The Slickest Shop in Town

A lobbyist can perform no greater favor for a lawmaker than to help get him elected. It is the ultimate political IOU, and it can be cashed in again and again. No other firm holds more of this precious currency than the Washington shop known as Black, Manafort.

Legally, there are two firms. Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, a lobbying operation, represents Bethlehem Steel, the Tobacco Institute, Herbalife, Angolan "Freedom Fighter" Jonas Savimbi and the governments of the Bahamas and the Philippines. Black, Manafort, Stone & Atwater, a political-consulting firm, has helped elect such powerful Republican politicians as Senator Phil Gramm...

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