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Does it hurt Romney to have a Ukrainian lobbyist as an advisor?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

This can’t help:

One of Mitt Romney’s top foreign-policy advisers recently took a side job: Burnishing the reputation of the government of Ukraine, a country condemned by international human rights groups and European governments for alleged corruption, unlawful imprisonment of opposition figures and a slide into authoritarianism reminiscent of Putin’s Russia.

Eli Lake’s report on lobbyist/Romney advisor Vin Weber highlights a point I’ve been making since Weber joined Romney’s campaign: it’s dangerous to surround yourself with lobbyists, and not just because the other side sometimes demagogue on the matter.

When I spoke to Weber last summer, he told me that he never brings his lobbying hat into his advisor roles. “If I were to go in there,” he told me, “and try to push a client’s agenda, that would be over the line.”

But imagine if Weber were a lawyer. Imagine if he thought that electing Romney would hurt Ukraine. Then legal ethics would probably preclude him from working for both Romney and Ukraine. On the other hand, if electing Romney would help Ukraine, there are plenty of people here who would like to know how.

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