Sunday, July 20, 2008

McSame

It seems John McCain is so like George Bush that they even share the same scandals.
Last week Payne, who has visited Kazakhstan several times including accompanying Cheney on his trip there, said no payment had occurred and that he had never closed a deal with KMG.

“Neither I, , nor any other entity that I am associated with have ever worked for any entity in Kazakhstan,” he said in a statement.

The Sunday Times, however, has discovered the existence of a channel through which funds from the Kazakh government could have been readily transferred.

A sister company to WSP, Worldwide Strategic Energy (WSE), of which Payne is also president, has a subsidiary, Caspian Alliance, which is the sole US representative for KMG.

The disclosure is contained within a draft of a 44-page WSE “placement memorandum” brochure circulated to potential energy investors last year. It adds that the Caspian Alliance was “providing KazMunayGas with political risk analysis as well as access to energy leaders and executives”.

When contacted by The Sunday Times, staff at the Caspian Alliance, which is based in Azerbaijan, confirmed that it is a subsidiary of WSE and represents KMG in America.

In a further link, Randy Scheunemann, chief foreign policy and national security adviser to John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, was listed in the WSE brochure as part of its executive team. Scheunemann and Associates, his lobbying firm, is reported as having represented the Caspian Alliance in 2005.

At the undercover meeting last week, Payne said Scheunemann had been “working with me on my payroll for five of the last eight years”. When confronted over the link to KMG, Payne declined to comment.
If nothing else, McCain would make for a smooth transition. It would be like Bush never left.

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