|AP photo / Jeff Chiu|
It’s just too bad that the only Americans apparently qualified to advise John McCain on how to deal with the world are those hopelessly corrupted by hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent payments from foreign countries, such as beleaguered Georgia. Good thing that guys like Randy Scheunemann (at right, with McCain), whose two-man lobbying firm took in a cool million from Georgia since 2004, have a superhuman ability to separate their analysis from any financial considerations.
John McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann’s personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.
McCain warned Russian leaders Tuesday that their assault in Georgia risks “the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world.”
On April 17, a month and a half after Scheunemann stopped working for Georgia, his partner signed a $200,000 agreement with the Georgian government. The deal added to an arrangement that brought in more than $800,000 to the two-man firm from 2004 to mid-2007. For the duration of the campaign, Scheunemann is taking a leave of absence from the firm.
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