Blackwater Lobbying Uptick

Since the Congressional hearing in the Fall, Blackwater has been busy re-tooling its political machinery. Blackwater had previously retained the services of C&M Capitolink since June 2006. On Dec 4, 2007 a Federal Lobbying Registration form was filed for Richard Cockrum of Capitol Assets, LLC, Indianapolis, IN. Cockrum is a former Chair of the Indiana Natural Resources Commission and a state lobbyist. On Dec 5, 2007 a Lobbying Registration form was filed for Gregory Hahn of Tabbert Hahn Earnest & Weddle, LLP, Indianapolis, IN. On January 8, 2008, just two days ago, a Lobbying Registration form was filed for lobbyists at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Winston-Salem, NC. Online documents are not yet available but according to AP wire reports:

Among the Womble Carlyle lobbyists representing Blackwater are: John Mashburn, former general counsel and policy director for Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., who is the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee; and Mark Harkins, who was chief of staff to Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., chairman of the Investigations and Oversight subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee.

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice has been representing Blackwater as NC State Lobbyists since January 23, 2007. According to filings at the NC Secretary of State's Office Jack Cozort, Kevin G Leonard and Alexander P "Sandy" Sands of Womble Carlyle all represent Blackwater. Sands gained some notoriety as a coordinator of some Jim Black funds subsequently diverted by Black.

Womble Carlyle's other Federal clients include Alameda Corridor East Construction, Center for International Education, Inc, City of Duarte, CA, Iredell Memorial Hospital, Massilon Cable TV Inc, Mecklenberg County, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (TCR Sports), N Street Village, NC Military Foundation, RF Micro Devices, Ribera Development, LLC, Save Our Sets Coalitions, SI Intl, Inc, Specialty Tobacco Council, Triangle Transit Authority, University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina.

Comments

Well...you know

Paid killers need lobbyists too.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Mercenaries need mercenaries


Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.

De Morgan: A Budget of Paradoxes

Wow.

So what you're saying is: when we slip into our Birkenstocks, sip our fair trade coffee and turn on WUNC radio and hear that Womble Carlyle has generously supported programming on that station, we shouldn't feel quite as warm and fuzzy about them as we used to.


Money, its a hit.
Dont give me that do goody good bullshit.

What pisses me off about this is that it is my tax dollars that are being used to pay for this. If Bilgewater is paid by government contract, that's my money. So when they hire someone to lobby in my state, they're using my money a second time, to convince my elected officials that the incredibly stupid, illegal activities they are doing in my government's name is a good thing to have located in my state.

This is reprehensible. Too bad there's not a "do good goody" law firm willing to take on Womble Carlyle and Blackwater and legally whip their asses and send them packing. After everything they've done - let them find another state to take them.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

It's good to have a new enemy.

I don't care if they have a butt-ugly bulldog named Winston for a mascot or not, WCSR represents the worst: mercenary lawyers working for mercenary killers. I'm sure they'll say, "Every criminal needs a criminal attorney, blah, blah blah."

Just know this folks, this law firm and these sleazoid mercenaries could give a shit what pesky little people like us think unless it hits them in the pocketbook. Which means our goal is clear and simple: Call on legitimate companies who truly operate in the public interest steer clear of Winston like the rabid money-grubbing, slobbering good old boy dog that he is.

I see a new website in your future, Greg. But be careful. These guys will come after you like fleas on a bull dog.

To my knowledge.

The Best Comment Max Has Ever Made

I lifted (and cleaned this up) from another thread. It's important:

Linda asked: "Can NC tell Blackwater to stop operating within our state? What would it take?"

Max responded:

Yes! Blackwater can have its corporate charter revoked by the AD of the State for fraud or other acts that are harmful to the citizens. It could be considered a private Army on foreign soil without the permission of the State of North Carolina ... believe it or not? One could file a compliant with the AD of North Carolina, but chances are the AD and his staff would hide under a table and not touch it for a century.

Linda asked: "Is it something that citizens could theoretically put forward to our Governor (present or future) by ballot or petition?"

The present Governor wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. However in the Governor debates, The media could ask the candidates what they they think of the Corporation which would put all of them on hot seat ... which wouldn't happen in a million years since I have floated the idea by the mainstream media and they look like a deer caught in headlights when responding ... by the way, some of them agree with me and thought it was excellent question to put forth in the debates, but none said they had the guts to do it ...

(Note to readers: Please put this question in the hopper for the LG Debates.)

Linda asked: "Can Democrats put this on our platform at our Conventions, and if we did, would there be any point in doing it?

Yes! Democrats can enter it on the platform or submit resolutions at the State Convention or District Conventions ... chances are that it would past if enough progressives push it ... I think it would float and it is excellent way to keep things stirred up and get press ... Heck! Some of the Lt Governor candiates should go on record with this issue since they are courting the progressive faction in the party ... they have nothing to lose on this issue and can beat up on the Republicans with it in the General election as a state corporation gone wild with federal funds like the OFL Navy landing sites.

Linda asked: "Would it be a gesture "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"?"

Naw! Politics have changed ... what was considered loony or nuts in the past on a issue is now the norm ... Look at BlueNC, you got everybody in the state reading this site daily with comments from candidates from all over the place and the mainstream media checking to see if they get nailed or whacked or some of them getting information they couldn't find anywhere else ... think about it ... you got a libertarian Governor candidate who hangs here in a Superman suit and a Republican libertarian Candiate who feels like he has finally found a home to express himself without getting beat up by nutcase Republicans ... A bunch of serious Congressional Candidates who post here and remember it was BlueNC that got Larry going and of course me your outstanding conspiracy theorist who blames everything on Alien Lizards and the drinking water from the local Nuke plant in west Cary .These are revolutionary times and sound and fury gets attention now ... I like the idea on setting up a anti-Blackwater booth at the State convention with the anti-war Vets which would go over big ...

__________________________

That, my friends, is a blueprint for action.

Again with the obsession with Mecklenburg

From their website: Womble Carlyle has offices in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park and Winston-Salem. Womble Carlyle traces its origins to Winston-Salem

So it looks like they have more offices up your way and started in Winston Salem

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Mecklenburg

The Mecklenburg reference is to a client not an office . . . I'll correct to make it more clear

The Wombles

They're up to something politically. In 2007 they closed their previous state PAC and in August opened a new one called Womble North Carolina Political Action Committee. In September they also filed 527 papers with the IRS for two committees:
Womble North Carolina Political Action Committee
Womble Georgia Political Action Committee

Not to be confused with the original Wombles

YMCA + Blackwater?

Entities represented in NC by Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC employees who also represent Blackwater as state registered lobbyists.

NC Principals represented by Jack Cozort :
Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina Incorporated
Blackwater Lodge and Training Center, Inc.
City of Wilson
Decision Support LLC
Dell Incorporated
Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund
Epic Learning LLC
Key Risk Management Services, Inc.
National Popular Vote Incorporated
North Carolina Association of Hearing Care Professionals
North Carolina Association of Premium Service Companies
North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees' Association, Inc.
TCR Sports Broadcasting Holding LLP
Town of Cary
Village of Bald Head Island
Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc.
Wireless Generation, Inc.
YMCAs of North Carolina - State Alliance

NC Principals represented by Kevin G. Leonard :
Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina Incorporated
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
Blackwater Lodge and Training Center, Inc.
City of Wilson
Dell Incorporated
Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund
National Popular Vote Incorporated
North Carolina Association of Hearing Care Professionals
North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees' Association, Inc.
Onslow Water and Sewer Authority
Philip Morris USA Inc., by its service company, Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
TCR Sports Broadcasting Holding LLP
Tele-Town Hall LLC
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority d/b/a Carolinas HealthCare System
Ticketmaster
Town of Cary
Triangle Transit Authority
Village of Bald Head Island
Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc.
YMCAs of North Carolina - State Alliance

NC Principals represented by Alexander P. "Sandy" Sands , III :
Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina Incorporated
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
Bank of America Corporation and Subsidiaries
BB&T Assurance Company, Ltd.
Blackwater Lodge and Training Center, Inc.
Cisco Systems Incorporated
City of Wilson
Coastal Communities, Incorporated
Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund
General Electric Company
INVISTA
Miller Brewing Company
National Popular Vote Incorporated
North Carolina Association of Hearing Care Professionals
North Carolina Association of Settlement Service Providers
North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees' Association, Inc.
Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc.
Onslow Water and Sewer Authority
Philip Morris USA Inc., by its service company, Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
TCR Sports Broadcasting Holding LLP
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority d/b/a Carolinas HealthCare System
Ticketmaster
Town of Cary
Triangle Transit Authority
Village of Bald Head Island
Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc.
YMCAs of North Carolina - State Alliance

Don't Tase Me, [Frat] Bro!

