but need looking into. Check this out.

    There’s Ettinger touting his old connection to hairplug Joe.

    And check out the bio of Gary Heinz. Looks like he was/is their money guy and he worked with surprise, surprise, surprise – Goldman fucking Sachs. Says he advises on the use of sophisticated financial derivatives to better manage risk. These assholes have their fingers in everything.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 28, 2009 7:36 pm

      Here’s Heinz giving campaign money to W and the RNC. Here’s some more.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 28, 2009 8:05 pm

        More on Heinz – this guy really gets around and he’s only in his 30s. Here’s a a NYT article from 2006 where having recently quit his Wall Street job he’s going to set up shop with les artistes:

        The Waldo is specifically designed with the industrial amenities that artists prize — tall ceilings, tall windows, hoist beams for lifting large artwork or heavy materials, shop sinks for washing paintbrushes — and it includes cutting-edge kitchen appliances and free wireless hookup.

        The combination has already proved attractive, Mr. Caulfield noted, not just to artists, but also to people who like to live alongside them.

        “There is a niche of people who can afford the market rate, and who want this type of lifestyle,” he said.

        In addition to the amenities tailored to artists, a patio will be set up on a loading dock that will extend out to the sidewalk, Mr. Caulfield said. He said that he and his brother, Robert, envision it as a place for residents to “sit, read a book, play the guitar and soak up street activity.”

        Regulations require that a certain number of the units in every arts district building be made available at below-market prices — in this case $250,000 to $350,000 — to artists certified by the city’s Arts Commission. All seven such units at Waldo Lofts have been sold; about half of the other 75 units have been sold for $300,000 to $700,000, all to people who are not certified by the Arts Commission.

        Gary W. Heinz, 33, is among the buyers who are not artists. He recently quit his job on Wall Street to start GWH Ventures, which he describes as a “preservation-oriented real estate development company.” He plans to set up a home office in his Waldo Lofts apartment.

        And in 2007 he’s joining Spencer Clarke, an investment banking company dealing with alternative and clean energy technology as their Managing Director of Investment Banking.

        Suddenly I’m reminded of this new Matt Taibbi article about Goldman Sux where he mentions that Goldman is poising themselves to make gazillions of dollars by pumping up the next bubble in green energy. The relevant part is at the end of the article.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 28, 2009 8:41 pm

      And this is just too much. Here’s Ettinger writing in a newsletter for something called the Texas Conservative Review calling for a new political party because the two we have aren’t working and our current political system is broken. And he has the gall to complain about big political contributions ruining the system, candidates not being held accountable, and the media not doing its job.

      Gee Brian, I don’t suppose any of these problems could be related to the activities of people such as yourself?

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 8:52 am

      Score!

      No shit. Their tentacles are indeed everywhere and in everything. Here’s the list of principals to refer back to.

      Stephen P. Payne
      – President and Chief Executive Officer
      Major General Lincoln Jones, III (USA Ret.)
      – (Chairman, Advisory Board for WSE)
      Don Jordan
      – Jordan Capital Management (WSE Advisory Board Member)
      Paul Somerville
      – Associated Pipeline (WSE Advisory Board Member)
      Bracewell & Giuliani

      (WSE Outside Strategic and Legal Counsel)
      Togrul Bagirov
      – Moscow International Petroleum Club (WSE Advisory Board Member)
      Fred Zeidman
      – Seitel (WSE Advisory Board Member)
      Shiv Khemka
      – SUN Group/SUN Energy Resources (WSE Advisory Board Member)
      Henry Schlesinger
      – Executive Vice President, Exploration and Production
      Spencer E. Geissinger
      – (WSE Advisory Board Member)
      Randy Scheunemann
      – (WSE Executive Consultant)
      Gary W. Heinz
      – CFO and Executive Vice President for Business Development
      Adil Baguirov
      – Executive Vice President, International Affairs
      Dick Westfahl
      – Senior Vice President, Engineering and Operations
      Brian Ettinger
      – Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
      Josh Crescenzi
      – Vice President, Administration and Controller

  9. cometman permalink*
    June 28, 2009 9:46 pm

    Collecting some thoughts here. Ok, so most of the links posted here are from stuff that was reported about a year ago and then hasn’t had much follow up. Most of it has been noticed by quite a few other people already. What I’d like to find out is where Joe Biden fits in to all this and if he’s anything more than a useful tool to guys like Brian Ettinger and Stephen Payne who like to drop his name. So far nothing concrete, but haven’t yet looked into Biden’s voting record.

