Given all that is happening in the Ukraine, isn’t it time for West Virginia’s treasurer, Riley Moore, to account for his previous lobbying efforts on behalf of the Russian-backed Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych?
Yes it is, but who would ask him?
In 2013, current WV Treasurer Riley Moore went to work as a lobbyist for Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group. Here’s a screen shot from Open Secrets’ that list him as one of the lobbyists for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine:
Who was/is the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine? They were supporters of the then President of the Ukraine, Moscow-friendly Viktor Yanukovych. Here is how Foreign Policy described the organization in 2017:
[Serhiy] Klyuyev had come to Washington as part of a lobbying campaign carried out on behalf of an obscure Brussels-based think tank, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECFMU), which was founded by veterans of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. On the recommendation of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman who worked as a political fixer for Yanukovych, ECFMU hired two powerhouse Washington lobbying firms, the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC.
Working with Manafort and his deputy, the two firms pushed Yanukovych’s agenda in Washington.
(For an excellent summary of Manafort’s efforts for Yanukovych in the Ukraine (including his $12.7 million reward), see “How Trump's campaign chief got a strongman elected president of Ukraine," in The Guardian.)
With a 2014 scandal, Yanukovych resigned and later ended up in Russia.
In 2016, Riley Moore was elected as a WV delegate, left Podesto, and then joined Textron as a lobbyist. Also in 2016, Manafort’s possible indictment had prompted the state Democratic Party to demand that Moore explain his connections. He didn’t. However, after Manafort’s was finally indicted at the end of October 2016, Moore tried to explain to Metro News what happened:
West Virginia Delegate Riley Moore says he is shocked by what he’s learning about the Podesta Group, where he used to work as a vice president.
Tony Podesta, the lobbying firm’s namesake, stepped aside on Monday after the firm was linked to the highly-publicized indictment of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort.
Moore, who was hired as part of a new wave of employees in 2013, was part of a client team working on the the European Centre For a Modern Ukraine (ECFMU), which had been formed to represent former Ukranian President, Viktor Yanukovych.
Riley Moore was shocked? Moore had worked there for four years and had risen to Vice President but he was unaware of what was going on? Really?
Moore cleans-up his resume to run for office
Here is the relevant material from Riley Moore’s resume found at Vote Smart:
Moore spent four years as a lobbyist at Podesto and yet there is no mention of it. And here is Moore’s work history on his 2020 Moore for Treasurer website:
For many years, Riley served as a national security advisor on the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to working in the U.S. Congress, Riley was a contractor with the Department of Homeland Security.
In 2016, Riley was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates to represent the 67th district (Harpers Ferry/Shepherdstown) in the Legislature.
(Again, there is no mention of the Podesta Group.)
Riley Moore asserts that he did nothing wrong at Podesta and yet, those four years of his work history have disappeared from his online resumes.
Filling in what’s missing
Legistorm, which does its own research, lists Moore as a lobbyist for the Podesta Group from 2013 to 2017 and for Textron from 2017 to 2020. (Note -- Legistorm has a paywall.) So, while Moore never uses the word, “lobbyist,” he spent at least seven years lobbying for various entities. By the way, his lobbying work is not hard to verify -- simply go to Open Secrets and type in his name.
Moore ought to be asked about his efforts to help the Russia-backed Yanukovych and what he thinks of the current Ukrainian situation. He ought to, but given the state of reporting in West Virginia and his last name, he won't be.
A Yanukovych follow-up
⚡️Media: Putin wants to reinstate Yanukovych as president of Ukraine.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 2, 2022
Viktor Yanukovych is allegedly in Minsk, and the Kremlin is preparing an operation to replace Zelensky with the ex-president ousted by the EuroMaidan Revolution in 2014, according to Ukrainska Pravda’s sources
⚡️Yanukovych addresses Zelensky, urges him to stop fighting.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 8, 2022
Ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, who lives in Russia since being ousted in 2014, asks Zelensky to “overcome his pride” and stop the war at any cost.
Yanukovych’s letter to Zelensky was published by the Russian media.