Scandal centers on former Clinton aide

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Former Clinton PR guru Dick Morris has been accused of making dollars 1.6 million for advising the Argentine government during an eight-month period.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Former Clinton PR guru Dick Morris has been accused of making dollars 1.6 million for advising the Argentine government during an eight-month period.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Former Clinton PR guru Dick Morris has been accused of making dollars 1.6 million for advising the Argentine government during an eight-month period.

Morris' advice helped the ruling center-left party Alianza win last year's elections.

But Argentina's main political weekly, Noticias, alleges that Morris was paid through IKON, a lobbying firm owned by his friend, Roger Stone.

The article goes on to claim that the firm was just an intermediary for the author of politico best seller The New Prince.

To compound the matter, Morris' monthly fee of dollars 200,000 was paid not by the Argentine Press Secretary, but by the secret service. Noticias shows parts of the contract signed by IKON and recently sacked secret service boss Fernando de Santibanes.

Morris refuted accusations that he was being paid by the Argentine government, but admitted that he was aware of IKON's deal with the Argentine secret service.

An article which appeared in Ambito Financiero, Argentina's business daily, quotes Morris as saying: 'I never got money from the secret service, nor from the Argentine government, and I never will.'

He added that his role in the deal was limited to introducing IKON to secret service chief Santibanes.

Since the Argentine government claims to have acute budget limitations for international PR campaigns designed to enhance the image of the country, many practitioners from US PR firms in Buenos Aires were appalled by the scandal.

'Any PR firm working for the government should have been selected in an open bid,' said Gustavo Averbuj, CEO of Ketchum PR in Argentina.



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