Today the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) released the following statement in response to Roll Call Newspaper’s July 6, 2009 article titled, “Lobbyists Reach Deep Into Their Pockets,” which addressed an unusual practice of CEH President Andy Manatos and 19 other lobbyists:
Roll Call Newspaper, the oldest publication covering the U.S. Congress, today included CEH President Andy Manatos, who is also President of Manatos & Manatos, as one of the top 20 Washington lobbyists – out of 10,764 – in terms of the amount given in personal political contributions to U.S. Senators and Members of Congress in the current election cycle. Roll Call based its article on a study by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
According to the article, such a level of personal contribution is rare, as “many lobbyists attend fundraisers on their clients’ dime. Lobbyists who give their own personal money say they do it because they believe in the candidates, their party and the political process.”
“I’m not surprised to see Andy Manatos among those included in the article,” said CEH Chairman Andrew A. Athens. “Such a high level of personal contributing is consistent with Manatos & Manatos contributing each year between $250,000 to $500,000 worth of pro bono work for the issues with which CEH is involved.” The typical Washington lobby firm contributes an average of $7,000 a year of pro bono work, according to the Washington Post.
Andy Manatos said, “Our unusually high level of political contributions and pro bono work is because at Manatos & Manatos we accept only those clients in which we deeply believe. Our contributions reflect our commitment to clients and causes ranging from Westinghouse Electric Company’s productivity project to religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarch.”
“We see our work as not only helping our client but also improving American policy and keeping the government from making mistakes,” said Manatos. “I think this is one of the reasons why policymakers are receptive to us and why we are able to be effective in Washington .”
The Manatos family has been involved in Washington policy making since 1936 — for one third of the nation’s history. The firm’s accomplishments include securing more House cosponsors for a bill than any on record, moving hundreds-of-millions of federal funds in directions more beneficial to American interests, stopping a Senate filibuster for the 13th time in history, and moving Presidents to overrule decisions of their Department heads. Manatos was selected by Regardie’s magazine as one of the 100 most powerful in private sector Washington .
CEH is a 26 year – old network of over 300 Greek – Americans who have close relationships with key U.S. policymakers across the country.