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Senator Ericksen’s Ferndale business signs Cambodia as a client

42nd District State Senator Doug Ericksen

National news outlet Politico broke the news Friday that Pac Rim Bridges LLC had filed a document with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) recognizing it intended to begin performing lobbying work for the Kingdom of Cambodia. The registrants’ address on the document is a Dahlberg Road address in Ferndale.

According to State of Washington Department of Revenue records, Pac Rim Bridges LLC principals are Washington State Senator Doug Ericksen (42nd District) and former state representative Jay Rodne (5th District).

According to the registration form, Pac Rim Bridges LLC will be working to promote legislation that is positive to Cambodia. This will include, according to the registration form,

Meeting with US Officials, electeds at both the federal and state levels, and administrative officials to promote improved relations between the USA and the Kingdom of Cambodia. Arranging for visits by Cambodian officials to the US and visits by US officials to Cambodia to promote cultural exchanges and improved relations. Arranging meetings with US business leaders and Cambodia officials to promote trade and investment.

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The Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 requires anyone representing interests of foreign powers in a political or quasi-political capacity register with the DOJ in this way.

Pac Rim Bridges LLC’s consulting service agreement with Cambodia was attached to the registration form. It was dated March 25, 2019 and said Cambodia will pay the company $500,000 a year for their services.

Lobbyists representing foreign concerns are common in US politics and lobbying. A report by ProPublica in 2009 puts that in detailed perspective.

Lobbyists contacted congressional offices more than 10,700 times, including 2,280 meetings, nearly 2,600 phone conversations and more than 4,000 e-mails, with the balance of contacts in letters and faxes.

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Registered foreign agents reported [making] $4.3 million in political contributions, including nearly $2 million to congressional campaigns.

The ProPublica story noted United Arab Emirates had spent the most on lobbying efforts of any country in 2008 at $10,914,002. Former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole was identified as a lobbyist for Alston & Bird. The story credits Dole with contributing the most ($104,000) to political campaigns of any single registered foreign agent in 2008.

Ericksen currently represents Whatcom County’s 42nd District in the US Senate and Rodne, according to his LinkedIn profile, works as a privacy director for Sentinel, LLC.

Typically stories about state and federal political concerns are not covered by My Ferndale News unless they impact day-to-day life and work in Ferndale. But after receiving multiple requests for clarification and details about this story, it appeared to be of unique interest to local readers.


  1. Ryan Walter April 9, 2019

    Great to see Senator Ericksen working to cut government regulations, parasitic bureaucracies and taxes (YAY!), but also promoting business and good relationships between the US and other countries.

    Good work, sir!

  2. JOHN MORLEY April 9, 2019

    Is not just being a Washington state senator, enough of a job for you ?? Why are you even involved with supporting a foreign country anyway ?? I thought you had enough of a problem, just seeing & representing your own constituents here, during & after the last close election ? HUMM ??

  3. Ryan Walter April 10, 2019

    Mr. Morley,

    I’d say Senator Ericksen does a fine job representing his constituents, including me. To wit,

    He works to cut taxes.

    He works to cut government regulation.

    He works to cut idiotic bureaucracies that all of us, you included, are FORCED to pay for

    He works to protect the taxpayer.

    He fights the maddening effort by the misguided souls in Olympia that try incessantly to RAISE TAXES & MAKE GOVERNMENT BIGGER (bump that)

    His international work is just more proof that Senator Ericksen knows how to get things done.

    I say Senator Ericksen is doing just fine, thank you very much.

  4. Wade Marlow April 11, 2019

    Did we the tax payers pay for Erickson’s trip to observe the Cambodian elections last summer? The answer is of course yes but we should get a refund since it appears that the trip was actually a job interview. Doug said all the right things about the election despite the fact that almost everyone else including our State Department said at the time that the election was a sham. Cambodia is a dictatorship ruled by the same man for decades. Erickson should resign his senate seat if he is going to represent a repressive dictator.

  5. Erik Thomas April 11, 2019

    How is holding a lobbying position while STILL IN OFFICE not a conflict of interest? There will probably not be votes in the WA state legislature regarding Cambodia (unless there is some kind of trade or tourism deal.)
    Nonetheless, most politicians leave office -before- pitching for special interest groups.
    I’m assuming there is a regulatory or legal loophole that allows this to happen. (Those with expertise in this area, feel free to enlighten readers.)

  6. Ryan Walter April 11, 2019

    Fun fact: Cambodia has a remarkable economic growth rate, about 8% over the last decade by some estimates.

    So, riddle me this Wade, should we ostracize Cambodia and knock its you-know-what in the dirt because it doesn’t meet your self-proclaimed ethical standards or should we engage them like Senator Ericksen has and nudge them slowly toward our vastly superior Western economic system? But before you answer, think about this – VIETNAM.

    P.S. if you want to talk smack, at least spell the Senator’s last name correctly, will ya?

  7. dave doran April 12, 2019

    You too can make big money legitimizing corrupt dictators for the USA.

  8. Wade D Marlow April 12, 2019

    I’ve been to Cambodia three times, like and admire the people not their government. My objection is that a person who is supposed to represent us would take a job representing a repressive government. while keeping his job working for us. Being a an employee of a dictator is not “engaging” with that country. It is facilitating a dictator that Cambodian people would do better without.

  9. Ryan Walter April 13, 2019

    I’ll make the same point, Wade. Just because you don’t admire Hun Sen, do you really think we should ostracize him and reject all dialogue with him.

    That’s not very inclusive, now is it?

Comments are closed.

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