Former Senator Dorgan Lays a Cuba Whopper

Thursday, April 18, 2013
During his Congressional tenure, former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) never missed an opportunity to seek business ties with Cuba's Castro regime.

His desire to sell North Dakota peas, lentils and soybeans to Castro's monopoly, Alimport, led him to carry water for the Castro regime on a host of non-agricultural issues -- from tourism to eliminating Radio and TV Marti.

Such efforts certainly earned him the good graces of the Castro regime.  North Dakota farmers would even gloat how mentioning Dorgan's name in Havana opened doors with regime officials.

In contrast, Dorgan never lifted a finger for democracy activists on the island -- for that would jeopardize his agricultural sales.

So it's no surprise that Dorgan (now a lobbyist at Arent Fox) wrote a column in Roll Call this week on easing travel sanctions towards the Castro regime.

However, it was the disclosure at the end of his column that raised eyebrows:

"Former Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D., is a senior policy advisor at Arent Fox LLP, which does not have any clients that would benefit from the views expressed here."

Really, Senator Dorgan?

Because just last year, the Sun-Sentinel reported:

[Leonard Moecklin Sr., managing partner of Havana Ferry Partners LLC] said his company has contracted Washington, D.C. law firm Arent Fox and its senior policy adviser, former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota, to press its case. 

Havana Ferry Partners is among a handful of U.S. and international companies that want to offer Florida-Cuba ferry service, which had been popular before the embargo. It first applied for a license in 2010. Also interested in the route are Orlando's United Caribbean Lines, Paris' Unishipping and Spain's Balearia, among others.

Oops!