Repress U
How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in Seven Steps
By Michael Gould-Wartofsky

Meanwhile, some universities have developed intimate relationships with private-security outfits like the notorious Blackwater. Last May, for example, the University of Illinois and its police training institute cut a deal with the firm to share their facilities and training programs with Blackwater operatives. Local journalists later revealed that the director of the campus program at the time was on the Blackwater payroll.

Peacekeeping, & Stability Operations

Federal lobbyist reports have now been posted online. Five lobbyists have been registered under the Registrant Name of "Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, PLLC" for the Client name "Blackwater Worldwide". They are:
Jimmy Broughton
Mark Harkins
Kevin Jones
Kevin Leonard
John Mashburn

The "General Description of client's business or activities" is:
Military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, & stability operations, train" (sic)

The "Specific lobbying issues" are:
Government contracting and acquisition issues.

Peacekeeping

Unbelievable.

The freakin' Town of Cary?

The attack on this should be through local governments where there is community leverage. Businesses could give a damn about being associated with a murdering mercenary army, but city councils and public bodies . . . that's the right point of entry. To my knowledge.

NOTE TO WCSR: This is a good time to start your counter-attack. You should immediately plan for a PR blitz with elected officials in Cary, for example. I suggest you tell them the mean old liberals are upset because you're also representing criminal warmongers. Also point out that they'll likely be getting petitions from citizens asking them to fire you, and that it may be a news story too. Promise them it'll just be a flash-in-the-pan, though. Tell them the opposition isn't organized. Reassure them, just stay the course. Just because they're being represented by men who are also representing Blackwater and Erik Prince, what's the big deal. It's just the business of influence. The benefits exceed the cost of the moral ambiguity.

NOTE TO BLUENC READERS: Contact me if you're interested in a local effort like the one described above. Or better yet, just do it.

City of Wilson
Town of Cary
YMCAs
Charlotte Mecklenburg Hospital Authority
Triangle Transit Authority

Not sure what you're saying

about their relationship with Dellinger . . . please explain.

PS I wouldn't be surprised if half the politicians in North Carolina have a connection to the law firm . . . which is all the more reason to press this point about Blackwater.

I'd like clarification myself.

One of our professed progressive candidates works for a firm that represents Blackwater. One of the advertisers on this blog works for a firm that works for Blackwater.

Is WCSR segregated between lawyers who work for bad guys and lawyers that do advocacy for good guys? Or is it more of a think tank? PARTICULARLY in the business division?

How about the Raleigh office? How about the lawyers who work for Womble who have worked in legal capacities in the public sector at the state level? Will their expertise be ignored?

If we're contacting municipal governments and elected officials with contracts with WCS&R, is it not fair also to ask Hampton to clarify his role within a powerhouse law firm that counts Blackwater as a client?

Let me tell you, Jim, this ain't righteous indignation I'm feeling right now. This is "drop the packaged prose and please explain to us what it is you do."

This is:

Hampton, my name is Frank Eaton. I believe strongly in the candidacy of a man who is running against you and two other Democrats for Lt. Governor. Two of them are, I'm pretty sure, not connected in any way financially to Blackwater.

Can you please reassure me that it would be foolish on my part to pursue this Blackwater/Womble Carlyle/Dellinger story as an element of this campaign? Because right now it's looking like something my fellow Democrats might be interested in.

Sincerely,

Frank

Agreed

Assuming that by "Jim" you mean me, you're asking the same question I'm asking.

