As the Greek Economy Struggles, Importance of U.S.-Greek Ties Rise

Greece has been the center of attention of the international banking community. As the country takes drastic measures to save it’s economy, the media and financial industry are increasing their scrutiny.   The U.S. has long had strong ties to Greece and the Greek people.  Typing “Greek” into First Street reveals the many deep ties that individuals and organizations in Washington, D.C. have with the Greek community.  Currently, multiple organizations are lobbying in support of Greek-U.S. ties, and many high power individuals come from a Greek background, focus on Greek issues, or have other unique Greek ties.

Highlights

  • Since 1993 the U.S. Congress has introduced 151 bills dealing with Greek issues.
  • 6 Greek affiliated PAC’s have contributed over $100,000 to federal candidates since 1993.
  • The 6 organizations with Hellenic ties have reported $260,000 in lobbying activity since 2004, with most of these organizations reporting the minimum monetary disclosure amount  since 2004.
  • 5 current members of Congress are Greek Orthodox and one former member even studied Greek in College.
  • 6 current and former congressional staffers are uniquely tied to Greek issues, through choir names, language, and organization memberships.


Former Members with Greek Ties
Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-FL)
Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1960, B.A. in classics and Greek
Current Greek Orthodox Members of Congress

  • Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R FL-9) – Hellenic Caucus Co-Chair
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D MD-3)
  • Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R ME)
  • Rep. Niki Tsongas (D MA-5)

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)  
Grand Marshal, Greek Independence Day Parade, 1996; Hellenic Caucus Co-Chair
Rep. Michael Patrick Flanagan (R-IL)
During U.S. Army service, learned Greek at the U.S. Dept. of Defense Foreign Language Center at the Defense Language Institute, The Presidio, Monterey, CA
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Greek Woman of the Year, Chi Omega Alumnae, 1999
Members of Congress Who Have Received an Award from a Hellenic Affiliated Group:

  • Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R MI-11) – Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award, American Hellenic Institute, 2007
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer (D CA) – Demetris Bouhoutsos Award, Hellenic-American Council of Southern CA, 1998
  • Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D IL) – Capitol 2009 Award, Federation of Hellenic American Educators, SAE-USA Region
  • Sen. John Kerry (D MA)  – Capitol 2009 Award, Federation of Hellenic American Educators, SAE-USA Region


Staffers with Interesting Greek Connections
Sonja B. Stefanadis

  • Currently: Caseworker – Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R FL-9)
  • Member of Greek American Women’s Network & Hellenic American Women’s Council

Brendan Hennessey

  • Currently: Legislative Assistant – Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D NJ-6)
  • Handles Greek Legislative Issues. Frank Pallone has consistently had a staffer who directly deals with Greek Issues since 1993.

Liz Hittos

  • Currently: Legislative Counsel – Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R FL-9)
  • Fluent in Greek

Tom A. Manatos

  • Formerly: Deputy Director, Member Services; Outreach Advisor – Minority (Democratic) Leader (Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D CA-8))
  • Religion: Greek Orthodox

James H. Klumpner

  • Formerly:  Chief Economist (Democrat) – Senate Committee on Budget
  • Conducts a chamber choir called Polyhymnia, the name is derived from one of Greek mythology’s nine Mousai (muses).

Harry Anastasios Sporidis

  • Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Polsinelli Shughart PC
  • Handled Greek Legislative Issues for Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R FL) in 1994

Paul T. Anastas

  • Currently: Assistant Administrator – Research and Development, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Greek Chemical Society Award

Steven Giuli

  • Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Apotex Corp.
  • Handled Greek Issues as Legislative Director to Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)


American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA)
Description: Largest association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes. The mission of the AHEPA Family is to promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence.
Lobbying Activity

Lobbying Firm Hired
Filing Quarter Amount
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2011 4Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2011 3Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2011 2Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2011 1Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2010 4Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2010 3Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2010 2Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2010 1Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2009 4Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2009 3Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2009 2Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2009 1Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2008 4Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2008 3Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2008 2Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2008 1Q  $7,500
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2007 Year-End  $20,000
Axela Government Relations LLC 2007 Year-End
(Terminated Relationship)
 <$10,000
Axela Government Relations LLC 2007 Mid-Year  $20,000
A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC 2007 Mid-Year  <$10,000
Axela Government Relations LLC 2006 Year-End  $20,000
Total  $180,000

Lobbyists

  • Andrew G. Kaffes: Registered Lobbyist – A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC
  • George Sifakis: Registered Lobbyist – Axela Government Relations LLC
  • Formerly: Assistant – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations (Department of Housing and Urban Development)  (2002 – 2004)
  • Taryn Sifakis: Registered Lobbyist – Axela Government Relations LLC

Affiliated Political Action Committee
Contributions given by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association Political Action Committee (AHEPA PAC) since the PAC was formed in 2010.

