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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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