To be clear, I'm not inquiring because I'm a supporter of Dan Besse. I'm inquiring as a citizen who wants mercenary contractors put out of business. But motive doesn't matter. Ed Cone wrote on this earlier today. It's the facts that count, not the messenger.

vested interest

Mr. BullDoc,

You have written some high-tempered posts over the past few weeks, and I am trying to decide how much of a vested interest you have in your campaign.

Did Dan's campaign pay you for the video shown on YouTube, or will that actually show up in the 2007 year-end financials as a donation to the campaign?

There are probably a few local and district candidates that would like a video, and they may be wondering what the cost would be.

Oh Rats

I was hoping not to tangle again QUITE so soon, but I have to disagree with criticizing a law firm because one of their clients is someone or something I find objectionable.

To me, this criticism is tantamount to saying that there is no possible legitimate point of view that someone with whom I disagree could hold -- and that's just too far to go for me. I'm not about to get into defending Blackwater, but the idea that no one can be a good person and represent their perspective at the General Assembly or a court of law is shortsighted.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

I agree with you 100%

Seriously. I've had this discussion with lots of lawyers, including criminal defense attorneys who take on high-profile bad guys. There is much to be said for everyone having access to counsel.

At the same time, Blackwater is a special kind of blight on American culture.

I'm assuming the relationship is not primarily about litigation (although it may come to that), but involves helping Prince be successful on a broader scale. They're certainly free to do that . . . and we're certainly free to pressure them to stop. Is it fair? Maybe not. Is it the right thing to do? I'm not 100% sure. Does it have the potential to challenge the presence of Blackwater in our state? I hope so.

Of course it's fair

I'm all in favor of getting Blackwater out of our state.

My point was limited to just what I said -- which is that a law firm representing Blackwater is not an evil entity just because it is representing Blackwater. It's easy to feel differently when one cares deeply about an issue. I've been there on more than one occasion, but am glad to say that when all was said and done I wasn't carrying a personal grudge against the lawyer who was acting in opposition to the interests I represented.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

I actually like the firm

They've done a lot of good stuff in many areas. And they could really help us rid the world of Blackwater if they wanted to. Maybe they'll see the light.

My activism stems largely from the belief

that revolving door financing of political campaigns is behind the marginalization of conscientious candidates in national and state races. If there are blood diamonds in a race I care about, I'm gonna holler.

Amen

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Direct Action

It's bad enough that we have Blackwater USA headquartered in our state. Now to have to contend with having their legal representation being right down the road from us in Winston-Salem. It impresses upon me the need to organize some sort of visible opposition, if only to get WCSR to consider the ramifications of doing business with these goons.

If you haven't already, check out Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army for a full panorama of Erik Prince & Co's global influence.

Astral

Stay tuned, plug in and pile on

It takes us commie liberals awhile to get gear up for guerrilla action, but that's good too. Slow build = big fire.

I'm thinking a mass of letters to current clients, followed by a mass of letters to the media, followed by a full-court national blogswarm (the law firm operates in many states), followed by rinse and repeat.

I haven't reached out yet to Jeremy, but that's a good idea, too. He'll know about natural allies and steer-clear enemies.

Thanks for your comment.

Blackwater

Those ideas sound great to me. Let's keep peeling the onion.

thanks for the resource.

n/t.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Tipping point

This patent was a tipping point for the Prince Corporation that made the Prince family enormously wealthy:

Every time I tip my visor in down in front of my windshield I think about it. Maybe they could make armored visors for Iraqis who get shot through their windshields by Blackwater convoys.

Pounding Blackwater & WCSR is a team politcal sport?

if only to get WCSR to consider the ramifications of doing business with these goons.

If you haven't already, check out Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army for a full panorama of Erik Prince* astralamerica

You can catch Jermey and yours truly tomorrow night on the Wayne Madsen talk show for two hours blasting the boys from down east.....8:00 PM est on the internet radio section..simply punch the listening button to the left on the radio site and you are in..You can phone in questions without problems and your thoughts on Blackwater...The winning question gets a personally sign Greg flip auto mirror that says " Screw you and the Blackwater Bimp you flew in on" in sissy Blackwater pink lipstick

http://www.wtprn.com/ We the people Radio Network