DC politicians come to the aid of Ethiopian gasoline mogul

(Bizjournal) — Some timely lobbying seems to be sparing a Washington DC gasoline mogul from a drive to dismantle his empire.

Joe MamoAggressive lobbying efforts on behalf of the Ethiopian-born Joe Mamo — whose company Capitol Petroleum Group owns, operates or supplies 164 stations in the Washington area — appears to have staved off legislation by the D.C. Council to loosen his grip on the local gasoline market, The Washington Post reported.

Councilwoman Mary Cheh’s antitrust legislation, which banned wholesalers from also owning retail service stations, was approved by the council’s Committee on Government Operations and the Environment in July but has not generated majority support, according to The Washington Post, due to an onslaught of support for Mamo from politicians and organizations.

Councilman Vincent Orange has received $1,500 from Mamo, and the Keep Hope Alive Political Action Committee, which is affiliated with the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition, has received $25,000. Both Orange and Jackson have urged defeat of Cheh’s bill, The Post reported.

Joe Mamo is the son of famed Ethiopian businessman Mamo Kacha who dominated the Ethiopian transportation business in the 1970s and 80s.