    But after some digging a couple more things pop up that no one else has discussed much that I can see. First is this Gary Heinz character. More research needed there – for such a young guy he’s been awfully busy with some shady characters in recent years. I suppose it’s possible that being a young guy he didn’t know who he was getting involved with, but then again he’s an ex-Goldie and they have their fingers in everything.

    And second is the fact that Stephen Payne was donating to this shady Turkish PAC and was supposed to be investigated by Waxman. Sibel Edmonds case also involved shady Turkish groups and was supposed to be investigated by Waxman. Nothing has happened in either investigation. So why was Payne giving money to this Turkish group? Here’s a very tenuous link at best I ran across. From this Harper’s post by Ken Silverstein he mentions that Payne listed A. Elizabeth Jones as someone he had worked closely with and that Jones now works for APCO, the lobbying firm Silverstein mentions in the article I linked to in the body of this post. On page 227 of this Department of Justice pdf you’ll notice that APCO registered as performing lobbying for the government of Turkey, and what they did is quite vague. Says only that they “contacted members of Congress, congressional staffers, and US Government officials for the purpose of promoting positive US/Turkey relations”. That could mean practically anything. But it’s a start. And it definitely means that Turkey is one of APCO’s clients and that Payne has some connection to APCO employees.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 28, 2009 9:56 pm

      More on APCO and Jones here.

      A look at the Department of Justice’s database of official lobbyists for foreign states indicates that only two U.S. firms are officially employed by the Government of Kazakhstan at the moment. One is a law firm based in New York called DLA Piper. The other is APCO Worldwide, Inc., whose executive Vice President, Elizabeth Jones, is a former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 9:13 am

      Great work here, c-man. I’ve finally got a little time to help out though I think you’re in the zone and have figured out plenty. I think all roads will lead to the same broken road of corrupt empire, formerly known as Rome, now known as K Street, Wall Street, Broad Street, Swiss Bank Strasse. All skid rows greased slicked with the fat stolen from working people straight into the pockets of pirates.

      As to Payne and the Turkish lobby, I saw this article listed on the Congressional page of the TCA site. Might this have something to do with why Payne is funding/funneling $ to them?

      Turkey could furnish a safe way home as US departs Iraq
      The Habur Gate – a dusty two-lane checkpoint – may be one of the best routes out.

      Turkey is likely to play a prominent role as the US begins to remove thousands of tons of equipment and supplies from Iraq over the next year or so.

      The American military has been quietly shipping construction materials, food, fuel, and other nonlethal items into Iraq through Turkey using a two-lane commercial border crossing known as the Habur Gate in southeastern Turkey. But as the US considers its options for pulling out of Iraq – and the pace of that redeployment – the route through Turkey may play a conspicuous part, defense officials say.

      In addition to Kuwait, and probably Jordan, Turkey would give the US military an alternative exit as it attempts to move thousands of trucks, Humvees, and as many as 120,000 shipping containers back home. “Basically, nothing is off the table,” says one American defense official, referring to the role Turkey might play. [my bold]

      • cometman permalink*
        June 29, 2009 9:22 am

        That’s the difficult part with this – all these assholes are so interconnected and they start up so many different firms and shell companies it’s hard to keep track of it all, which I’m sure is by design. And the reason there is no news of their recent activities is because they don’t exactly broadcast what they’re up to – they only make the news when they get caught doing something they shouldn’t.

        Didn’t post them yet but there are other DOJ pdfs available besides the one from 2004 which mentioned APCO where you can see the lobbying activities for every country, or at least the activities of the ones who bothered to register. It appears Payne was ignoring that little detail at least some of the time.

        Here’s one I was trying to find out more about – Orion Strategies, which is another firm affiliated with all these people. IIRC, Ettinger was linked to them too. I remember finding a few bios of Ettinger several months back but I haven’t been able to put my finger on them again yet.

  10. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 9:38 am

    Here is another Payne connection, from a Nov 08 post

    Randy Scheunemann’s dubious associations: Chalabi, Payne, Palin

    John McCain’s top foreign policy and national security, Randy Scheunemann, was fired in the final week of the campaign for siding with Sarah Palin in the press.

