Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly

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Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (Black, Manafort) was a Washington D.C. lobbying and political consulting firm started in 1982. In 1996, it it merged with Gold & Liebengood to form BKSH & Associates. In 2010, BKSH & Associates and Timmons and Company merged to form Prime Policy Group, a subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller Global Public Relations.[1][2]

An internal 1993 budget review document for the Philip Morris group of companies pencilled Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly in with a preliminary budget line item of $117,500.

The document described the reason for the consultancy as being "Charlie Black, former Republican National Committee Chairman and Bush operative, is principally working to buttress our access to Republican Senators".[1]

Paul J. Manafort, Jr. Charles R. Black, Jr.
Roger J. Stone, Jr. Peter G. Kelly
Lee Atwater (unnamed partner) Gold & Liebengood
Prime Policy GroupBurson-Marsteller
BKSH & Associates Timmons and Company
Center for DemocracyCenter on Regulation and Economic Growth


Back in the 1980s, the firm helped elect such powerful Republican politicians as Senators Phil Gramm of Texas and Jesse Helms of North Carolina.[3]

MoveOn said that the firm's Charlie Black who worked as chief adviser to John McCain, "worked for some of the world's worst dictators—mass murderers, terrorists, and tyrants."[4]

Harper's Magazine reported that clients in the 1980s included Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire, "one of the most kleptocratic rulers of all time, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, also known for stealing a few billion dollars, and the murderous Angolan rebels known as UNITA."

As to Black, Manfort's work for UNITA, Spy magazine 'cited a former government official who believed that the firm's "hawkish congressional lobbying for more military aid" delayed the process that had led to a cease-fire. "Black, Manafort played an important part in keeping the Angola war going," the official told the magazine, which concluded: "So the war lasted another two years and claimed a few thousand lives! So what? What counts to a Washington lobbyist is the ability to deliver a tangible victory and spruce up his client's image."'[5]


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  1. Black Manafort Stone and Kelly,, accessed December 2010.
  2. Website, Prime Policy Group, accessed December 2010.
  3. Alessandra Stanley and Evan Thomas, "The Slickest Shop in Town", Time, March 3, 1986.
  4. "McCain: Fire Charlie Black,', accessed December 2010.
  5. Ken Silverstein, McCain's "Courtly Southerner", Harper's Magazine, April 15, 2008.
  6. "A Political Power Broker", The New York Times, June 21, 1989.

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