Democrats have hit likely Indiana Senate candidate Dan Coats with a barrage of attacks on his foreign lobbying associations, claiming Coats lobbied for Yemen and a partner of Hugo Chavez. Today, Coats' campaign pushed back, explaining Coats' only personal foreign client was India--he lobbied to get India's PM invited to a joint session of Congress--as reported by The Hill's Aaron Blake (who notes that Coats' firm did business with Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen).
The campaign sent out the following memo "setting the record straight" and demanding answers.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington perhaps overreached in claiming that Coats lobbied "for Yemen" in discussing Coats' firm's work--a comment that was pushed out by Democrats. But the lobbying meme is out there, and even in correcting the Democratic message machine, the Coats campaign hasn't gotten it out of the public eye. Here's the memo:
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
1) While one law firm represented Bank of American on a patent issue, that representation ended before TARP - so Dan wasn't involved, nor was the firm.
2) They got the Venezuela charge exactly backwards. The firm helped an American company deal with the fact that Chavez was trying to confiscate their business assets -- so the charge made by Senator Bayh's people and those who parroted them were 180 degrees off from the truth.
3) Considering Dan Coats' service to country in the Army, on the Armed Services Committee in Congress and as Ambassador to Germany, one could argue it's deeply offensive to question his patriotism relative to Yemen if it weren't so laughably ludicrous.
Here's what the records show (from The Hill, Feb. 5, 2010):
"Coats registered as a lobbyist for a foreign interest while he worked at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand in 2000 and 2001. According to lobbying disclosure documents, he contacted members of Congress trying to get them to invite the Indian prime minister to a joint session of Congress.
"Coats only personally lobbied for India , according to the documents, but around the same time his firm also did foreign lobbying for several other countries, including the governments of Yemen , the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan."