Friday, March 10, 2006

Did Amy Ridenour push Stoli Vodka for Abramoff?

More on National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) president Amy Ridenour and her "work" while convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff served on her board of directors.

From Series of editorials supporting Abramoff clients suggests collusions between lobbyist and nonprofit" by John Byrne, Ron Brynaert and Muriel Kane at Raw Story:

But in addition to editorials favoring the Marianas and the Malaysian prime minister, RAW STORY has uncovered four other Abramoff clients that the conservative thinktank supported in articles and newsletters: Magazine Publishers of America, Channel One, Pitney Bowes and Stoli Vodka.

The obscure nature of the clients and the unlikelihood that Ridenour would write editorials supporting six of Abramoff’s clients while claiming to know nothing of the nature of his lobbying work raises questions of how much Ridenour actually knew and whether the group received donations in exchange for supporting Abramoff.


Perhaps the most glaring of Ridenour’s efforts to aid Abramoff’s clients was her crusade for Stoli Spirits Limited, the makers of Stoli vodka. In 2002, SPI Spirits paid $200,000 to Abramoff’s second firm, Greenberg Traurig, to lobby Congress on “trade with Russia and intellectual property rights.”

In May 2002, Ridenour admonished Russian bureaucrats who “have demonstrated a troubling tendency to use Soviet-style tactics when dealing with private companies,” including against SPI Spirits.

Abramoff’s client apparently appreciated Ridenour’s article, since a copy of it is published in the ‘Press Center’ at the Stoli Website.


Ridenour’s article also bears a strong resemblance to language used by Greenberg Traurig’s Richard A. Edlin during his testimony before the Subcommittee on Trade of the House Committee on Ways and Means in April 2002. Edlin was also U.S. Counsel for SPI Spirits.

More at Raw Story.

Note to regular readers: yep...along with other things...this story involves another right-leaning pundit who may be guily of the "p" word (or something close to it). But unlike Ann Coulter or Jeff Gannon or any of the others I've busted...this one goes beyond just theft of intellectual property.

Basically...we have the president of a non-profit non-partisan think tank who wrote a piece helpful to a client of a lobbyist who sat on her board of directors using similiar language to a statement by the lobbyist's partner and counsel for the client and the client then posted the article at their Website.

That warrants an inquiry...I do believe.


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