Friday, April 13, 2007

What's a Polisario? (Part 6)

Last month it was reported that the local law firm Tew-Cardenas LLP had signed a lobbying deal with the Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP). According to the news, the law firm "inked a $15K a-month pact... to develop 'positive messages' of the African Sunni Muslim state for U.S. opinion-makers and government officials." The ICCAS report released this month bases parts of its summary on information from the MACP. According to one source, Tew-Cardenas has been lobbying for the MACP since 2005.

Tew-Cardenas LLP is a growing law firm with offices in Miami, Tallahassee and Washington D.C., and considered as one of the "sharpest shooters on K street" as a lobbying firm. In fact, Tew-Cardenas lobbies for the City of Coral Gables, the City of Doral, and Miami-Dade County (to name just a few). To many others, the name of Cardenas should be very familiar.

Alberto "Al" Cardenas is a big name in Florida politics, and recently considered as one of the "100 most influential hispanics in the United States." Al Cardenas has been reported as the one who "inked the open-ended pact with the MACP." But, most will know him as the first Hispanic (and Cuban-American) Chairman who headed the Republican Party of Florida from 1999 to 2003. Cardenas has a long and influential political history dating back to the Reagan administration in the eighties, the Cuban American National Foundation in the nineties, and currently as one of Mitt Romney's Presidential campaign advisers.

Throughout his career Cardenas has always showed his commitment to the Cuban exile cause. In 2000, as the Florida GOP Chairman, headlines where made when he authored a fund-raising letter that some felt "exploited the Elian Gonzalez standoff." The office of Governor Jeb Bush felt the attempt was "inappropriate to use Elian Gonzalez for political purposes." The letter was distributed to 10,000 South Floridians, but the English version was never mailed out. Always loyal, Al Cardenas also made sure to include a line about Fidel Castro, calling him a "hysterical lunatic and loose tyrant."

Other partners at Tew-Cardenas LLP shared equal sentiments.

[Part 7]

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