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Palin adviser is lobbyist for George Soros: report

By Daniel Tencer
Friday, November 12, 2010 14:15 EDT
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Is Sarah Palin part of George Soros’ supposed left-wing conspiracy to rule the world?

In the midst of Glenn Beck’s controversial series attempting to prove that Soros is at the heart of a vast network of progressives who — according to Beck — are attempting to ruin the United States, a new link to Soros has emerged, and this one leads straight to Sarah Palin.

Salon.com’s Justin Elliott reports that Republican lobbyist Randy Scheunemann has been on Soros’ payroll since 2003.

Scheunemann, Palin’s foreign policy adviser and a member of her small inner circle … runs a Washington, D.C., consulting firm called Orion Strategies. Scheunemann and a partner have since 2003 been paid over $150,000 by one of Soros’ organizations for lobbying work, according to federal disclosure forms reviewed by Salon. The lobbying, which has continued to the present, centers on legislation involving sanctions and democracy promotion in Burma.

Scheunemann’s client is the Open Society Policy Center, a DC-based advocacy group founded and funded by Soros. The Open Society Policy Center says on its website that it “encourages Congress and the Administration to press the military dictatorship in Burma to restore political rights and democracy.”

The Open Society Policy Center describes itself as “a non-partisan organization that engages in policy advocacy on U.S. and international issues, including domestic civil liberties, multilateralism, economic development, civil rights, human rights, women’s rights and criminal justice reform.”

That’s a far cry from the causes that Scheunemann is typically associated with. In 2002, he formed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a lobby group that pushed for the 2003 invasion. Scheunemann is also a member of the Project for a New American Century, the neo-conservative think tank formed in the 1990s whose members ended up dominating foreign policy positions in the Bush administration.

Scheunemann has been associated with Sen. John McCain since he served as McCain’s defense and foreign policy adviser in the 2000 election. It was through McCain’s 2008 campaign that Scheunemann met Palin. CNN reported that Scheunemann found himself in the middle of a rift between the McCain and Palin camps, and ultimately sided with Palin.

Randy Scheunemann, a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain, was fired from the Arizona senator’s campaign last week for what one aide called “trashing” the campaign staff, three senior McCain advisers tell CNN.

One of the aides tells CNN that campaign manager Rick Davis fired Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading “disinformation” about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials. (Update: Davis denies the claim.)

“He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain’s campaign message,” said one of the aides.

Salon.com reports that, during the mid-term election campaign, Palin recommended Scheunemann to Christine O’Donnell’s campaign, and Scheunemann spent a day coaching the Republican Senate candidate to prepare her for a debate against opponent Chris Coons.

 
 
 
 
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