The Newt Gingrich campaign’s choice of foreign policy advisers follows the trend of GOP candidates borrowing heavily from the neoconservative policymakers who helped form the hawkish foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration. But Gingrich, who denied his own history of influence peddling for corporate clients, made an interesting choice in adding Stephen Yates, a Washington lobbyist specializing in foreign companies and governments, to his national security team.
Yates, whose biography on the Newt Gingrich campaign website only lists him as president of DC International Advisors, “a consultancy,” since 2006, had an extremely active lobbying career in the two years following his job as Deputy Assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for National Security Affairs from 2001 to 2005. The Gingrich campaign’s decision to leave Yates’ career as vice president of the “global affairs practice” at Barbour Griffith & Rogers off his official bio, might have something to do with the two years of active lobbying he conducted on behalf of foreign clients.
In 2005 and 2006, while he was based at Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Yates was listed on lobbying disclosures as having represented the interests of:
- The Indonesian National Shipowners’ Association
- Moneygram International
- Lebanon’s National Dialogue Party
- The Republic of India
- British Nuclear Fuels, Plc. (via a contract with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan)
Yates also serves as a director at the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council.
The campaign’s decision to present Yates’ biography without any reference to his career at Barbour Griffith & Rogers or his representation of Taiwanese, Indonesian, Lebanese, Indian and British interests in Washington, raises questions. Indeed, Yates’ two-year career as a lobbyist focusing almost exclusively on foreign clients seeking influence in Washington is an interesting omission from a biography that portrays Gingrich’s national security adviser as a career civil servant.
Yates’ background in public service would indicate that he has a strong interest in U.S. foreign policy and national security. But his two years as a professional lobbyist might also suggest that annual contracts of $740,000 with the Indonesian National Shipowners Association, $720,000 with the Republic of India, and $1.5 million with the Republic of China (Taiwan), held a certain appeal in more recent years.