Whatever you do, do not miss the article in the Washington Post about Randy Scheunemann’s lobbying for Georgia. From the lede …
Sen. John McCain’s top foreign policy adviser prepped his boss for an April 17 phone call with the president of Georgia and then helped the presumptive Republican presidential nominee prepare a strong statement of support for the fledgling republic.
The day of the call, a lobbying firm partly owned by the adviser, Randy Scheunemann, signed a $200,000 contract to continue providing strategic advice to the Georgian government in Washington.
At the time of McCain’s call, Scheunemann had formally ceased his own lobbying work for Georgia, according to federal disclosure reports. But he was still part of Orion Strategies, which had only two lobbyists, himself and Mike Mitchell.
Scheunemann remained with the firm for another month, until May 15, when the McCain campaign imposed a tough new anti-lobbyist policy and he was required to separate himself from the company.
Since 2004, Orion has bagged $800,000 from Georgia.
For months while McCain’s presidential campaign was gearing up, Scheunemann held dual roles, advising the candidate on foreign policy while working as Georgia’s lobbyist. Between Jan. 1, 2007, and May 15, 2008, the campaign paid Scheunemann nearly $70,000 to provide foreign policy advice. During the same period, the government of Georgia paid his firm $290,000 in lobbying fees.
Even though Scheunemann has now somehow cut his ties and is receiving no money directly from Georgia, as far as I can tell he is still the co-owner of the company — and the name that is its main draw. So whatever it does still has a direct bearing on him because of that ownership stake.
After you read the article it’s astonishing that Scheunemann is even still with the campaign. And it just adds to the continuing mystery of how McCain preserves this image of being the scourge of lobbyists when he is almost a caricature of the kind of politician whose conduct is managed by a series of lobbyists who manage his actions on almost every point of policy.