Albania's Socialist Party hired the lobbying company Ballard Partners based in Florida, known for its ties with the US president, Donald Trump. The data provided by BIRN at the US Department of Justice show that the contract was signed on April 13, 2017 by Rama's communications director, Endri Fuga and president of Ballard Partners, Brian Ballard.
According to the contract filed on April 17 at the Justice Department, the agreement enters will be effective on April 1, 2017 and will remain such until March 31, 2018. Consultancy Ballard Partners will cost $ 20 thousand per month to Socialist Party and if will be repeated as is predicted, the total value will reach $ 240 thousand per month plus costs.In the contract secured by BIRN, the company undertakes to advise Socialist Party and advocate important issues on its behalf in front of the United States federal government.
"Issues and objectives may include the expansion of US-Albanian relations, the strengthening of democratic institutions and the rule of law, promotion of judicial reform, implementation efforts in the fight against terrorism and military ... and pushing forward the integration of Albania into European structures and Euro-Atlantic ones," is written in the contract.
Ballard Partners is a reputable company based in Florida, which has attracted US media attention because its president, Brian Ballard recognized as one of the leading collectors of funds for Trump's presidential campaign in the state of Florida.
According to Politico magazine Ballard Partners opened its lobbying office in Washington after the winning of Trump and signed the first contract for lobbying with the Dominican Republic for 900 thousand dollars in total.
Albania's Socialist Party is the second foreign customer for Ballard Partners.
The costly contracts with US lobbying companies to influence the US government are earlier maneuvers by Albanian political parties, which recently are marking a new peak. The Socialist Party is united in this effort to Socialist Movement for Integration and the Democratic Party, which previously employed their lobbyists to establish relationships with Trump's administration.
In two previous investigations, BIRN revealed that the Socialist Movement for Integration paid over 300 thousand dollars for lobbying in the US during 2016, activity which included an invitation to the inauguration of president Trump. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party hired in March the lobbying company Stonington Strategies, part of Muzi Capitol Partners for $ 25 thousand per month./Oculus News
Socialist Party hires Ballard Partners - lobbying company near Trump Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Rating: