Washington Babylon — March 14, 2008, 12:54 pm

Aventum President Says Her Firm Totally Separate from Former NRCC Treasurer

I posted an article Wednesday on the unfolding scandal at the National Republican Congressional Committee, in which a former Committee treasurer named Christopher Ward is the central figure. I noted in the piece that Ward had been the treasurer for a number of candidates or political committees who also retained a fundraising company called Aventum LLC.

I had sought comment from Aventum’s founder and president, Hetaf al-Kraydi, who contacted me yesterday. She said Ward had already been working for their overlapping clients prior to her firm being retained. “It is a stroke of serious and unfortunate bad luck,” she said about the fact that they shared clients. Kraydi explained that her job was strictly fundraising and event planning, and that she has no involvement with the compliance of her clients’ campaigns. “I had no oversight of Chris Ward’s actions. Aventum LLC and Political Compliance Services are and always have been two separate companies. We do not share any type of financial interest.”

Kraydi also clarified remarks about Bowling for Our Majority Committee (BOMP), a joint fundraising committee, which was created to raise money for seven endangered House Republicans. She said the majority of the money Aventum received from BOMP was reimbursements for the overhead of the event, not fees. She said the event raised over $150,000, but most of that went directly to the candidates, not BOMP. “I trusted Ward, just like all of the Members and the NRCC did; unfortunately our trust has left us the victims of his actions.”

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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