Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Report: McCain Transition Head Helped Saddam's Lobbying Effort

TPM - Zachary Roth

Wiliam Timmons, the veteran Washington lobbyist tapped to lead John McCain's transition team was involved in an effort on behalf of Saddam Hussein's government to ease international sanctions against Iraq, according to a report by Murray Waas in The Huffington Post.

The two lobbyists with whom Timmons teamed in the early 90s, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, both either pleaded guilty to, or were convicted of, charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam's government.

Park has a long history of involvement with covert schemes to influence international events. In 1976, he was charged with attempting to bribe members of Congress to win their support for keeping U.S. troops in Vietnam.

This isn't the first time that Timmons has had his name in the news for the wrong reasons since being announced as McCain's transition chief. Last month, Bloomberg reported that he had lobbied on behalf of Freddie Mac, a company that McCain has blamed for helping to cause the current financial crisis.

Timmons' Washington lobby firm, Timmons and Co., founded in the 1970's, helped develop the model on which today's lobbying culture is based.

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