Ex-Clinton aide's firm cuts Pakistani ties

Dec. 29, 2008 at 11:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A firm led by an ex-strategist for U.S. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton has ended its pact with Pakistan's ruling party, a company spokesman says.

The global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, headed by Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn, has ended a two-year relationship with the Pakistan People's Party, Politico reported Monday. The relationship could have been raised during Clinton's confirmation hearings.

The most recent version of the contract filed with the U.S. Justice Department was signed in January 2007 by Rob Tappan of Burson-Marsteller and Asif Ali Zardari, now Pakistan's president. However, a Burson-Marsteller spokesperson told the Washington publication the firm hasn't done any work on the Pakistani account since March, and is in the process of filing government paperwork to disclose the end of the relationship.

Penn, who is chief executive officer at Burson-Marsteller, also is president of the market research firm Penn, Schoen, Berland and Associates. Clinton owes more than $5 million to Penn Schoen and Berland Associates for its work on her presidential campaign, Politico reported.

A series of controversies during the Democratic primary led to Penn's ouster as the head of the Clinton team, although his company continued to do business with her campaign.

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