Top McCain Aide Lobbied for Pro-Russian Foreign Politicians

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I know, I know, its hard to keep John McCain’s lobbyists-turned-top-advisers straight. There’s chief campaign strategist Charlie Black, who lobbied for dictators in the ’80s and just about everyone else since. There’s campaign manager Rick Davis, who headed a lobbying organization for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for years and was still on Freddie’s payroll as late as August 2008. There’s top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann, who has lobbied for Latvia, Macedonia, Georgia, and Taiwan. (And there’s 83 others who lobbied for Wall Street before and during the financial crisis.)

But National Journal has a new one for you. Christian Ferry, McCain’s deputy campaign manager and Rick Davis’s #2 man, has worked for some nasty characters:

Starting as a driver for Davis, Ferry worked his way up and was assigned key responsibilities for some of the firm’s foreign clients. They included a political party in Montenegro and a political leader in Ukraine, both backed by wealthy businessmen and oligarchs who sought to sway the outcome of elections in 2006 in those two nations…

In Ukraine, Ferry was part of a Davis Manafort team that advised Victor Yanukovich, the country’s then-prime minister, whose pro-Russian party made gains in the 2006 parliamentary elections. (In 2004, Yanukovich lost to the U.S.-backed candidate, Victor Yushchenko, in a hotly contested presidential race.)

So Ferry was lobbying for the guy the American government opposed. And now he’s one step away from a man running for president. National Journal gets the key quote from Larry Wilkerson, former top aide to one-time Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“When you take central advice from people who have advocated for foreign interests not necessarily congruent with American interests, it’s really naive to assume that the advice you’re receiving is not influenced by their previous work.”

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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