TECRO hires new lobbyists in the US

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in Washington

Sat, Feb 09, 2013 - Page 3

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington has changed the lobbyists it uses to influence the US government.

Park Strategies and Capitol Hill Strategies have been dropped.

New contracts have been signed with The Nickles Group, led by former Oklahoma Republican senator Don Nickles, and with Gephardt Government Affairs, headed by former Missouri Democratic representative Richard Gephardt.

The Nickles Group is being paid a US$20,000 a month retainer, while Gephardt Government Affairs is getting a US$25,000 a month retainer.

Both contracts are for one year.

In addition, TECRO pays US$25,000 a month to Heather Podesta and Partners.

Park Strategies helped arrange a trip to Taiwan by New York Democratic Representative William Owens, who is now under investigation by the US House Committee on Ethics.

Congressmen are not allowed to take trips organized by lobbyists.

Park Strategies had represented TECRO since January 2009 and according to US Department of Justice records, had earned more than US$813,000 in that time in consulting fees and expenses.

The company will maintain its offices in Taipei.

TECRO said the change in lobbyists followed a review of existing contracts as they related to current needs.