Though Sen. John McCain was recently in Georgia to receive an award for his outspoken support both during and after the 2008 Russian invasion, his reputation in Ukraine might be a bit tarnished among the pro-democracy liberals once Viktor Yanukovych takes over with a victory int eh polls.
As we reported a few years ago on this blog, McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis and his partner Paul Manafort have been retained by Yanukovych and the Party of Regions for several years now to manage their campaigns domestically and assist in lobbying Washington (which would of course kick into high gear with a Yanukovych victory). At the time, they had not registered themselves as representatives of foreign interests: “My own anecdotal conversations with people who run in the Russia and Eastern Europe circles indicate that Rick Davis was a fixture and a well-known advocate for Yanukovich. What’s interesting was that Davis never filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act that he did work for Yanukovich and today denied he ever did it,” Moira Whelan wrote at the time.
Actually, it’s pretty easy to track down just three registered contracts through FARA, exceeding $60,000 in fees and disbursements from Yanukovych’s party to Davis Manafort in 2007 … Drop a comment if there is further registration info that I have missed.
The name of the two campaign managers slash lobbyists also pop up again in an AP report today about how all the Ukraine candidates have hired out for high powered U.S. campaign managers. So while McCain’s connection to Yanukovych is indirect and probably meaningless, it is still interesting how these relationships (such as the tie to Deripaska) fly in the face of public statements on Russia and countries of the former USSR.