    Scheunemann was one of the main domestic propagandists for the Iraq war and close associate of Ahmad Chalabi. As I reported this summer, Scheunemann was a business associate of disgraced lobbyist Stephen Payne, the guy who got caught on tape offering access to top Bush administration officials in exchange for donations to the G.W. Bush Library. Scheunemann advised McCain on the Georgian conflict, despite glaring conflicts of interest between his career as a lobbyist for Georgia and his duties as an advisor.

  11. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 11:31 am

    Another good link to review: Stephen Payne posts at TPM Muckraker

    By the way there are several Payne photos there that are simply iconic. One with Chalabi and Scheunemann. One with Musharaff; one with Mubarak. One with Cheney, shooting hunting rifles. Two with Shrub, cutting shrub. Jeeebus. He does make Abramoff look like a piker!

    • cometman permalink*
      June 29, 2009 12:23 pm

      I posted that one above too. Can you figure out why the top post on the list about Indiana elections has a Stephen Payne tag? Maybe I skimmed it too quick but I didn’t see anything about him there.

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 29, 2009 12:48 pm

        I see no connection either. I googled Payne and Indiana voting and that same article was the primary link. It must be an error.

  12. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 11:53 am

    On Envion

    Old website locked up Envion Worldwide

    except for the pages on all the execs EXCEPT Payne. His has been scrubbed. Check this one and then open the others Dieter Zander

    Senior Management Team: Michael S. Han | Stephen P. Payne
    Board of Advisors: Frank C. Carlucci | W. Dieter Zander | Ying Wang

    W. Dieter Zander, Senior Advisor

    | Dieter Zander joined Envion Worldwide, in January 2006 as Senior Advisor. Prior to joining Envion
    Worldwide Mr. Zander became President of Global Advisory Services in which he continues to serve
    today. Mr. Zander served an 18 year career in International Corporate Finance at Arnhold and S.
    Bleichroeder and three years as Managing Director with it’s parent company Natexis Bleichroeder.

    | Prior to that, Mr. Zander was the Founder and President of Henley & Co., Inc., which he started
    in 1950 and later sold to Boehringer Ingelheim. Mr. Zander served on the boards of Schering AG,
    Boehringer Ingelheim, Hoechst AG, Wacker Chemie GmbH, S.N.P.E., Paris, Chirex, Inc., ALFA
    Wasserman and Natexis Bleichroeder.

    | Educated in Germany and Switzerland. Mr. Zander speaks Fluent German, English and French.

    Here is Carlucci’s page from the old site:

    Frank C. Carlucci is Chairman Emeritus of Envion Inc. He has been a presidential advisor and served as U.S. Secretary of Defense from November 1987 to January 1989. After leaving the Department of Defense, Mr. Carlucci has also served as Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of The Carlyle Group, a merchant bank in Washington D.C.
    Mr. Carlucci also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Sears World Trade Center, Inc., followed by the position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. His appointments have included Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Ambassador to Portugal, Undersecretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Associate, and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
    He also serves on the Board of Directors of Ashland Oil, Inc.; BDM International, Inc.; Bell Atlantic Corporation; CB Commercial Real Estate Group, Inc.; Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company; East New York Savings Bank; General Dynamics Corporation; Kaman Corporation; Neurogen Corporation; Northern Telecom Limited; The Quaker Oats Company; SunResorts, Ltd., NV; Texas Biotechnology Corporation; Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc.; Vinnell Corporation; Westinghouse Electric Corporation; and the Board of Trustees for the RAND Corporation.
    Among his awards and honors are: Herbert Roback Memorial Award, 1989; George C. Marshall Award, 1989; Honorary Doctor of Law Degree University of Scranton, 1989; Woodrow Wilson Award, 1988; James Forrestal Award, 1988; Presidential Citizens Award, 1983; National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, 1981;
    Distinguished Intelligence Medal, 1981; Defense Department Distinguished Civilian Service Award, 1977; Health, Education and Welfare Distinguished Civilian Service Award, 1975; and State Department Superior Service Award, 1971.
    http://www.envionworldwide.com/carlucci.html

    There is a newer site here: Envion – Waste to Resource – Overview

    • cometman permalink*
      June 29, 2009 12:30 pm

      I get nothing from the first link – just says ‘redevelopment in progress’. When I click on the Dieter Zander link I see his bio and then like you said, all the others except Payne’s. But hit “home” and it’s ‘redevelopment in progress’ again.

