With Puerto Rico moving to privatize its largest airport, a Brazilian company that operates restaurants in Latin American airports has enlisted the lobbying help of some of Alston & Bird's biggest names in Washington.
International Meal Co., which does business in Puerto Rico as Airport Shoppes Corp., is using more than a half-dozen Alston lobbyists, including former Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan.), former Representatives Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), and four other Alston lobbyists to advocate for it on the U.S. commonwealth's privatization plan for San Juan's Luís Muñoz Marín International Airport and "related federal issues," according to lobbying registration paperwork the law firm filed with Congress on Friday. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration this year is expected to approve a $2.6 billion deal that would allow Puerto Rico to hand over the airport's operations to Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC.
But International Meal has concerns about the agreement.
Dole, a special counsel at Alston; Tauzin, a senior legislative counsel; and Pomeroy, a senior counsel, weren't immediately available for comment. The other Alston lobbyists on the account also couldn't immediately be reached for comment. They are partner Robert Jones and counsel Jeffrey Sural, as well as senior policy advisers Robert Siggins and Robert Holifield.
International Meal hasn't had federal lobbyists before, according to congressional records that date to 1999.