Beneficiary
Candidate Amount
Ros-Lehtinen For Congress Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R FL-18)  $   2,000
Snowe For Senate Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R ME)  $   2,000
Bilirakis For Congress Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R FL-9)  $   1,000
Total Donations Made  $  5,000

Daughters of Penelope
Description: Largest Association of Women of Hellenic Heritage in the United States. Daughters of Penelope is a leader in philanthropic, educational and cultural activities with local chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece and Cyprus.
Lobbying Expenses: Daughters of Penelope has hired one lobbying firm, A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC, since 2008, when it started lobbying.  The group has never spent more than $5,000, the minimum disclosure amount, on its lobbying activity.
Lobbyists: Andrew G. Kaffes: Registered Lobbyist – A.G. Kaffes and Associates LLC

United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC)
Lobbying Expenses: United Hellenic American Congress employed one in-house lobbyist until the end of 2007.  From 2004-present the group has hired Manatos & Manatos to lobby on its behalf.  UHAC has never spent more than the minimum disclosure amount since 2004, except during 3 quarters from 2004-2006 when the UHAC paid Manatos & Manatos a combined $60,000 for its lobbying activity.

Lobbying Firm Hired
Filing Quarter Amount
Manatos & Manatos
2006 4Q $20,000
Manatos & Manatos
2005 2Q $20,000
Manatos & Manatos
2004 4Q $20,000

Lobbyists

Pancyprian Association of America
Description: The Pancyprian Association of America was founded in 1975 and based on the following principles. Our purpose, as we create this new division is to energize and empower our Hellenic and Cypriot American community through social networking and events, and to maintain and build upon the founders’ visions and goals.
Lobbying Expenses: The Pancyprian Association of America has hired one lobbying firm, Manatos & Manatos, since 2004.  The organization has never spent more than the minimum disclosure amount since 2004, except during the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2009 when the organization paid Manatos & Manatos a combined $20,000 for its lobbying activity.
Lobbyists: See Manatos & Manatos Lobbyists
Recent Lobbying: “Legislation making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes. Congressional or Executive Branch actions that help build stronger ties between the U.S. and Greece, and the U.S. and Cyprus, through the promotion of U.S.-Greece and U.S.-Cyprus relations.” & “Congressional and Executive Branch actions that affect the sale or transfer of U.S. military equipment to Turkey, Greece, or Cyprus.”

National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (NCEH)
Lobbying Expenses: NCEH has hired one lobbying firm, Manatos & Manatos, since 2004.  The organization has never paid more than the minimum disclosure amount since 2004, for its lobbying activity.
Lobbyists: See Manatos & Manatos Lobbyist
Recent Lobbying: “Legislation making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes. Congressional or Executive Branch actions that help build stronger ties between the U.S. and Greece, and the U.S. and Cyprus, through the promotion of U.S.-Greece and U.S.-Cyprus relations.” & “Congressional and Executive Branch actions that affect the sale or transfer of U.S. military equipment to Turkey, Greece, or Cyprus.”

American Hellenic Institute (AHI)
Description: The American Hellenic Institute is an active lobbying organization that advocates for strengthening U.S.-Greek ties.
Lobbying Expenses: AHI has never hired a lobbying firm to lobby on its behalf and has never disclosed more than the minimum disclosure amount for its lobbying activity.
Lobbyist: Nicholas Larigakis: Registered Lobbyist & President – American Hellenic Institute (2004-Present)

Political Action Committees
AHI’s Affiliated PAC is the Greek American Political Action Committee (Greekpac).  Below are the total donations the  PAC has given since its formation in 2004:

Beneficiary
Candidate Amount
John McCain 2008 Inc. Sen. John McCain (R AZ)  $    5,000
Citizens For Cochran Sen. Thad Cochran (R MS)  $    4,200
Scontras For Congress Scontras, Dean P (R ME)  $    4,000
Lewis For Congress Committee Rep. Jerry Lewis (R CA-41)  $    3,500
Hillary Clinton For President Hillary Rodham Clinton  $    2,300
Steele For Maryland Inc Steele, Michael (R MD)  $    2,100
Bilirakis For Congress Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R FL-9)  $    2,000
Ros-Lehtinen For Congress Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R FL-18)  $    2,000
Santorum 2006 Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R PA)  $    2,000
Snowe For Senate Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R ME)  $    2,000
The Niki Tsongas Committee Rep. Niki Tsongas (D MA-5)  $    1,750
Romney For President Inc. Romney, Mitt (R)  $    1,500
America’s Foundation  $    1,000
Coleman For Senate 08 Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R MN)  $    1,000
Congressman Bill Young Campaign Committee Rep. C. W. Bill Young (R FL-10)  $    1,000
Fred Thompson Political Action Committee Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R TN)  $    1,000
Heller For Congress Sen. Dean Heller (R NV)  $    1,000
Henry E. Brown Jr. For Congress Former Rep. Henry E. Brown, Jr. (R SC-1)  $    1,000
John Kerry For Senate Sen. John Kerry (D MA)  $    1,000
Martinez For Senate Mel Martinez  $    1,000
Mitakides For Congress Mitakides, Louella Jane  $    1,000
National Republican Senatorial Committee  $    1,000
Porter For Congress Jon Porter, Sr  $    1,000
Reynolds For Congress Thomas M. Reynolds  $    1,000
Rodney Alexander For Congress Inc. Rep. Rodney Alexander (R LA-5)  $    1,000
Ros-Lehtinen For Congress Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R FL-18)  $    1,000
The New Republican Majority Fund  $    1,000
Tim Johnson For South Dakota Inc Sen. Tim Johnson (D SD)  $    1,000
Todd Akin For Senate Akin, W Todd  $    1,000
Zack Space For Congress Committee Rep. Zack Space (D OH-18) – Former  $    1,000
The Senate Victory Fund PAC  $       800
Friends of Clay Shaw E. Clay Shaw, Jr.  $       500
Friends of John Sarbanes Rep. John Sarbanes (D MD-3)  $       500
Kay Granger Campaign Fund Rep. Kay Granger (R TX-12)  $       500
Lungren For Congress Rep. Dan Lungren (R CA-3)  $       500
Mark Pryor For US Senate Sen. Mark Pryor (D AR)  $       500
Mike Dewine For US Senate Mike DeWine  $       500
Richardson For President, Inc. Richardson, Bill  $       500
Sherman For Congress Rep. Brad Sherman (D CA-27)  $       500
Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee Inc Giuliani, Rudolph W  $     (200)
Total Contributions Given  $ 54,950

