Weber Shandwick Unit Embroiled in Taiwan Controversy
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Weber Shandwick Unit Embroiled in Taiwan Controversy

Weber Shandwick Worldwide’s government affairs subsidiary Cassidy & Associates and its Powell Tate public affairs unit are embroiled in a scandal involving former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui.

Paul Holmes

TAIPEI, April 5—Weber Shandwick Worldwide’s government affairs subsidiary Cassidy & Associates and its Powell Tate public affairs unit are embroiled in a scandal involving former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui.
 
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Lee Teng-hui had established a secret $100 million fund to buy influence with foreign governments, institutions and individuals, including some in the United States. The fund was the source of multimillion-dollar payments to leaders in Nicaragua, South Africa and Panama, officials say, and provided financial support, legal under U.S. law, for U.S. think tanks and Washington lobbyists.
 
From January 1995 to December 2001, Shandwick Public Affairs, Cassidy and Powell Tate received $9,818,548 from Taiwan, according to Justice Department records. Taiwanese officials now say half the payments came from Lee’s fund and half came from his Nationalist Party through the Taiwan Research Institute.
 
A spokesman for Cassidy told the Post the firms assumed “the funding was coming from private sources” via the Taiwan Research Institute. Larry Barrett, a vice president at Powell Tate, said the firm always took its paychecks directly from the institute and received no money from Lee’s government. “Our contract, a matter of public record, was with a private nonprofit research institute,” he said.
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus