Once again exemplifying the ridiculous amount of sway the US wields over nominally independent countries, a new report on Georgia’s upcoming elections has Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire and would-be prime minister of Georgia, spending large amounts of money on US PR firms and lobbying groups.
Ivanishvili, the richest man in Georgia, has a long-standing feud with his likely opponent, current President Mikhail Saakashvili, and is hoping to parlay that lobbying into some support in the US Congress.
Its working, to some extent. Already Rep. Jim McDermott (D – WA) has introduced a bill condemning Saakashvili and accusing him of “harassing” Ivanishvili.
It isn’t some dirty trick to Ivanishvili, but rather the way politics works in Georgia now. Saakshvili has been using his own position as president to fuel a lobbying campaign for years, and the reality is that winning a key position in the Georgian government obliges one to win US support to that end. For a position as important as prime minister, few methods are as expeditious in securing that support than cold hard cash.