Al Jazeera adds more lobbying heft

Growing news network hires another government affairs firm as it expands U.S. operations

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Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera, in the midst of a rapid U.S. expansion, has hired another lobbying firm to represent itself before government officials, new Senate records indicate.

The Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC, is being tapped to provide "informational communications regarding client's cable television channel" to lawmakers and bureaucrats, the lobbying registration records state.

Earlier this month, Al Jazeera, which is planning a major expansion following its purchase of former Democratic Vice President Al Gore's Current TV cable network, hired DLA PiperGlobal Policy Initiatives and TCK International to represent it on Capitol Hill.

Republican lobbyist Tom Korologos — most recently an ambassador to Belgium whose government service also includes stints working in Iraq — will handle the account for TCK International.

The Law Offices of George R. Salem isn't known of late for its lobbying, having represented just one other client — financial firm Dubai Group — since 2008.

George R. Salem himself, however, is an unpaid, "strategic adviser" for DLA Piper, through which he is "focused on assisting in the development of the firm's Middle East and U.S. Department of Labor practices," according to his biography with the Arab American Institute, of which he is president.

Salem, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, is a former partner at law and lobbying giant Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. He previously served as the chief legal officer at the U.S. Department of Labor and worked as an official on the presidential campaigns of Republicans Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Al Jazeera has posted more than 100 job openings for its operations in New York City and Washington, D.C.