ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA: The Republic of Panama has brought on The Trailblazer Group as a subcontractor after hiring Bellwether Strategies to help it respond to months of damaging press coverage from the Panama Papers leak.
Trailblazer is advising Bellwether "on the substance and distribution of communications it prepares and disseminates to U.S. persons" on behalf of the Panamanian government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to documents filed with the Justice Department.
The Panamanian government hired Bellwether Strategies at the beginning of October, according to Justice Department filings reported by the International Consortium of Journalists. The Panama Papers have been described as the largest data leak ever, with 11.5 million documents unveiled, showing how the world’s rich and powerful use offshore accounts to shield their wealth.
For the Panamanian government, the boutique shop is handling PR and strategic comms as a subcontractor to Bellwether. Trailblazer founding partner Christian Ferry is the sole consultant for this piece of business.
"I’ve worked a number of years in Panama, and I’m happy to help Bellwether Strategies," Ferry said. "[The work] is being done to promote the good activity the government is doing in the post-Panama Papers environment. The government and president have made transparency and reform a priority and they’ve already done a considerable amount of work there."
Trailblazer’s website lists ex-Republican campaign operatives Ryan Price and Jason Osborne as consultants. Osborne was senior communications strategist and deputy senior strategist for Dr. Ben Carson’s 2016 presidential campaign. Ferry and Price both had roles on Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) 2008 White House run.
Trailblazer’s subcontractor relationship with Panama will last for five months for a total of $37,500. Bellwether was hired to "promote Panama’s commercial and diplomatic objectives worldwide" to the tune of $50,000 per month, the filings stated.