Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Randy Scheunemann, founder and president of the public relations firm Orion Strategies, is a well-connected lobbyist and political insider who has advised a number of conservative political figures, supported the work of various neoconservative-led advocacy groups, and lobbied on behalf of defense industry clients and foreign governments.
Along with neoconservative figures like Robert Kagan and William Kristol, Scheunemann served as a director of the now-defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a letterhead group that played an important role in building support for the Iraq War and an expansive “war on terror.” He also headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), a post-9/11 advocacy outfit that pushed for war in Iraq. Like PNAC, CLI played a key role forging a coalition of Beltway figures who supported a Middle East agenda that had at its core toppling Saddam Hussein. Other CLI members included Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
Despite his close association with right-wing factions, Scheunemann has also advised the liberal Open Society Institute, founded by billionaire financier George Soros. In November 2010, Salon.com’s Justin Elliott reported that federal disclosure forms reveal that Scheunemann’s lobbying firm, Orion Strategies, had “since 2003 been paid over $150,000 by [Open Society Policy Center] for lobbying work. … The lobbying, which has continued to the present, centers on legislation involving sanctions and democracy promotion in Burma.”
During the 2008 presidential election, Scheunemann served as an advisor to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign. Among his roles was to advise VP candidate Sarah Palin on foreign policy. (At Palin’s suggestion, Tea Party favorite and failed Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell enlisted Scheunemann and Weekly Standard online editor Michael Goldfarb to help her with debate prep during the 2010 midterm elections.)
Scheunemann also added his voice to a neoconservative-led campaign in early 2013 to sink President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)—a foreign policy realist who had clashed in the past with neoconservatives and members of the Israel lobby—to head the Department of Defense. Although both Scheunemann and Hagel backed John McCain’s 2000 presidential bid, David Kurtz of Talking Points Memo pointed out that “No single person might embody a foreign policy approach more diametrically opposed to Hagel’s than Scheunemann does. The Hagel nomination represents everything that Scheunemann stands against.” In a line that Kurtz dubbed “rather weak” and “petty,” Scheunemann quipped that Hagel, “who is now the über-realist about not committing ground troops, had no compunction about endorsing the guy [McCain] who wanted all options on the table [in Kosovo]. His endorsement made—to put it mildly—no difference in the campaign.”
Randy Scheunemann is the founder of Scheunemann & Associates, a director at the Project for the New American Century, a consultant for Orion Strategies, and was a consultant, Iraq policy for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Note: Scheunemann & Associates was the lobby firm for the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).
Roy Innis is a director at the National Rifle Association of America (NRA), and was a trustee at the Hudson Institute (think tank).
Donald Kagan is a trustee emeritus at the Hudson Institute (think tank), a director at the Project for the New American Century, and his son is Robert Kagan.
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the Hudson Institute (think tank), the Brookings Institution (think tank), and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank).
George Soros is the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society, the founder & chairman for the Open Society Foundations, and is Jonathan Soros’s father.
Open Society Foundations was a funder for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank), and the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
Robert Kagan is Donald Kagan’s son, the co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (think tank), and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank).
Chuck Hagel is the chair for the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank), and the secretary for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Jonathan Soros is George Soros’s son, the vice chairman for the Open Society Foundations, and a director at the Open Society Policy Center.
Orion Strategies is the lobby firm for the Open Society Policy Center.
Randy Scheunemann is a consultant for Orion Strategies, the founder of Scheunemann & Associates, a director at the Project for the New American Century, and was a consultant, Iraq policy for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Scheunemann & Associates was the lobby firm for the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).
Posted by Sam and Bunny Sewell at 3:26 AM