Adam DuBard writes: If one could find a textbook example of the Washington GOP Establishment, Manafort would certainly fit the bill. In 1976 he was a key delegate manager with Gerald Ford’s campaign, and he also produced the Republican Conventions of 1984 with Reagan and 1996 with Bob Dole. More importantly, he has gained a reputation with his lobbying firms Black, Manafort, Stone, & Kelly and later Davis, Manafort, & Freedman of representing and rehabilitating the image of anyone willing to pay the right amount, no matter how brutal or controversial their past. While he was originally hired for the primary purpose of reining in delegates and assuring their allegiances, he has since ruthlessly risen to the top of Trump’s campaign, a development that should come as no surprise once one becomes familiar with Manafort’s intriguing and controversial past.
After his political education with the campaigns of Ford and Reagan, Manafort jumped into lobbying in 1985 with the first of two lobbying firms with his name on it, Black, Manafort, Stone, & Kelly. The Stone in that name is no other than Roger Stone, the still prominent Republican strategist known for underhanded tactics and longtime friend of Manafort and Trump. Stone would later say of the now defunct firm, “Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, lined up most of the dictators of the world we could find. … Dictators are in the eye of the beholder.” The amount of work Paul Manafort has done on the behalf of international dictators is long and varied, especially for someone who’s, you know, managing the campaign of a candidate for “the leader of the free world.”
In 1985 Manafort’s firm agreed to work for Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos to the tune of $1 million in return for shaping up his image in front of the US media and government ahead of the upcoming Philippine election. Marcos ruled as the president of the Philippines for twenty one years and gained a reputation as a brutal and corrupt leader, with martial law being the law of the land from 1972 until 1981. According to Filipino news outlets, Marcos’ reign of martial law would result in 3,257 extra-judicial killings, 35,000 torture victims, and 70,000 incarcerations. In addition to his totalitarian mean streak, Marcos and his wife Imelda made a habit of amassing money in various illegal methods. The Philippine supreme court has estimated that the Marcos family accumulated around $10 billion while in office, despite the fact that his official yearly salary never exceeded $13,500. In the end Marcos proved too corrupt even for President Reagan to support, as he was pressured to step down amid election-fixing allegations just months after hiring Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly. [Continue reading…]