Great stuff from "The Sunday Times" on the lobbyist who "can get you into the White House." (Stephen Payne's company seems to work a lot in our coverage area and boasts in its brochure that it has, "implemented an aggressive media campaign to discredit the Azeri opposition candidates.") Here's an excerpt from the "Times" story about an effort to set up a meeting with the former Kyrgyz president and top Bush administration officials:
"Who does he want to meet with in Washington?" asked the American. Dos replied: "Well of course, maybe the president of the United States, Vice President Cheney, to speak maybe directly to explain the situation in Central Asia.... To give his side of the story. These kind of things."
"I think that some things could be done," said Payne, adding that seeing Bush himself might be more difficult. With barely a pause, he continued:
"I think that the family, children, whatever [of Akaev], should probably look at making a contribution to the Bush library.
"It would be like, maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars, or something like that, not a huge amount but enough to show that they're serious."
-- Luke Allnutt