Paul J. Manafort
|Paul J. Manafort|
April 1, 1949 |
New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.
Paul J. Manafort is an American lobbyist and political consultant. A former adviser to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford, he is a senior partner in the firm Davis, Manafort and Freedman.
In 1977–1980 he was an attorney with the firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease in Washington, D.C.
In 1976 he served as a delegate-hunt coordinator for eight States for the President Ford Committee. In 1978–1980 Manafort was southern coordinator for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign, and deputy political director, Republican National Committee. After Reagan's election he was appointed Associate Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House, and in 1981 he was nominated to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
He was a director of Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (1985).
He joined the presidential campaign of John McCain as an advisor in 2008.
Manafort was hired to advise Yanukovych months after massive street demonstrations known as the Orange Revolution overturned Yanukovych's victory in the 2004 presidential race.  Borys V. Kolesnikov, Yanukovich’s campaign manager, said the party hired Manafort after identifying organizational and other problems in the 2004 elections, in which it was advised by Russian strategists. 
In 2010, under Manafort's tutelage, the opposition leader put the Orange Revolution on trial, campaigning against its leaders' management of a weak economy. Returns from the presidential election gave Yanukovych a narrow win over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the 2004 demonstrations. Yanukovych owes his comeback in Ukraine's presidential election to a drastic makeover of his political persona and, people in his party say, that makeover was engineered in part by his American consultant, Manafort. 
According to a 2008 U.S. Justice Department annual report, Manafort’s company received $63,750 from Yanukovych's Party of Regions over a six-month period ending on March 31, 2008, for consulting services.
HUD influence peddling scandal
Manafort came under fire for using his connections at HUD to ensure funding for an unwanted $43 million rehabilitation of dilapidated housing in Seabrook, N.J. Manafort's firm received a $326,000 fee for its work in getting HUD approval of the grant largely through personal influence with Deborah Gore Dean, an executive assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr. 
- Nomination of Paul J. Manafort, Jr., To Be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, May 13, 1981 in John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database)
- Clifford J. Levy, Ukrainian Prime Minister Reinvents Himself, New York Times September 30, 2007
- Top McCain Adviser Has Found Success Mixing Money, Politics Washington Post, June 26, 2006
- Paid advisers descend on candidates, nation, Kyiv Post (November 19, 2009)
- Michael Riley Where Were the Media on HUD?, Time Magazine July 24, 1989