Robert B. Crowe, a prominent Democratic fundraiser, is trying to secure a lobbying contract with the pariah regime in Sudan, reports the Washington Post.
Crowe, a partner at the Atlanta-based law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, has met with special U.S. envoy J. Scott Gration and several Democratic lawmakers to garner U.S. support for the deal. The contract would give the Sudanese government, which is trying to deflect genocide and war crime allegations, its first U.S. representative in nearly four years.
The potential lobbying deal has outraged human rights activists concerned with conflicts in the Darfur region, where up to 300,000 people have been killed by government militias in an ongoing genocide.
"They are on our sanctions list and have been for some time, and I see no reason to allow them to have a lobbyist," said Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Africa and global health subcommittee and a leader of the House Sudan caucus.
The application for the deal must be approved by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which must approve any U.S. firm doing business with Sudan.
According to the firm's Web site, Crowe, who practices law in Boston, served as the co-chairman of for Sen. John Kerry's finance campaign and PAC during the 2004 presidential campaign and has also headed the finance committee for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
The National Journal reports that the Sudanese government was last represented by Robert J. Cabelly, but after receiving criticism from lawmakers, the lobbying contract ended in 2006.