      On the newer site I see that Carlucci’s bio is pretty much the same as it is on the old one. He sounds like the godfather in all this crap ;)

  13. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 12:10 pm

    More on Orion Strategies and Scheunemann:

    Company profile

    Randy Scheunemann was the President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was created by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which he is a board member. He was Trent Lott’s National Security Aide and was an advisor to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq. He is 2008 U.S. presidential candidate John McCain’s foreign-policy aide.[1]

    Scheunemann has been criticized for his close association with Ahmad Chalabi during the George W. Bush administration’s campaign to generate public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[2]

    In mid-July 2008, the Sunday Times of London linked Scheunemann to Stephen Payne, a lobbyist covertly filmed as he offered to arrange meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and others, in exchange for donations to the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Payne said Scheunemann had been “working with me on my payroll for five of the last eight years”. [3] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Randy_Scheunemann

    http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2008/08/18/5-foreign-governments-orion-strategies-has-represented.html

    5 Foreign Governments Orion Strategies Has Represented
    Posted August 18, 2008
    Sen. John McCain’s top foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, has drawn criticism because the lobbying firm he founded, Orion Strategies, is employed by the government of Georgia. Here are five foreign government’s for whom Orion has lobbied:
    1. Latvian Ministry of Defense (contract terminated)
    2. Government of Romania (contract terminated)
    3. Republic of Macedonia
    4. Government of Georgia
    5. Government of Taiwan

    From TPM: Orion’s Lobbying Registration in 2002

    From Open Secrets Orion Strategies 2009 activity so far, only for the National Shooting Sports Foundation

    • cometman permalink*
      June 29, 2009 12:58 pm

      I’m thinking that with all the scrubbing going on and decreased activity at places like Orion, these guys ran away like cockroaches when the light hits them. Probably won’t find much current activity under their old business ventures now but they aren’t in jail and I’m sure they’re up to something. They may have started new ventures and possibly haven’t put their names to them. Payne Scheunemann and Ettinger were the biggest names to come up at the time the story broke last year. May be worthwhile to concentrate on some of the lesser figures like Heinz and some of the others.

      I see the Scheunemann’s company Orion has had the contract terminated with Latvia as of August 2008. But in a link I posted above, Payne was at the Latvian Embassy in November 2008 giving the ambassador a couple wall clocks, so he seems to still be in the picture in that area.

  14. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 2:08 pm

    Some info on Brian Ettinger

    Regarding his Houston Law Office –

    Published on: 2/13/2003 Last Visited: 2/13/2003

    Brian S. Ettinger (Houston) — Mr. Ettinger has practiced law since 1983.He specializes in civil litigation, business litigation, international business contracts and negotiations (including for energy-related industries), international lobbying services for foreign governments and toxic tort litigations.He is a member of the American, Texas and Houston Bar Associations.

    Major General Lincoln Jones III, USA (Ret.) (Houston) — General Jones served 32 years on active duty in the U.S. Army.He concluded his service as commanding general of the Southern European Task Force in the Mediterranean.He then joined Enron Corporation where he served in several executive positions.He retired from Enron in 1998 and since has been consulting on political-military and energy issues. http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Ettinger_Brian_293262398.aspx


    Regarding his association with Nuclear Solutions, Inc. Retains Worldwide Strategic Partners, Inc. — Augments Green Fuel Project Development Team

    Brian Ettinger

    Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Worldwide Strategic Partners, Inc. and Worldwide Strategic Energy

    Brian Ettinger is a practicing attorney representing domestic and international clients in energy, oil and gas development, exploration, drilling and pipeline product and natural gas development, bio diesel and alternative fuels projects. Mr. Ettinger is experienced in the areas of business litigation, contract formation and general corporate business matters. He also serves as in-house counsel to Worldwide Strategic Partners, Inc. in additon to serving on the Board of Directors for various affiliated companies.

    Mr. Ettinger served on the Board of Pacific Texas Corporation, the developer of a natural gas and products pipeline from Texas to Arizona and Nevada. Mr. Ettinger has performed legal services in the sports, entertainment, and gaming industries and was an advisor and an official registered lobbyist for the Government of Pakistan from the summer of 2001 to fall 2004. Previously, Brian Ettinger served as Legislative Director for Senator Joseph Biden (Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations), as a Staff Assistant for U.S. House Majority Leadership, and as an Assistant to the Mayor of Philadelphia.

    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Nuclear-Solutions-Inc-751761.html

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 2:45 pm

      And more on Major General Jones, who is apparently a partner at Ettinger’s law offices, from the bios listed for WSE.

