You know things are bleak when lobbyists turn down money.
So it was noteworthy last week that Cassidy & Associates, one of D.C.'s biggest lobbying firms, resigned from its just-signed $1.2 million-a-year lobbying contract with the government of Pakistan.
Cassidy dropped the engagement, it said, because the military crackdown by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had rendered its efforts to generate good will useless. "We thought it best to withdraw from the account as the dramatic changes in Pakistan impeded our effectiveness on their behalf," said Tom Alexander, Cassidy's spokesman.
A statement by the Pakistani Embassy, however, raises the prospect that the decision was more mutual. "The contract for one year was still at the trial phase when, during the course of the first month of association, both the Embassy of Pakistan and Cassidy & Associates came to the conclusion that the latter could not effectively implement the contract as lobbyist," an embassy spokesman said in a statement. "As a result, Cassidy & Associates asked for withdrawal from the contract that the Embassy has accepted."