Twenty thousand dollars will buy you a reserved seat at the table at a Congressional Quarterly Roll Call Live event. Julian Lin of Taiwan Civil Government learned that a sponsorship also lets you talk to people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, like Trent Lott.
Lin, now facing political fraud allegations in Taiwan and being held incommunicado, in solitary confinement and without bail, has been vocal in her efforts to expel the exiled Republic of China ruling Taiwan. Lott, on the other hand, is a former registered Foreign Agent of the ROC. How is it these two seeming foes suddenly got friendly? Lott has moved on and apparently was only in it for the money, a charge now being leveled at Lin by ROC prosecutors.
Trent Lott is a former United States Senator and Republican leader who rather unceremoniously departed the Senate in 2007 to take up a career as a lobbyist. Lott’s work for the ROC, although lucrative, is curious. Not once in all the Foreign Agent disclosure forms on file with the Justice Department did Lott mention the Republic of China in-exile. At times Lott said he worked for the Government of Taiwan and other times he was an agent of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.
Lott charged a hefty $35,000 per month purportedly to help the ROC in Washington. Lott signed an agreement that while working for TECRO he would not represent that People’s Republic of China. Lott’s duties were to arrange introductions with senior officials of the Executive branch and arrange meetings with Members of Congress. Lott also offered to make recommendations on how to improve relations between Taiwan and the United States.
Lott charged the ROC an additional $4,350 for unspecified legal expenses and amended his Foreign Agent disclosure form to include making arrangements for Ma Ying-jeou’s stopover in San Francisco. Lott worked on phone calls between Ma and Senators Roger Wicker, Ben Nelson, and John McCain. Lott also set up meetings between TECRO representatives and Senators Jon Kyl and Lamar Alexander.
All told, Lott’s work for the “Government of Taiwan” was pretty thin for $35,000 per month and his contract with TECRO was terminated in May 2010 after less than a year. With that kind of a track record it is not clear what advice Lott would have been able to share with Lin during their time together at the Roll Call Live event. Looking at Julian Lin’s rapid rise in Washington media and political inner circles perhaps Lin should have been giving Lott advice.