      Major General Lincoln Jones, III (USA Ret.) – (Chairman, Advisory Board for WSE)

      Major General Lincoln Jones, III (USA Ret.) retired from the Army as Deputy Commanding General U.S. Army V Corps, Germany where he was Deputy to the Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell. During his career, he also served as Commanding General, U.S. Army’s Southern European Task Force. His list of service includes: Vietnam, Turkey, Korea, Italy, Panama, West Germany, and Hawaii.

      Following his Army career, General Jones was a key executive at Enron where he served as President of Enron Power Corp. (1991-98); Vice Chairman, Enron Europe (1996-98); and President, Enron Engineering & Construction (1993-96). During that time, he developed sixteen and operated eighteen power plants throughout the world. He also managed the maintenance of 43,000 miles of gas pipeline located in the United States. Since retiring from Enron in 1998, he has acted as an energy, military and geopolitical consultant.

      General Jones is a Member of the Board of the Association of the U.S. Army, Washington D.C., (Vice Chairman); the Council on Foreign Relations; the National Defense University Foundation (Vice Chairman); and the World Affairs Council of Houston (Chair 1993-96).

    • cometman permalink*
      June 29, 2009 2:45 pm

      I’d seen links about his law firm before. Doesn’t do much business and only lists two employees – I wonder who the other one is. And there was something about a woman who was injured on a cruise ship and Ettinger had been her lawyer and then turned around and counter-sued her. That probably isn’t related to much so I didn’t post a link.

      But, I did click on your zoominfo link and notice that in the top right corner there it says ‘Wrong person?’ and ‘Try these instead’. Click on Ettinger’s name there for Worldwide Strategic Partners. Then click on the link for Worldwide Strategic Partners to the right of that fat gold man and this comes up under the news archive:

      …relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Gallery

      That link is from just over a week ago on June 16th, the most recent thing I’ve seen yet, so they are still around and maybe looking to polish up their image. You have to sign up for a free trial to read the whole press release though.

      You can also find this cached page by clicking around a bit with more bios for Ettinger, Payne, etc and some of the other companies they are affiliated with. More stuff on clean energy too. That keeps coming up the more I look into this.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 29, 2009 2:50 pm

        And check out Gary Polland’s bio at that link above. He’s an AIPAC guy:

        Gary is on a first name basis with President Bush (he is called “Chairman”), his political alliances are widespread from the White House, where he is friends with key Presidential assistants like Karl Rove to United States Senators Cornyn, Graham, Hutchison, and Kyl; and to House leaders like Eric Canter and Ted Poe. In Texas, Gary is an advisor to the GOP and its statewide office holders. Gary is also a key fundraiser for Republicans and is responsible for raising more than $3.35 million for Republican candidates and causes during the last ten years.

        Gary’s a committed community and national leader. He has served locally as a member of the Executive Committee of the Community Relations Commission and in January 2006 was the leader of the Texas Legislative Mission to Israel. Gary also serves on the national boards of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Jewish Policy Center (a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank, along with such conservatives like William Kristol, Michael Medved), the board of Susan B. Anthony List (a pro-life political action committee). Most recently Gary was appointed as one of the leaders of the United Jewish Communities – Human Services and Social Policy Pillar.

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 29, 2009 3:53 pm

        I linked the non-cached version of that same piece above at Marketwire. Here it is again Nuclear Solutions, Inc. Retains Worldwide Strategic Partners, Inc. — Augments Green Fuel Project Development Team

        and here is a page of recent search results from the same company:
        Nuclear Solutions, Inc

        and an article that shows exactly what Worldwide SP helped them to score:

        an identified parcel of land in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky for the construction of a coal to ultra-clean diesel facility through a financing package with a total potential value of $700,000. Groundbreaking is projected for July 2009.

        Nuclear Solutions, Inc. and Fuel Frontiers, Inc. Successfully Raises Funds to Purchase Land for Coal-to-Diesel Facility

  15. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 3:28 pm

    And some tidbits on Gary Heinz, who I now believe is the next generation’s Republican fascist

    Facebook page

    where he is a fan of Kent Global Security, and the Young Eagles.

    Plaxo page

    His page on Bergen County Economic Development Corporation in NE New Jersey. Jersey is his home state.

    Gary W. Heinz

    As a Vice President in Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s Municipal Securities Group, Gary W. Heinz has garnered substantial experience with municipal risk management and government investments. An MBA recipient from Pace University, Heinz often speaks on these topics at industry conferences and elsewhere. As a former member of the Westwood Board of Education, Gary has a strong record of community service. Heinz, dedicated to economic revitalization in Bergen County, is also a partner in an organization working to spur regrowth in downtown Durham, North Carolina and Augusta, Maine.

    This from a cache Municipal Derivatives: An Investors’ Guide to Issuer Derivative Transactions May 25, 2005

    4:30 – 5:00 p.m.
    Evaluating “Call Risk” in a Tax-exempt Portfolio

    Discussion topics:

    * Implications of three different funding curves (MMD, BMA, % of Libor)
    * Historical role/biases of pricing services

    Gary Heinz, Vice President
    Goldman Sachs & Company

    This ass probably helped design the cdf’s that took this economy down.

    Here’s an article that talks about his business GWH Ventures, similar to Blue Devil Ventures, that turns historic property into commercial developments


    Gary W. Heinz, 33,
    is among the buyers who are not artists. He recently quit his job on Wall Street to start GWH Ventures, which he describes as a “preservation-oriented real estate development company.” He plans to set up a home office in his Waldo Lofts apartment.

    “Waldo Lofts is new construction,” he said, “but it still retains character. That’s very appealing to me.” Mr. Heinz said the idea of buying in the Jersey City arts district as it begins to flower was also appealing.

    “It’s like buying into TriBeCa when it was starting to happen as a place for artists, and getting in on the excitement of that,” said Mr. Heinz, who currently rents an apartment in Jersey City.

    And here’s his political contributions: form 2002-2008$25K to the RNC when he was apx 31 yrs old. Blech.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 29, 2009 4:03 pm

      Check out the comment I made here about Heinz. Since that real estate company, he started working for something called Spencer Clarke which also deals in green energy as an investment bank. I didn’t post this part before but check it out, from the Spencer Clarke site:

      Reverse Mergers

      Spencer Clarke has access to several shell corporations for companies who wish to utilize a reverse merger to become publicly traded. If you would like to learn more about the process of becoming a public company via a reverse merger, or know of any private firms that would like to be listed on the stock market, please contact our Investment Banking department.

      Almost as if they are bragging about being able to cook the books.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 29, 2009 4:10 pm

        And more on Spencer Clarke – among other things they are working on a “clean coal” power plant deal in fucking Pakistan.

        Bergamo Acquisition Corp has appointed Spencer Clarke LLC to help the company to obtain funding for a proposed power plant in Pakistan. Bergamo Acquisition Corp has been contacted through the Pakistan Government to help build a clean coal powered power plant in Pakistan. With Spencer Clarke’s unique ability to raise funding, Bergamo has give Spencer Clarke exclusive rights to assist in that effort for the power plant project.

        Wonder what it is that makes these guys so unique?

        • Stemella permalink*
          June 29, 2009 4:21 pm

          Their direct line to Goldman Sux through Young Eagle Gary?

          It’s nauseating. They are going even further into Orwell land as they Carbon footprint the hell out of the planet with Sasquatch feet, pretending they are environmentally friendly. This is definitely the next bubble in the making. They are still MIC but are painting themselves green.

          I remember when Weyherhauser did the same thing in the 80’s when everyone hated them for raping and clearcutting all the forests. They made ads pretending they were all owl friendly and groovy. I never did believe them.

          These companies are the vehicles for continued Imperialism. They are the trojan squid vicious. They suck with all those tentacles sprawling out all over the place.

  16. cometman permalink*
    July 7, 2009 2:51 pm

    Here’s something which links Biden to the lobbyists like Payne and Scheunemann. Those two were partners, Payne dropped Biden’s name and Scheunemann was on Georgia’s payroll. And here’s Joe Biden mouthing off to Russia and calling for $1 billion to Georgia.

    After returning home from his weekend visit to the Republic of Georgia, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) said that Russia’s invasion of Georgia was based on false claims of atrocities, and that this was one of the most significant events to occur in Europe since the end of communism. Biden also promised to work with the Bush administration to push through $1 billion in emergency aid for Georgia.

    Coincidence? Not damn likely.

    • Stemella permalink*
      July 7, 2009 6:54 pm

      Good catch. Georgia was where the Neo-Libs definitely had confluence with the policies of the Neo-Cons.

      I think Squobama made some squawks regarding Georgia to the same effect while in Russia this week. He didn’t see Pootie poot’s soul. Instead he sees serious competition for oil. I thought it interesting that Russia is going to help the US to try to “win” Afghanistan. You know the locals are going to just love that alliance.

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