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Armenians say Deval Patrick ally despite ties to Turk lobby

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  • Armenians say Deval Patrick ally despite ties to Turk lobby

    Armenians say Patrick ally despite ties to Turk lobby
    By Kimberly Atkins

    Boston Herald
    April 22 2006

    Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Deval Patrick attended a State House
    event yesterday marking the 91st anniversary of the Armenian genocide -
    just days after the Herald exposed his ties to a lobbyist working to
    block U.S. recognition of the Turkish government's slaughter of 1.5
    million Armenians.

    The Herald reported Wednesday that a Washington, D.C., fund-raiser for
    Patrick was hosted by Bernie Robinson, a consultant to the Livingston
    Group, a lobbying firm that took in millions of dollars from the
    Turks to fight a congressional plan to recognize the genocide.

    Yesterday Patrick spent roughly an hour at the commemoration ceremony
    hosted by Rep. Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham). Patrick didn't speak,
    but Sharistan Melkonian of the Armenian National Committee said his
    presence reinforced the belief of the Armenian community that Patrick
    is an ally, not an adversary.

    "He has a history of very strong support around the issue that most
    Armenians care about, like human rights and civil rights and justice,"
    Melkonian said.

    In a letter to the Herald, Patrick said "reports of my association
    with those who deny the Armenian genocide are completely false."

    Patrick also took umbrage with gubernatorial rival Attorney General Tom
    Reilly, who told the Herald that he "wouldn't want to have anything
    to do with" anyone associated with such a firm. Patrick said he was
    "disappointed to see my political opponents trying to exploit this