Manatos & Manatos

  1. Hellenic-American Heritage Council
  2. National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes
  3. Pancyprian Association of America
  4. United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC)
  5. World Council of Hellenes Abroad-America


Lobbyists Handling Greek Clients:
Andrew Emanuel Manatos: Registered Lobbyist – Manatos & Manatos (2004-present)
Mike Andrew Manatos: Registered Lobbyist – Manatos & Manatos (2004-present)
Christopher Matthiesen:  Registered Lobbyist – Nappi and Hoppe, LLC (2010-present)

  • Chief of Staff – Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) – (2010-2010)
  • Deputy Chief of Staff; Legis. Director – Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) (2009-2010)
  • Legislative Director – Nicholas V Lampson (2008-2008)
  • Senior Legislative Assistant – Nicholas V Lampson (2007-2007)
  • Registered Lobbyist – Manatos & Manatos (2005-2006)

Greek Organizations No Longer Actively Lobbying

  • Hellenic-American Heritage Council hired Manatos & Manatos  (terminated relationship in 2011 1st quarter)
  • World Council of Hellenes Abroad-America hired Manatos & Manatos (terminated relationship in 2007 mid-year)
  • Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee hired Blank Rome (terminated relationship in 2005 mid-year)

Greek Affiliated PAC’s
Dynamis – A Hellenic Association Federal PAC 
Started PAC in 1993, Terminated PAC in 2005.  Contributions given during this time period:

Beneficiary Candidate Amount
New Leadership 2000 $5,000
Citizens For Ron Klink Klink, Ronald P $3,000
Citizens For Sarbanes Paul Sarbanes $2,500
Mike Bilirakis For Congress Michael Bilirakis $2,000
Mike Pappas For Congress Mike Pappas $1,500
Tim Johnson For South Dakota Inc Sen. Tim Johnson (D SD) $1,000
Ira Shapiro For Congress Committee Shapiro, Ira S $500
McConnell Senate Committee ’14 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R KY) $500
Snowe For Senate Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R ME) ($1,000)
Total Contributions Given $15,000

Hellenic American Council Inc Political Action Committee
Terminated PAC in 2000.  Contributions given between 1993-2000:

Beneficiary
Candidate Amount
Sherman For Congress Rep. Brad Sherman (D CA-27)  $    3,100
Hamilton For Congress Lee H. Hamilton  $    2,000
Reed Committee Sen. Jack Reed (D RI)  $    1,500
Citizens For Ron Klink Klink, Ronald P  $    1,000
Committee For Loretta Sanchez Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D CA-47)  $    1,000
Friends of Jane Harman Rep. Jane Harman (D CA-36) – Former  $    1,000
Hahn For Congress Hahn, Janice  $    1,000
Prince For Congress Prince, James Michael  $    1,000
Committee to Re-Elect Loretta Sanchez Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D CA-47)  $       940
Snowe For Senate Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R ME)  $       600
Friends of Lois Capps Rep. Lois Capps (D CA-23)  $       500
McConnell Senate Committee ’14 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R KY)  $       500
Rob Andrews U.S. House Committee Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D NJ-1)  $       500
Schiff For Congress Rep. Adam Schiff (D CA-29)  $       500
Mary Bono MacK Committee Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R CA-45)  $       250
Pallone For Congress Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D NJ-6)  $       250
Total Contributions Given  $ 15,640
Hellenic American Political Action Committee

Contributions given between 1993-2005:

Beneficiary
Candidate Amount
Maloney For Congress Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D NY-14)  $    5,000
Nadler For Congress Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D NY-8)  $    5,000
New York Republican Federal Campaign Committee  $       500
United Refining Company Political Action Committee  $       100
Total Contributions Given  $ 10,600

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: