Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

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Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:28 am

Spinning Boris -– Illustrated Screenplay
Written by Yuri Zeltser & Cary Bickley
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode
© 2002 Hallmark Entertainment Distribution, LLC
[Transcribed from the movie by Tara Carreon]

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


-- Declassified Documents Concerning Russian President Boris Yeltsin. This Mandatory Declassification Review contains memorandum of conversations (memcons) and memorandum of telephone conversations (telcons) between President Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin of Russia, January 23, 1993 through April 21, 1996, by National Security Council, William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum Collection

-- Declassified Documents Concerning Russian President Boris Yeltsin (1)

-- Declassified Documents Concerning Russian President Boris Yeltsin (2)






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CLICK HERE TO SEE "SPINNING BORIS" -- ILLUSTRATED SCREENPLAY

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-- Yanks to the Rescue: The Secret Story of How American Advisers Helped Yeltsin Winby Michael Kramer (July 15, 1996)

-- Russia Wants to Undermine Faith in the U.S. Election: Don't Fall For It, by Massimo Calabresi (September 28, 2016)
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:31 am

Part 1 of 8

Spinning Boris Screenplay
written by Yuri Zeltser & Cary Bickley
directed by Roger Spottiswoode
© 2002 Hallmark Entertainment Distribution, LLC

Showtime presents
a Licht/Mueller Film Corporation production
a film by Roger Spottiswoode
based on a true story
MOSCOW, June 16, 1996
JEFF GOLDBLUM
ANTHONY LAPAGLIA
LIEV SCHREIBER
BORIS KRUTONOG
SVETLANA EFREMOVA
SHAUNA MACDONALD
Casting by BETH KLEIN, TINA GERUSSI CDC
Music by JEFF DANNA
Edited by MICHAEL PACEK
Written by YURI ZELTSER & CARY BICKLEY
Directed by ROGER SPOTTISWOODE
Production Designer TAAVO SOODOR
Director of Photography JOHN BARTLEY ASC CSC
Producer CYDNEY BERNARD
Executive Producers ANDREW LICHT, JEFFREY A. MUELLER, JOHN MORRIS

[George Gorton] Can I make a call? To the United States? America?

[Post Office Clerk] Nyet. Lines nyet. No calls.

[George Gorton] [Gives her money] Isn’t there any way to …

[Post Office Clerk] [Points to a telephone]

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[George Gorton’s Answering Machine] Hi, there, you’ve reached the office of George Gorton in Sacramento. Tell me everything.

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[George Gorton] Hi, this is me, George Gorton. I’m here in Moscow, Russia. It’s June 16, 1996, about 4:00 p.m. my time. The reason I am calling you is because I’m going to be killed today, or disappear, in which case I want the police to know what happened.

***

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[WILSON FOR PRESIDENT, Campaign Headquarters, Eight months earlier]

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[Joe Shumate] Okay, ladies. We start where we always start, with 6-0 points for Wilson’s speech. What we’re looking for is a magic number: one tiny positive digit that we can spin in our favor and make this funeral look like a birthday party. Trust me. It’s going to take a little creative analysis. But, in the immortal words of George Herbert Bush, “Nobody said it was going to be easy, and Nobody was right.”

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[Dick Dresner] [Talking on phone] We don’t want the goddamned poll tomorrow, we want it yesterday, which means we better get it today or I’m going to fly up there and I’m going to rip out your goddamned windpipe.

[Joe Shumate] Dick!

[Dick Dresner] [Talking on phone] Listen, Dwayne, Dwayne, Dwayne … I know it’s a mock election. I don’t care. We’re going to win place or at least show, okay? What do you mean you don’t have any voters? Round up some hicks in Nebraska, and bus them to Iowa. And pay them to vote for Wilson! … They are pig farmers! It doesn’t have to be kosher.

[Joe Shumate] [Laughing]

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[George Gorton] Oh my gosh! Look who it is. My, my, my. To what do I owe? I must be doing something right.

[Female Journalist] I don’t think so, George. You guys got no votes, no funds, and zero party support. Off the record: do you really think you can turn it around?

[George Gorton] Off the record?

[Female Journalist] Uh hum.

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[George Gorton] Okay. Here’s how we do it. Now pay attention, these are secrets of the trade. Put your right hand in, put your right hand out, put your right hand in, and shake it all about. The next part is crucial – [doo doo doo doo doo doo]

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No, that’s what it’s all about. We’re going to turn it around.

[Female Journalist] Hum. You’re never off the record, are you?

[George Gorton] Like you are! Hum, dinner tonight at 8:00? [Cell phone ringing] What is that sound? We can talk. What do you think? Really.

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[George Gorton] [To cell phone] Hello. Governor! Yeah, yeah, hang on one second. Let me go some place quiet. Yeah. [Whistles to his guys to come]

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Right. No, of course. As long as it’s for the good of the campaign. Uh hum. No! Yeah. I’m sure you’re making the right decision.

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[Angrily throws phone into the garbage can]

[Joe Shumate] Let me guess: good news.

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[George Gorton] He wants me to bend over to Fuller. [Imitating Governor] “I feel I have to have national presence. George, Fuller’s in a better position for it than you are.”

[Dick Dresner] “Better position?” You’ve given him 20 years of your life! I mean, he’d be governor of BumFuck without you.

[George Gorton] He doesn’t trust me to write a presidential campaign.

[Joe Shumate] Look, George, we’re a team. You go, we go.

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[George Gorton] Oh, no, you’re going to stay here. Because a paycheck’s a paycheck and, you know, it’s a Titanic anyway. Wilson doesn’t stand a rat’s chance. We all know that in a couple of weeks, you guys are going to be unemployed, too.

***

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[January, 1996]

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[President Clinton] [On TV] Our sixth challenge, is to maintain America’s leadership in the fight for freedom and peace throughout the world.

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[Dick Dresner] [Watching TV with his wife and anticipating Clinton’s speech] “Because of American leadership, more people than ever before will live free and at peace.”

[President Clinton] [On TV] Because of American leadership, more people than ever before will live free and at peace.

[Dick Dresner's Wife] Honey, that’s amazing.

[Dick Dresner] That’s because Dick Morris wrote that damned speech. I know Dick’s voice better than I know my own.

[Dick Dresner's Wife] You’re sounding jealous.

[Dick Dresner] Why? Just because he’s whispering into the President’s ear while I’m sitting on my hands during a major election year? I’m a consultant without a campaign.

***

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[Wilson Campaign Headquarters]

[Joe Shumate] [Looking at computer] Uh hum. There it is.

[Telephone rings]

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[Joe Shumate] [Answers phone] Joe Shumate!

[Felix Braynin] Mr. Shumate. With pleasure. My name is Felix Braynin. I’m a Russian-American businessman, and I live in Sausalito. My references are good and long. I fax as we speak.

[Joe Shumate] You don’t sound like you’re calling from Sausalito, Mr. Braynin.

[Felix Braynin] Uh … Felix. Felix, Felix, please. But no, you’re correct. I’m in Moscow. And I’m calling to proposition you, Mr. Shumate.

[Joe Shumate] Ha, ha! Oh, really! Well, I’m very flattered, but …

[Felix Braynin] Please! Please read the fax, then give me a buzz.

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[Joe Shumate] [Reading the fax] Uh, it says here, you want to hire my partners and me for a campaign.

[Felix Braynin] Not quite. It says, “The” campaign.

[Joe Shumate] Yep! It sure does. But it doesn’t seem to mention here who the candidate is.

[Felix Braynin] Now, that’s correct. It’s not secure.

[Joe Shumate] Not secure? Ha, ha. Well, Mr. Braynin, do you ever intend to tell us who the candidate is?

[Felix Braynin] You’re a smart man, Mr. Shumate. You can figure it out yourself.

[Joe Shumate] Okay! [Laughing] Well, let’s see. The Russian presidential election is in five months and … uh …when you say “The” campaign, you don’t mean the --

[Felix Braynin] No! No names. Not now. But yes, your assumption is correct.

***

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[George Gorton] [cell phone ringing while getting a massage] Heaven!

[Joe Shumate] George, it’s Joe. We have to talk.

[George Gorton] Joe! You sound tense. Man, you’ve got to find your equilibrium, like I did.

[Joe Shumate] Get rid of her! I’ve got a guy on the line who wants us for a gig.

[George Gorton] Uh, wrong number, Joe. I’m now a full-time spiritual rejuvenator.

[Joe Shumate] The gig’s in Russia, and I think its for Yeltsin.

[George Gorton] You think it’s for Yeltsin? [Laughing] What’s the client thing?

[Joe Shumate] Uh, he didn’t say. He wouldn’t say. Not on the telephone. Now look, just let me get him on the phone, okay? You can do it for yourself. Hang on one second.

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[Dials Felix Braynin’s number] Mr. Braynin? You are now on with my partner, George Gorton and myself.

[Felix Braynin] Ah! Mr. Gorton! Big pleasure. My name is Felix Braynin. I’m a Russian-American businessman.

[Joe Shumate] His references are good and long, George.

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[George Gorton] Congratulations, Mr. Braynin. Uh, you’ll make America proud, I’m sure. [Cries out due to rough massage] Whose campaign do you want us to market?

[Felix Braynin] No, Mr. Gorton. I can’t possibly divulge any more information at this time.

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[George Gorton] Okay. Thanks for your interest. Let us send you some literature on what we do, and then you can make an informed choice.

[Felix Braynin] No, no, no, no! Wait! We know all about you. You were HIGHLY recommended.

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[Joe Shumate] Okay, okay. Mr. Braynin, can I just put you on hold for one more second. Just one more second and we’ll be right back with you. Hang on there.

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[To George] George, I know what you’re thinking –

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[George Gorton] And you’re going to go fuck yourself?

[Joe Shumate] No. Now listen, George. Okay. He is probably nuts. That would make a lot of sense that he’s nuts. But did you ever think for a second, just one second here, George, that he actually may be for real? I mean, you know, what if this is Yeltsin?

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[George Gorton] If? If my grandmother had balls, she’d be my grandfather.

[Joe Shumate] George, I need you to concentrate. Okay? George, listen to me. This is the first free election in Russia EVER! Okay? The expected voter turnout is 63%. George, that is 90 million people. Group consulting is to move those kinds of numbers. We’ve never had that kind of power before. For Christ’s sake, George, this could be the Mt. Everest of consulting. [Silence] George? Are you listening to me!?

[George Gorton] Yeah, I’m multi-tasking.

[Joe Shumate] Let me just get Dick on the line, okay? He’s good at cutting through the bullshit.

[George Gorton] Yeah, you’re going to need a big knife. Yeah.

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[Dick Dresner] [Phone rings] Uh huh.

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[George Gorton] Uh, DICK! This is George and Joe here. We have a Yakov Smirnoff on hold. He says he wants us for a gig in Russia, maybe for Yeltsin.

[Joe Shumate] I have the biggest election in the history of democracy.

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[Dick Dresner] Okay, sure. I got nothing to do.

[Joe Shumate] Okay, now we’re talking. Hang on.

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[To Felix Braynin] Mr. Braynin, Dick Dresner has joined us here.

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[Dick Dresner] Uh, Mr. Braynin, this is Dick Dresner. How much money do you have to spend on this campaign?

[Felix Braynin] Unlimited. Whatever it takes to win.

[Dick Dresner] For something like this, you’re going to need state of the art everything: offices, telephone system, computers, Internet, production facilities, television, radio – do you have all of that in Russia?

[Felix Braynin] Well, if we don’t have something, we’ll buy it for you, Mr. Dresner. Anything else?

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, our fee is a quarter of a million dollars, plus expenses, and first class airline tickets.

[Felix Braynin] Uh huh. Done! Our only request is that this arrangement be top secret. Congratulations, my friends. You’re hired. I’ll let the client know we got the Americans. [Hangs up]

[George Gorton] I can’t believe how stupid we are!

[Joe Shumate] What are you talking about, George? This could be the gig of all gigs.

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, come on, George! This is the world stage. If we get Yeltsin re-elected, we’re going to be hotter than wildfire.

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[George Gorton] We should have asked for a million!

***

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[Airplane to Russia]

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[Moscow, February 21, 1996, 116 days until election]

[Team Yeltsin freezing on runway without jackets]

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[George Gorton] I think this is all a Russian conspiracy to get me out of Bali!

[Dick Dresner] I want to go back, and I’m not giving them a damned refund!

[Joe Shumate] Come on, guys! Keep your pantyhose on! So they are a little late. Russians aren’t exactly known for their punctuality.

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[Three black limos drive up, and a bunch of mobsters with guns get out]

[Felix Braynin] Gentlemen! I’m Felix Braynin. Welcome to Moscow. [Hugs George]

[George Gorton] Good to meet you!

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[Felix Braynin] [Hugs Dick] Yeah, you look a little cold, there. [Hugs Joe] Welcome, welcome! Good to see you!

[Dick Dresner] Mr. Braynin, are we or are we not working for Boris Yeltsin?

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[Felix Braynin] Yes, of course we are, but please, no names!

***

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[Riding through Moscow in the limo]

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[George Gorton] Felix, you like to travel with a lot of security, huh?

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[Felix Braynin] Just part of doing business in Russia, my friend. The homicide rate here is twice as high as in America. And murders, they are mostly related to drugs or gangs. Here, most of the victims are businessmen and politicians.

***

[Entering building]

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[Felix Braynin] You can take any empty box. Yeah, any empty space is fine. Please, do take off your clothes.

[Joe Shumate] What for?

[George Gorton] [Laughing]

[Felix Braynin] El bana, of course.

[Dick Dresner] What in the hell is Bana?

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[Felix Braynin] So sorry. This is “Bana.” “Bath-house.”

[Joe Shumate] You want us to take a bath with you.

[Felix Braynin] Don’t worry. It’s a Russian tradition. Your host insists.

[Dick Dresner] I thought YOU were our host.

[Felix Braynin] Me? [Laughing] No. I just work for him.

[George Gorton] Oh, really? Hey, can I ask you a little question, Felix, about this bath? Um, is it necessary? Um, we don’t want to offend our host or anything –

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[Felix Braynin] I’m not offended. You will be.

[George Gorton] Really? It’s just that we do so much better in meetings when we’re clothed.

[Felix Braynin] Correct. Gentlemen, it’ll be just fine.

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[Enter bath, 3 women in towels, one man on cellphone]

[Felix Braynin] [Introducing Team Yeltsin] George Gorton, Dick Dresner, Joe Shumate. Meet Andrei Lugov.

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[Andrei Lugov] They are very nice, yes? The girls! They are friends of mine. You can have them for the night, or they can live with you. I’ll pay for either.

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[Joe Shumate] Thank you. Thank you. That’s a very kind offer. [Laughing] Unfortunately, I’m married, practically a newlywed. So, bad timing.

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, me, too. I’m married. And my wife is very familiar with sharp objects.

[Andrei Lugov] Ah, pity! Pity! But George, you are a free man, hmm?!

[George Gorton] Yeah, no, yeah, but I make a point to never pay for sex, even with somebody else’s money. It’s a matter of principle.

[Andrei Lugov] Principle?! Uh, interesting. Interesting that you have them.

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[Speaks to girls in Russian and they get up and leave]

In the post-Soviet era, the position of women in Russian society remains at least as problematic as it was in previous decades. In both cases, a number of nominal legal protections for women either have failed to address the existing conditions or have failed to supply adequate support. In the 1990s, increasing economic pressures and shrinking government programs left women with little choice but to seek employment, although most available positions were as substandard as in the Soviet period, and generally jobs of any sort were more difficult to obtain. Such conditions contribute heavily to Russia's declining birthrate and the general deterioration of the family....

Russian women in the 1990s predominate in economic sectors where pay is low, and they continue to receive less pay than men for comparable positions. In 1995 men in health care earned an average of 50 percent more than women in that field, and male engineers received an average of 40 percent more than their female colleagues. Despite the fact that, on average, women are better educated than men, women remain in the minority in senior management positions. In the Soviet era, women's wages averaged 70 percent of men's; by 1995 the figure was 40 percent, according to the Moscow-based Center for Gender Studies. According to a 1996 report, 87 percent of employed urban Russians earning less than 100,000 rubles a month (for value of the ruble--see Glossary) were women, and the percentage of women decreased consistently in the higher wage categories.

According to reports, women generally are the first to be fired, and they face other forms of on-the-job discrimination as well. Struggling companies often fire women to avoid paying child care benefits or granting maternity leave, as the law still requires. In 1995 women constituted an estimated 70 percent of Russia's unemployed, and as much as 90 percent in some areas.

Sociological surveys show that sexual harassment and violence against women have increased at all levels of society in the 1990s. More than 13,000 rapes were reported in 1994, meaning that several times that number of that often-unreported crime probably were committed. In 1993 an estimated 14,000 women were murdered by their husbands or lovers, about twenty times the figure in the United States and several times the figure in Russia five years earlier. More than 300,000 other types of crimes, including spousal abuse, were committed against women in 1994....

Often women with families are forced to work because of insufficient state child allowances and unemployment benefits. Economic hardship has driven some women into prostitution. In the Soviet period, prostitution was viewed officially as a form of social deviancy that was dying out as the Soviet Union advanced toward communism. In the 1990s, organized crime has become heavily involved in prostitution, both in Russia and in the cities of Central and Western Europe, to which Russian women often are lured by bogus advertisements for match-making services or modeling agencies. According to one estimate, 10,000 women from Central Europe, including a high proportion of Russians, have been lured or forced into prostitution in Germany alone....

[T]he most frequently offered job in new businesses is that of secretary, and advertisements often specify physical attractiveness as a primary requirement. Russian law provides for as much as three years' imprisonment for sexual harassment, but the law rarely is enforced. Although the Fund for Protection from Sexual Harassment has blacklisted 300 Moscow firms where sexual harassment is known to have taken place, demands for sex and even rape still are common on-the-job occurrences....

Prior to the 1995 elections, women held about 10 percent of the seats in parliament: fifty-seven of 450 seats in the State Duma and nine of 178 seats in the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council. The Soviet system of mandating legislative seats generally allocated about one-third of the seats in republic-level legislatures and one-half of the seats in local soviets to women, but those proportions shrank drastically with the first multiparty elections of 1990.

-- Russia: A Country Study, by Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, edited by Glenn E. Curtis


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Gentlemen, you like fish eggs? There was a time when I sold eggs on the street. Chicken eggs. And now I own one of the largest businesses in Russia.

[George Gorton] Thank God for democracy!

[Andrei Lugov] And for Yeltsin! Without him, I would have nothing. Sometimes not even the eggs.

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[Hands vodka all around and makes a toast.] The President is behind in the polls.

[George Gorton] Yes, we are aware of that, Mr. Lugov. And we’re ready to rise to the challenge. We have a system that’s called –

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[Andrei Lugov] You don’t understand. Yeltsin is the only candidate who represents true democracy. And our democracy is young and fragile like a baby, you know? With a pantload of shit! The country is in chaos, you know. It’s suffering starvation, crime, organized not so much. Look, look at me. Look at me. I have 200 bodyguards, and do you think I can sleep at night? Do you? No. No. I am worrying about the future. Because imagine if the Communists win. Then what? Then we are all really screwed, and the whole world is screwed with us. It’s a catastrophe of costly proportions.

[Joe Shumate] Excuse me, Mr. Lugov. What line of business are you in?

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[Andrei Lugov] Mr. Shumate, my business is my business. Okay, gentlemen, you are hired. I’ll let the President know that we have Americans.

[Dick Dresner] When can we see Mr. Yeltsin?

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[Andrei Lugov] Two more, or some other day. Who is to know?

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[Dick Dresner] [Mimicking Andrei to Joe] “Who is to know?”

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[Felix Braynin] You know men, that went very well. Andrei is impressed, I can tell!

[Joe Shumate] What exactly is his role in the campaign, Mr. Braynin?

[Felix Braynin] Technically he’s not really a part of the campaign. He just handles certain monies.

[George Gorton] “Certain monies.” Oh! Is he mafia?

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[Felix Braynin] Mafia?!!! Oh, God, no! He would have you killed if he heard you say that.

[Joe Shumate] [Laughs and drinks his vodka with Team Yeltsin]
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:46 am

Part 2 of 8

***

[Limo drives to hotel]

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[Felix Braynin] [Shows I.D. to guard] Welcome to the President Hotel, gentlemen! Here in Moscow, it’s like the Ritz.

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[Joe Shumate] It looks more like The Rock to me.

***

[Team Yeltsin walk into hotel]

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[Dick Dresner] Where is everybody? Is there something wrong with this place?

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[Felix Braynin] [Laughing] Oh, no. This is top shelf. It was built for the Soviet bigwigs. Wow! If only these walls could talk!

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Friends, please turn in your passports. They’ll hold them for now.

[George Gorton] For the whole time?

[Felix Braynin] For while you are here.

[George Gorton] That’s customary?

[Felix Braynin] It’s safe! Go ahead!

***

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[Enter hotel bedroom]

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[Felix Braynin] George, I hope you like! Joe, Dick, your suites are exactly like this one.

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[George Gorton] It’s nice! Thanks, Felix!

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[Looks out window] What is this? Is that the Kremlin?

***

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[Maid running vacuum barges in George’s suite while he’s asleep]

***

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[George Gorton] [Goes down to breakfast] [To Team Yeltsin] Hey, how’s the coffee?

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[Dick Dresner] I've had cold piss that tastes better.

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[Joe Shumate] Slight exaggeration. Dick’s in a foul mood. We’ve been looking at the Yeltsin polls.

[George Gorton] Oh, this is jolly. Yeah?

[Dick Dresner] I want to go back.

[George Gorton] Well, why? Come on, you know, we knew Yeltsin was trailing. That’s why they brought us here.

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[Dick Dresner] He’s not trailing. Trailing would imply some kind of forward movement.

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[Joe Shumate] Only 6% would vote for him. The Commies, Zyuganov, gets 30%.

[George Gorton] Ooh, that’s terrible. [Laughs] What about other candidates?

[Joe Shumate] All ahead. Reformists, Nationalists, there’s even a so-called “liberal democrat” called Zhirinovsky. Apparently, he walks around Moscow in his underwear planning an invasion of Alaska.

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[George Gorton] [Eats egg, and spits it out]

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Ooh, ooh. What is that?

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[Dick Dresner] I don’t know. We ordered eggs.

[Joe Shumate] Try the sausage.

[George Gorton] Oh! eggs are horrible!

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[Pulls out tape recorder and records message into it] Day 2: Yeltsin at 6%. Eggs inedible. Which maybe explains why it’s 6%.

[Elvis Impersonator] You bought a Specula?

[George Gorton] I know. It’s for a book. American political consultants behind the scenes in Russia’s struggling democracy? You don’t think there’s a book in all of this?

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[Joe Shumate] A very short one, maybe. You haven’t heard the best part. If the election were held today, apparently Stalin would get 8%. That’s more than Boris.

[George Gorton] Joe! Stalin is dead!

[Joe Shumate] Uh hum.

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[Dick Dresner] [Speaks into George’s tape recorder] Not as dead as Yeltsin!

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[Andrei Lugov] Good morning, gentlemen! Very good news. I go to a meeting with Oleg Soskovets, right away.

[George Gorton] Soskovets? That is good news!

[Joe Shumate] Soskovets?

***

[Car arrives at new location]

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[Andrei Lugov] [To Team Yeltsin] You wait here, please.

[George Gorton] Yeah. Okay. Thank you.

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[To Team Yeltsin] Very quickly, who in the hell is Soskovets?

[Joe Shumate] I think he is the first deputy Prime Minister. The Russian Press have so far I.D.’d seven different people as Yeltsin’s campaign manager. Soskovets is one of them.

[George Gorton] Oh!

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[After some time]

[Dick Dresner] What the heck are they doing in there? We’ve been waiting for an hour!

[Joe Shumate] Killing themselves, because they just saw the numbers?

[George Gorton] Well, you know, obviously they are going to be concerned about the numbers. We just have to be blasé: “Oh, the numbers are bad, but we can and will turn it around.”

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[Joe Shumate] Are you suggesting that we lie to the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia?

[George Gorton] Do you have a problem with that?

[Joe Shumate] No! Just asking.

***

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[Entering Soskovets’ office]

[Andrei Lugov] Please gentlemen, do come in.

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[Oleg Soskovets] So … [Greets George]

[George Gorton] George Gorton.

[Oleg Soskovets] [Greets Dick]

[Dick Dresner] Dick Dresner. How are you?

[Oleg Soskovets] [Greets Joe]

[Joe Shumate] Joe Shumate.

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[Oleg Soskovets] How is our friend, Bill? [Speaks in Russian]

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[George Gorton] Oh, probably!

[Oleg Soskovets] Ah, “probably.” [Speaks in Russian]

[Andrei Lugov] As Kruschev said, “The only problem with the election, you never know who will win?

[Joe Shumate] [Laughing]

[Oleg Soskovets] [Speaks in Russian]

[Andrei Lugov] Clinton won the first time, because Bush refused to believe he could lose.

[Oleg Soskovets] [Speaks in Russian]

[Andrei Lugov] Yeltsin is much the same. He doesn’t trust numbers.

[George Gorton] Speaking of which, we’ve seen the numbers. Not ideal.

[Andrei Lugov] [Translates in Russian]

[Oleg Soskovets] Uh hum.

[George Gorton] But a lot can change in four months. Especially for the incumbent.

[Andrei Lugov] [Translates in Russian]

[Oleg Soskovets] Uh hum.

[George Gorton] We just got to get crankin’ ASAP.

[Andrei Lugov] [Translates in Russian]

[Oleg Soskovets] Uh hum.

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[George Gorton] We have a system. It’s called election gaming. It’s basically like –

[Oleg Soskovets] [Speaks in Russian]

[Andrei Lugov] [Translating in English] Here are the rules. You don’t talk to the press. No leaks at all. You are never to reveal who your client is. It will be a terrible blow to our national pride. Your main job is to let us know if you determine that Yeltsin will lose.

[Oleg Soskovets] ASAP.

[Andrei Lugov] [Translating in English] As soon as possible.

[Oleg Soskovets] [Speaks in Russian]

[Andrei Lugov] [Translates in English] Then we’ll take steps.

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[George Gorton] “Steps?” What do you mean, “steps”? What kind of steps?

[Andrei Lugov] [Translating in Russian.]

[Oleg Soskovets] [Speaks in Russian]

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[Andrei Lugov] [Translates in English] That’s it. You are hired. I’ll let the President know we have Americans.

***

[One week later]

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[George Gorton] [To Courtyard Guard] Yeah, I’m going to take a walk, do a little sight-seeing. Maybe you can tell me where? Oh, you don’t speak English. Sorry. Rude. “When in Rome, speak Russian.” Uh, me – how do you say “promenadesky”? “Strolly”?

[Courtyard Guard] I speak. Stroll? Not advised.

***

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[George Gorton] [Barging into Joe’s hotel room]

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[Joe Shumate] That was a short walk.

[George Gorton] It wasn’t advised.

[Joe Shumate] I told you.

[George Gorton] I wonder what would happen if I didn’t take their so-called advice, and just walked out.

[Joe Shumate] Oh, they would probably shoot you in the back, or say, “Have a nice day.”

[George Gorton] What a country! And how about those stupid hats they all wear? I mean, I know it’s cold, but you know, have a little dignity!

[Joe Shumate] Is anyone else curious about why no one seems to want to hear our pitch?

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[Dick Dresner] I’ll tell you why. Because this whole thing is bullshit. We’ve been here one week: no Yeltsin, no meeting, no offices, nothing. We got dick.

[George Gorton] [Dialing the phone] Maybe ASAP in Russian means "when hell freezes over."

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, look outside. It already has.

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[George Gorton] Let’s reach out and touch somebody, shall we? [To person on phone] Andrei Lugov, please. George Gorton here. He what? He is? Okay, thank you.

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[Hangs up phone] [To Team Yeltsin] They said he’s too drunk to talk.

[Dick Dresner] They did not!

[George Gorton] A direct quote. You know, I don’t want to be a party pooper or anything, but this whole thing is starting to smell bad.

[Dick Dresner] That is an understatement.

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[Joe Shumate] Oh, ho, ho. Let’s not panic, okay? I mean, look at this rationally. One, they forked over an awful lot of money to bring us here. Two, so far they have given us the VIP treatment. I mean, for Chrissakes, they even offered us free sex.

[George Gorton] Which we refused.

[Joe Shumate] It was your choice. And three, they take our passports and lock us up in a 5-star prison. Apparently, no one wants us to provide the service they paid us for. How am I doing so far?

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[George Gorton] You’re doing great. If I wasn’t panicking before, I’m panicking now.

[Joe Shumate] It all sounds very kafka-esque, doesn’t it? Ah, c’mon, c’mon, I mean, there’s got to be a logical explanation. I mean, why would they do that?

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[Dick Dresner] Oh, you want an explanation? How about this for a scenario. How about this, okay? One, Lugov gets this great idea: “Let’s hire Americans to save democracy, and of course, his money.” Two, he finds Braynin in Sausalito and says, “Jump!” Three, Braynin says, “How high?” and reaches for the Who’s Who of political consulting. Four, we jump even higher than Felix, because the check clears. And finally, five, Boris and his seven managers, they don’t like Lugov’s idea any more, and so they are trying to figure out a way that they can fuck us up the ass without a stick of butter. How’s that?

[George Gorton] Do you know what this whole thing is starting to remind me of?

[Joe Shumate] Dallas.

[Dick Dresner] ’94.

[George Gorton] That’s right! That’s right.

[Dick Dresner] I’ll tell you what. There’s a Lufthansa at 10:00 p.m. through Frankfurt. All those for getting out of Dodge, say “I.”

[George Gorton] “I”.

[Joe Shumate] No, no. I think we ought to ride this out and see where it goes.

[Dick Dresner] I tell you what. Why don’t you stay here and ride it out and see how it goes and send me a flippin’ postcard when you find out.

***

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[George Gorton] [Angrily packing his suitcase]

[Knock on door]

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[Felix Braynin] George, I hope I’m not waking you. Come along. We have a meeting.

[George Gorton] Thanks for the advance notice, but unless it’s with Yeltsin, I’m not interested.

[Felix Braynin] It is with Yeltsin.

[George Gorton] Let me get the guys.

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[Felix Braynin] George, one American is enough for now.

[Enter Suite on same floor]

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[Felix Braynin] Mr. Gorton, please meet Tatiana Dyachenko.

[George Gorton] Hello. Charmed.

[Felix Braynin] Tatiana is our President’s daughter.

[George Gorton] Oh.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] Um, sit.

[Felix Braynin] Uh, please sit down.

[George Gorton] Sure. Of course.

[Felix Braynin] [Speaking in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] My papa …

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] He really believes in the democratic process. And he truly wants to win. But democracy is so new here, nobody really knows how to do it. And papa, there are so many factions in my papa’s staff. They all give him so much contradictory advice, and he asked me to sort things out. But me, I’m just a mom, I’m just a wife, I really don’t understand politics. I don’t know why he asked me.

[George Gorton] Well, maybe he doesn’t trust anybody else?

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Looking up and smiling at George] [Speaking in Russian]

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] Do you think that papa can win, truthfully?

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[George Gorton] Truthfully? Yes, absolutely. You just got to give us the chance to do our job.

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] Who will tell you what to do?

[George Gorton] You and your leadership committee?

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] And who will tell us what to do?

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[George Gorton] We will. We have a system. It’s called “Election Gaming.”

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] I’m sorry, but I have to go. I have kids, and I’m a wife, and I have to go.

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[George Gorton] Great, I know you’re busy. Everyone’s busy. I mean, you bring us here, you need our help, but nobody wants to listen to what we have to say

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] You’re right. It really is important. Do go on.

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[George Gorton] Really? Well, okay. Well, the system is called “election gaming.” It’s basically like war games, only we use polls and focus groups to simulate an election. We test everything. Every idea the campaign’s using, you’re thinking of using. In a nutshell, we find out what voters want, and we give it to them. I could say much more, but that’s essentially it.

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It’s kind of delicious, but that’s the short of it. That’s it.

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] Mr. Gorton, [Speaking in Russian]

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] You seem like a truthful man, Mr. Gorton. I would like you and your team to consult me and my family personally. You’re hired.

[George Gorton] Good. Good. Good. When can we meet your father?

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in Russian]
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:11 am

Part 3 of 8

***

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[Dick Dresner] [Speaking to Hotel Desk Clerk] Money! Money, right? How much? How much.

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[Yelling] How much is a passport worth on the open market these days?

[Hotel Desk Clerk] Not authorized to do that.

[Dick Dresner] [Mimicking] “Not authorized to do that?”

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[To George who walks up] They are not letting us check out.

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[George Gorton] That’s good. We’re not leaving. We got hired.

***

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[Elvis Impersonator] [Singing] I’ll be so lonely, baby. I’ll be so lonely. I’ll be so lonely, I’ll die.

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[Boris Yeltsin] Don't you be steppin' on these blue suede shoes, Comrade!, by Tara Carreon


Inside Parliament, deputies wasted no time in convening an emergency all-night session.

"We are talking about the beginning of a civil war now," said a breathless Ilya Konstantinov, leader of the ultra-nationalist National Salvation Front.

Rutskoi, a hero of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan who split with Yeltsin last spring, immediately seized the chair on the dais reserved for the president, then took an oath of office and swore to uphold the Soviet-era constitution that Yeltsin wants to replace with a democratic, Western-type model....

Russia's constitutional court, which sided with Yeltsin's foes in earlier confrontations, ruled early Wednesday that the president could be impeached because he had violated the constitution. Specifically, the court said Yeltsin had violated a constitutional amendment passed by the Congress last December which specified that the president would forfeit his office the moment he tried to dissolve Parliament.

In his televised address, Yeltsin said the current cumbersome parliament would be replaced in the December elections by a two-chambered body that would more closely resemble Western legislatures.


-- Power Crisis Rocks Russia: Yeltsin Wins Vital Support Of Military, by James P. Gallagher and Howard Witt


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[Dick Dresner] So what you’re telling us we’re staying because you met Chelsea Clinton?

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[George Gorton] Oh, no, no, no. Tatiana Dyachenko nee Yeltsin. Graduated from Moscow University in Math and computers. She’s married. Two sons.

[Dick Dresner] So we know she can breed. So what?

[George Gorton] No, no, no, Dick. I’m telling you. Tatiana is the real deal. She’s going to be running the campaign. And, she’s going to be running it the way we tell her to run it.

[Joe Shumate] Did you give her the “election gaming” spiel?

[George Gorton] Yes, finally, and she’s into it. I’m telling you.

[Dick Dresner] Okay, okay. So when do we meet Yeltsin?

***

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[Storming the Hotel Desk Clerk] I want my passport! I want my passport, and I want it now!

[George Gorton] Just a second here.

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[Dick Dresner] No “seconds!” No “seconds,” okay? You can’t campaign without a candidate, okay?

It’s like having a dog and pony show without the pony. And without the freakin’ dog!

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[George Gorton] Dick, Dick! Yeltsin can’t meet with us, because he’s got to have “plausible deniability.” He’s the Russian Fucking President, for Christ’s sake. You mention in D.C. that the Chinese or some such were sitting in the Oval Office telling our President what to do.

[Joe Shumate] He’ll be out of the White House before saying, "I like fries with that."

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[George Gorton] That’s right. And think, for us this is the mother of all gigs. If Boris tanks, nobody knows that we steered the sunken ship. But if he wins, we make sure that we get the credit for bringing him back from the abyss. It’s a thing of beauty. And besides, we don’t need Boris. We’ve got Tatiana. And she’s got his ear.

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[Dick Dresner] That’s great. So we can make a purse out of it.

***

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[Men bringing in file cabinets, computers and boxes]

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[Dick Dresner] Look who got an office, huh? We did, that’s who.

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We’re back in the game.

[George Gorton] Ohhhh!

***

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[109 days until election: Yeltsin = 6%; Zyuganov = 31%]

[Meeting of Team Yeltsin with Tatiana, Lisa, Andrei Lugov & Felix Braynin]

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[George Gorton] There are 16 weeks left until June 16. And we’re getting a late start. The campaign, I’m sorry to say, is not perfectly organized. Now, we haven’t done any polling yet, but from the first look of it, the main problem with the campaign itself is that there are too many cooks and only one pot of borscht. Meaning to say, no one person to take responsibility for screw-ups.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] What screw-ups? Be specific.

[Joe Shumate] Apparently, this is one in a series of Yeltsin campaign ads.

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[Worker on TV talking]

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[Felix Braynin] What he’s actually saying is how much his life has improved under Yeltsin.

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[Dick Dresner] Well, the man is obviously a liar and a drunk. How has his life improved? What, is he even drunker now?

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[George Gorton] What Dick is trying to say is that not too many people are going to believe a guy who has obviously been paid to praise the current regime. It’s not nearly as effective, Tatiana, as the candidate himself addressing the public.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] Oh, no! Papa will never appear in a television ad. He will never sell himself like this.

[George Gorton] Ooh!

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[Joe Shumate] Apparently, he doesn’t have any problem doing this! [Holds up a poster]

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] He didn’t pose for that. They just used his photograph. Is it bad?

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[Dick Dresner] No, it’s not bad, if you want a poster for a horror movie.

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[George Gorton] He’s kidding, again. He’s kidding! No, no. It’s just that the shot is grim. Fierce.

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[Andrei Lugov] Stop waltzing around the tree. Are you saying this is hopeless? And you won’t win?

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[George Gorton] No. Certainly not. That’s not what we’re saying at all. What we’re saying is, “Let’s hold our horses.” No more TV spots, no more posters, no more mailings. None of that is working, so we got to find out what would.

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[Dick Dresner] See, it’s impossible to target campaign resources without analyzing all the moods and trends in this country. We need hard facts. We can’t change opinions if we don’t’ know what they are. You’re just going to keep burning through cash.

[George Gorton] That’s right. Exactly, exactly. Let’s find the best pollster in the country and start testing.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

***

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[Team Yeltsin walking out of hotel lobby]

[Andrei Lugov] Soskovets is concerned that Tatiana has no experience running the campaign.

[George Gorton] Really? Well, no experience compared to whom?

[Joe Shumate] Seven campaign managers. Apparently, they are doing a bang-up job.

[Andrei Lugov] I am to be in on all your meetings. I also want to be briefed on the agenda in advance. Is that clear? No exceptions.

***

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[Driving in car]

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[Andrei Lugov] These two will be your bodyguards, okay? So, that means whenever you need to leave the hotel, call downstairs, and they’ll come and get you. You’re not supposed to go anywhere unescorted. You have to stay inconspicuous. No big crowds, no public places, no campaign functions. You also cannot run around Moscow saying, “You work for Yeltsin, blah blah blah.” Okay?

***

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[Going into building with guards with guns moving people out of the way]

[Joe Shumate] Wow, these guys are good at inconspicuous.

[George Gorton] And who exactly are they protecting us from? So far, the scariest thing I’ve seen around here is them.

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[Enter office of Vasso] Vasso, my name is George Gordon. We talked on the phone.

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[Vasso] [Pointing to TV] Do you watch Montecito at home?

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[George Gorton] Uh, not as often as I’d like.

[Vasso] It’s the most popular show here. Most Russians never saw a bikini. I did a poll that confirms it.

[Dick Dresner] Fascinating. So, Vasso, um, how much would it cost us to do a sample poll?

[Vasso] For you? What is your business?

[Joe Shumate] Intervista International. We’re bringing thin-screen TVs to Russia. Obviously, it’s a pretty big investment, so we thought we’d do some general polling and market I.D.

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[Vasso] $60,000 per poll. American dollars.

[Dick Dresner] What, are you nuts? There are three places her who will do it for $40,000.

[Vasso] If you want the best, I’m $60,000.

[George Gorton] Uh hum. It’s a deal.

[Vasso] Do you have a list of questions you want me to ask? I want to take a look.

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[Joe Shumate] Here you go.

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[Vasso] [Reading questions] “What do you think of Yeltsin?”
“Is the President doing a good job?”
“Does Yeltsin care for a person like you?”

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So, thin-screen TVs, huh?

[Joe Shumate] It’s a big investment.

***

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[Vasso] I’m sure you’ve met the “new” Russians. They are men who drive fast cars, wear labels on their underwear, and drink French champagne. These are the real Russians, the kind who work for a living, the kind who don’t get paid.

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We always feed them first. Russians hate to talk on empty stomach.

[Joe Shumate] That’s good to know.

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[Vasso] [Talking to focus group in Russian]

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[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] My first question is, “If Yeltsin were a tree, what kind of a tree would he be?”

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[Dick Dresner] What the hell is he talking about? [Knocks hard against glass and gestures for Vasso to come over] [To Vasso] What happened to our questions?

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[Vasso] I don’t ask your questions. They are too leading. Not scientific.

[Dick Dresner] You’re asking what kind of tree would Yeltsin be, and our questions are not scientific?

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[Joe Shumate] Vasso, no offense, but we’d really appreciate it if you stuck to our questionnaire.

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[Vasso] Uh, no, I would not feel comfortable.

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[Dick Dresner] I tell you what, we paid you a shitload of money, so get comfortable.

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[Vasso] I doubt you sell many TVs, Dick.

[Joe Shumate] He does have a point about the TVs.

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[Vasso] [Speaking to Focus Group in Russian]

[Felix Braynin] [Translating in English] Let me re-phrase the question. What do you think about Yeltsin? Is he doing a good job?

***

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] There must be some mistake.

[Dick Dresner] No, no mistake. The margin for error is 2% tops. Joe.

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[Joe Shumate] “Do you approve of the job Yeltsin is doing?” 8% approve, 59% disapprove.
“Does he care about a person like you?” 10 yes, 85 no.
75% hold him responsible for the bad economy.
69% think he’s corrupt.
70% blame him for the war in Chechnya.

Yeltsin’s destruction of the Supreme Soviet and the creation of a superpresidency destroyed any possibility in Russia of a genuine separation of powers. The first serious consequence was the war in Chechnya. Yeltsin needed a war because since the events of October 1993, he could no longer blame the parliament for his failures. Oleg Lobov, the secretary of Yeltsin’s Security Council, told Sergei Yushenkov, the chairman of the Duma Defense Committee, that a war in Chechnya was coming. “On the telephone,” Yushenkov told the journalists Carlotta Gall and Thomas de Walla, “Lobov used the phrase that: ‘It is not only a question of the integrity of Russia. We need a small, victorious war to raise the President’s ratings.’” [48] A force of volunteers opposed to the separatist regime in Chechnya was assembled by the Russian security services to seize Grozny, the Chechen capital, and set up a puppet government that would request the introduction of Russian troops. But on November 26, 1994, the volunteers were routed by Chechen troops loyal to Djofar Dudayev, the Chechen leader. Yeltsin ordered the Chechens to lay down their arms by December 15. Despite the deadline, the Russian military began air strikes on December 2, and on the 11th, three columns of Russian army units moved into Chechnya.

Democrats, including Gaidar, who had supported Yeltsin’s suppression of the parliament, now found that giving unchecked power to Yeltsin came at a price. He had unilaterally committed the army to a war against Russian citizens on Russia’s own territory.

-- The Less You know, the Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin, by David Satter


And 61% think he’s too incompetent to lead.
50% --

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[George Gorton] Joe, Joe –

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[Joe Shumate] There’s more.

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[Andrei Lugov] So, you say we can’t win.

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[George Gorton] No! Who said that? We didn’t say that. No! Yes, those numbers are sheer agony, those numbers. But, there are a few positives. Like, there’s a big block of “undecideds.” They don’t like Yeltsin, but they might vote for him if the only alternative is a Communist.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Joe Shumate] Many people think Yeltsin was good once. That’s important, because maybe they could think it again.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] He’s good now. He’s trying.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] He is a good man!

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[George Gorton] Your father is a Great Man.

Clinton saw Yeltsin as a significant figure in Russian history, and he tried to convey that at various points. At a meeting in May 1998, Clinton said, “You know, Boris, we really are working with the stuff of history here. I’m convinced that 20 years from now, when the Russian economy is booming, people will look back and say we were right; we did the right things. I just hope you get all the credit you deserve while you’re still around, because you’ve done a terrific job of leading your country during one of the two or three most important moments in Russian history.”12

-- Bill and Boris: A Window Into a Most Important Post-Cold War Relationship
by James Goldgeier: Memorandum of Conversation, “President Boris Yeltsin of Russia,” Birmingham, England, May 17, 1998,
https://clinton.presidentiallibraries.u ... show/57569, 316.


But, you know, that’s a little less relevant right now. Who he is isn’t as important as who people think he is, which is why we have to change his image. Repackage him.

[Lisa] Repackage?

[Felix Braynin] [Explaining “repackage” in Russian]

[Andrei Lugov] [Explaining “repackage” in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] Papa is not a bar of soap.

[Joe Shumate] No.

[George Gorton] I didn’t say he was.

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] But that’s what you meant. I’m not sure I like your Western politics.

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[George Gorton] Well, you’ll like it if we win. And you’ll hate it if we lose. So we’re going to have to win “at all costs.”

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[Felix Braynin] [Explaining “at all costs” in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] I’ll talk to papa about it.

***

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[George Gorton] [Running down the hall in his underwear, knocks on Dick’s door] Dick, rise and shine.

[Knocks on Joe’s door] Joe, drop your cock, grab your sock, we got developments.

[Knocks on Dick’s door again] Dick.

[Dick Dresner] What? What?

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[George Gorton] It must have gone well with poppy. They want us back at the table at 2:00 a.m. to work on his campaign kickoff speech.

[Dick Dresner] What? No. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. We can’t do that. That’s not our job. We don’t know enough about the issues to write a kickoff speech.

[George Gorton] That never stopped us before.

[Dick Dresner] I can’t bullshit in Russian.

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[George Gorton] Joe, where you going? -- where you going? Joe!

[Joe Shumate] I’m going back to bed!

[George Gorton] No. We have an hour.

[Joe Shumate] An hour?! An hour! Well, that’s different. Gee! I thought we were in trouble. An hour. Okay. We give them six bullet points.

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[George Gorton] The good old bullet points standby! Enlighten us, professor!

***

[Meeting]

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[George Gorton] Okay! [Bangs his hand on the table] Uh, the speech is a kickoff, so it needs to be kickass!

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[George Gorton] It’s got to come off as energetic, vigorous, popular. And he needs a message that is top notch.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] Tatiana wants to know why her father needs a massage? To look more vigorous and energetic?

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[Joe Shumate] No, no, no, no, no. Not, not “massage,” “message.” What he actually says.

[George Gorton] [Laughing]

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Felix Braynin] [Explaining difference between “massage” and “message” in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Laughing]

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[Andrei Lugov] [Explaining difference between “massage” and “message” in Russian]

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[Felix Braynin] Message doesn’t exist in Russian. And it’s really hard to translate.

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[Dick Dresner] Well, that explains a lot.

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[George Gorton] [Laughing] Here, here, here. Forget the word! The word isn't important. Let me just show you what we mean. Look at Zyuganov’s nomination speech. Now that’s fiery, that’s contagious, and he’s got things to say: slow down reform, quash the Chechens, da da da da da. The guy may be a Commie, but he’s got a message. That’s what we need.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Dick Dresner] You see, unlike most incumbents, your father can’t run on his past record, because the majority of voters view him as a corrupt bumbler. So he has to instead run on promises, and the shortcomings of the other candidate.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Joe Shumate] Based on our research, the President is spending too much time bickering with other democrats, essentially giving them credibility.

[George Gorton] He should start attacking Zyuganov, and present himself as the main alternative to Zyuganov.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] Attack Zyuganov? What do you mean, “attack”?

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[George Gorton] Not, not physically. Not physical, No, he’s got to “negative campaign” him, with “truth squads,” and TV spots, and soundbites.

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[Lisa] “Truth squads?” Please explain.

[George Gorton] Oh! “Truth squads” are hecklers sent to your opponent’s rallies that challenge and “boo” --

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[Joe Shumate] Did you guys watch the first Clinton campaign? Anyway, they dressed this guy up in a chicken outfit. “Chicken George,” they called him. And basically, “Chicken George” would follow Bush around and heckle him, because he wouldn’t debate.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] But that’s unfair!

[George Gorton] What?! [Looks unbelievingly at his partners] Tatiana, it works.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] And you call this “truth squads”? Papa will not use these kinds of tactics. We may stop arguing with the democrats, but we won’t do a negative campaign. A positive campaign. You said something about running on promises.

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[Andrei Lugov] So, just give us the six bullet points so we can all go to bed.

[Team Yeltsin look at each other]

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[Dick Dresner] What six bullet points?

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[Andrei Lugov] Six or seven. Whatever. Some points that you could address in this speech.

[Dick Dresner] Okay. You know, I think we need to take a quick bathroom break. Two minutes, okay?

[George Gorton] Ladies and gentlemen, I also.

[Joe Shumate] [Keeps sitting down]

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[George Gorton] Joe!

[Joe Shumate] I don’t have to go.

[George Gorton] Now!

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[Joe Shumate] [Laughing] Better safe than sorry!
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:20 am

Part 4 of 8

***

[Team Yeltsin file past gunmen to balcony]

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[Dick Dresner] What the hell was that?

[Joe Shumate] Okay, okay. Let’s recap: (1) we were alone when we talked about the six bullet points; (2) nobody was taking any notes; and (3) the only possible explanation is we’re being bugged.

[Dick Dresner] As usual, I’ve enjoyed these statistical analysis, Joe. Now I’m going to go and pack!

[George Gorton] No! Why? So they are bugging us. So what have we got to hide?

[Dick Dresner] Exactly! Exactly! Why spy on us, right? They are paying us for our ideas.

[Joe Shumate] Dick, they bug everyone here. It’s a tradition. Consider yourself culturally enriched.

[George Gorton] That’s right! That’s right! Except I’m trying to remember: did they overhear anything? Did we say anything bad about Yeltsin?

[Dick Dresner] You know, I think – I think I called him a “putz.”

[George Gorton] You did? Hey! Maybe they don’t know what “putz” means. Maybe we can tell them that in America it means, “Great President.”

***

[They return to meeting]

[George Gorton] Alright, we’re back!

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[Points accusingly but jokingly at Andrei Lugov, who smiles knowingly]

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[Dick Dresner] Now, this kickoff speech has to be different than anything he’s done before. Let’s bring him in through the back of the auditorium where he parts the crowd like the Red Sea.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[George Gorton] And the crowd is going nuts! They are excited! They are pounding him on the back!

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[Joe Shumate] You station your people throughout, you know, to lead the crowd: cheering, jumping up, applauding.

[George Gorton] And he’s moving along, and he’s shaking hands. He’s pressing the flesh.

[Dick Dresner] [Speaking fiercely] He’s like Kennedy! He’s reaching out. He’s squeezing hard. And babies! He’s got to kiss babies. If it’s under three, he’s got to kiss them.

[Joe Shumate] Yeah, on the forehead. For some reason, foreheads are better than cheeks. I don’t know!

[George Gorton] And then he hits the stage, and he’s surrounded by friends and family. Lots of love.

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[Joe Shumate] Love is important.

[George Gorton] And then he’s smiling! And smiling for him is going to be very important. Now, the speech! Short! Maximum 20 minutes.

[Joe Shumate] And he needs to be sober.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Everyone looks nervously at Tatiana]

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[Joe Shumate] 66% think he drinks too much. So --

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] Perhaps we should schedule the speech early in the day.

[Everyone laughing]

[Joe Shumate] Good idea!

***

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[99 days until election. Yeltsin = 6%; Zyuganov = 31%]

[Team Yeltsin watching Yeltsin give his “kickoff speech” on TV]

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[Dick Dresner] They look fucking comatose!

[Joe Shumate] Can you blame them? It’s like watching a corpse!

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[George Gorton] Hush, guys. Shhh! They could be listening!

[Joe Shumate] Ha, ha! Clearly they are not!

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[Pulls lamp towards him like a microphone] Clearly they haven’t heard a fucking word we’ve said.

[Dick Dresner] Look! Look at this! It looks like they’re applauding for letting them be corrupt!

[Joe Shumate] They’re applauding because it’s over 3 hours and 46 minutes! Can you believe that? To have someone talk for 3 hours and 46 minutes! It’s got to be the world’s record of talking.

[George Gorton] [Throws notebook on bed] What happened? What happened?

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[Dialing the phone] For God’s sake, what happened?

[Dick Dresner] We’re so screwed!

***

[Meeting with Team Yeltsin, Tatiana, Lisa, Felix, Andrei]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] Papa’s advisors were against using phony American tricks.

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[George Gorton] Phony – tricks?! Like, what kind of phony tricks? Like smiling is a phony trick?

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] They advised him that smiling would make him seem weak. Russian people want him to be more czar-like.

[George Gorton] According to our polls, the Russian people don’t want him at all.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] But the speech was a success, no? He stressed the six points you suggested.

[George Gorton] No, Tatiana, he didn’t make a single point! I can prove it to you.

***

[Felix Braynin] [Translating into Russian]

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[Vasso] [Speaking to Focus Group in Russian]

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[Joe Shumate] [Pointing to computer screen on other side of window]

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This graph here corresponds to the dials we put in front of each of the participants. They turn to the right and the wave goes up. See? If they see something they don’t like, they turn it to the left and the graph goes down. Got it?

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] Uh hum.

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[They show Focus Group a bunch of slides of Yeltsin doing various activities]

***

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[George Gorton] Sports is good. All of this activity. Everybody likes sports. You see that?

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But look, look at this.

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When he looks mean, they don’t like it, they don’t like it.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Pointing at the TV and speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] They like it, they like it when he smiles.

[George Gorton] [Touching Tatiana’s shoulder] They like it when he smiles. Now here, the speech.

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[Touches Tatiana’s hands] See that? Negative. It’s negative entirely. [Holding Tatian’s hand] All the way through it’s negative.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] You were right. They hated it.

[George Gorton] They hated it. I know. I know.

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking excitedly in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] This is amazing!

[George Gorton] Isn’t it? I know.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking excitedly in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] What do you call this machine?

[George Gorton] [Whispering seductively while he holds her hand] Oh, this is the “perception analyzer.”

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Repeating in English] “Perception analyzer.” [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] It’s like you put your feelings on the screen.

[George Gorton] Yeah, yeah. [As he caresses her shoulder and grabs her hand.]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Clears her throat and moves away from George’s sexual embrace] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] I’ll tell papa to smile more.

[Tatiana & Lisa exit]

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[Dick Dresner] [Grabs George’s arm] What do you want first? A shower or a cigarette?

[Joe Shumate] George, did it occur to you that she is the daughter of the Russian President?

[George Gorton] [Laughing] Really?! Gee, thanks for the info. Here’s something for both of you: you’re assholes, okay? [Goes chasing after Tatiana]

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[To Tatiana] Tatiana, Tatiana. It’s not just the smiling, he’s got to totally drop the whole czar character. No more speeches. More walk, less talk. That’s my motto. What he needs is photo ops. Like, maybe he should plant some trees.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] Trees?! [Laughing] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] But why trees?

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[George Gorton] Well, in Russia people like trees, don’t they? You know, it shows he can roll his sleeves up, dig in and, you know, he cares about the environment, he’s not afraid to get dirty, and that he likes being out amongst the people.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] Papa doesn’t like to be out among people. He’s afraid of being “booed.”

[George Gorton] Afraid of being “booed?” Oh! Well, that’s fine. You just get advance men to make sure there are more people cheering than booing. They crowd out those “boos.”

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] “Advance men?”

[Lisa] [Translating in English] Please explain “Advance men.”

[George Gorton] [Fawning all over Tatiana] “Advance men.” Okay!

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“Advance men” go everywhere your father goes, but they go there first.

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Like say he goes out to a public place, like a park or a factory.

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The “Advance Men” make sure the locals get a paid day off and a Yeltsin poster in their hands.

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They gather a crowd up, and they show them where to stand, and teach them how to spontaneously make big cheers and wave and all.

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And they get some local kids or if they’re lucky a school band. And, you know, make it exciting.

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Now for the tree, for instance, “Advance Men” they pick the right tree for him, and not too big that he can’t lift it, and not too many branches so that they cover his face. You know, they dig the right hole for him. Pick that perfect tree. Etcetera, etcetera.

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So anyway, their main job of course is to be completely inconspicuous, to make it look an unrehearsed and planned. They have to make it look largely as if they are not there. “Advance Men.”

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[Lisa] [Nods her head “yes.”]

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***

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[Elvis Impersonator] [Singing] All my love I will give to you. Lovely, sweet and tender, I repeat, darling, I love you.

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[Team Yeltsin in the bar watching Yeltsin planting a tree on TV]

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[George Gorton] Here we go! Ahhh!

[Joe Shumate] He did it!

[George Gorton] The Yankees say, “Plant a tree,” and bingo, the ruler of the Russian Empire plants a tree.

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[Joe Shumate] [Making a toast with a glass of liquor] This particular Bronx bomber is tickled pink! Congrats, Comrades!

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[George Gorton] Dick. Comrade.

[Dick Dresner] Grats!

[Everyone clinks glasses together]

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[George Gorton] What do you think, Dick? Does this make up for not writing the State of the Union? [Makes nose-tap gesture and points to Dick]

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[Dick Dresner] [Returns nose-tap gesture and points to George] No, not really? But it’s pretty damn close.

***

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[96 days until election. Yeltsin = 9%, Zyuganov = 28%]

[George Gorton] [Comes barging into office where Lisa and Tatiana are talking] Oh! Up three points overnight! He should plant more trees!

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] More trees? You want him to plant a tree every day?

[George Gorton] Yes, yes. More than one if you can. If it’s not, plant it, plant it.

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[Reaches to embrace Tatiana, but stops short. They shake hands instead.]

***

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[Team Yeltsin looking over balcony, and watching people move in boxes, filing cabinets]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] Many top campaign people are moving here to the 10th floor below us. They are turning them into campaign offices.

[Joe Shumate] Don’t they trust us?

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] Oh, no! [Speaking in Russian]

[Lisa] [Translating in English] As we say, “success is contagious.” Everyone wants to be close to us.

[George Gorton] As we say, set a meeting.

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[Andrei Lugov] No! No! No meetings! No meetings! It’s too risky! The more people you meet close to the President, the more we create risks of leaks.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] From now on, all your ideas must be in writing for the people downstairs.

[Andrei Lugov] But – but, the memos have to be sent, addressed from us to you. No leaks, no leaks! Secured. Felix!

[Tatiana, Lisa, Andrei and Felix leave]

***

[Meeting]

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[George Gorton] [Slides paper towards Tatiana] From us to you.

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Uh, basically, the overwhelming majority, do not want to see your mother out campaigning. The Raisa Gorbachev PR disaster, Hillary-No-Great-Shakes-Here-Either. What the numbers do here suggest is that they’d like to see her involved in charity work.

***

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[George Gorton] [Jogging up and down hallway]

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[Dick Dresner] Do you believe in God?

[George Gorton] It depends. Why?

[Dick Dresner] You better start. Church is testing super high. Higher than showbiz or intelligentsia.

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[George Gorton] Let’s recommend the endorsement from "Him" to "Them."

***

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[Aleksy II, patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Boris Yeltsin]

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[Samutsevich Yekaterina Stanislavovna] We decided that on February 21st,

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we’d go to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
This is Putin’s territory. It’s his symbol.
Religion has been captured by Putin.
From that very ground
the Patriarch Kirill exhorted his parish to vote for Putin.

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[Tolokonnikova Nadezhda Andreevna] People go to them to cleanse their souls,
to talk about something intimate and personal,
while they offer them some political agenda.
They impose it, which is not decent towards the Christians.

-- Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials, produced, written and directed by Evgeny Mitta


***

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[Team Yeltsin in a "traffic jam"]

Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. "“I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression,” said Mark, who was fond of theatrical metaphors". Synonyms: figure of speech, image, trope, analogy, comparison, symbol, word painting/picture.


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[Felix Braynin] What’s holding us up? What’s the delay?

[Braynin’s Bodyguard] It’s a mafia hit. Head of big television station. Shot in the head in the middle of the street. His body is just lying there. Blood all over.

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[George Gorton] Really?
[dials a number on his cellphone]
Joe! When was the last time we did a “From us to you” on the mafia? Yes, we’re still against it! Boris should take the strongest possible stand. How do I tell Tatiana there’s a big job opening at a TV station. Maybe she could pull some strings and get somebody who supports Boris. Yeah. Okay.

Me, a gangster? Berezovsky is quick to take the moral high ground. "The Western press portrays Russia unfairly," he says. "Russian business is not synonymous with the Mafia."; But isn't the government powerless to bring any of the thousands of mobsters to justice? Oh, yes, says Berezovsky, but don't blame him. "In the government," he says, "there are many people who are criminals themselves."

Berezovsky should know. He stands close to political power. He organized Russia's most powerful bankers in support of President Yeltsin's presidential campaign earlier this year. "It is no secret that Russian businessmen played the decisive role in President Yeltsin's victory," says Berezovsky. "It was a battle for our blood interests."

Berezovsky and friends did whatever was necessary to prevent the Communists from gaining a victory. The Yeltsin campaign is facing allegations of massive financing violations. Legally, each party's campaign was limited to $3 million. The Yeltsin campaign is estimated to have spent at least $140 million.

As in the U.S., most people in Russia who give big money to political campaigns hope for favors. The difference is that in Russia the payoff is often very direct. After Yeltsin's reelection Berezovsky was appointed deputy secretary of the National Security Council, the body responsible for coordinating military and law enforcement policy.


***

Two years ago Vladislav Listiev was Russia's most popular talk show host and its most successful TV producer. Listiev had recently persuaded the government to privatize Channel 1, Russia's biggest nationwide TV network. In early 1995 Listiev was named head of the reorganized company, now known as ORT (Russian Public Television).

The government kept 51% of ORT; a group of well-connected businessmen got the rest. Leading the businessmen was Berezovsky, who acquired 16% of the stock for a mere $320,000.

Listiev had no intention of being a figurehead. He decided to clean up the network's unsavory connections. His main target was Sergei Lisovsky, a 36-year-old advertising man who made his first fortune from a chain of Moscow discotheques. These glittering dives were known as good places to procure drugs. They were a haunt of Russia's crime bosses.


From discos, Lisovsky moved into advertising. To buy time on any of the top five Russian TV channels you must go through Lisovsky or an allied company. Here, as in cars and airline tickets, the middleman seems to have captured the float. This year advertisers will pay about $80 million to buy time on ORT. The money goes first to the media sales company, which then pays the network. But companies like Lisovsky's Premier SV were keeping most of the money while government subsidies (some $250 million) were keeping the TV network operating.

Why is organized crime so powerful? "In the government there are many people who are criminals themselves," says Berezovsky.

Lisovsky's business has been connected with some unsavory characters. One of Premier SV's founding shareholders, Sergei Antonov, has been arrested by the Moscow police on racketeering charges. The chief financial officer of Premier SV, according to police investigations, is Alexander Averin. Known in the underworld as "Avera Junior," Averin is important for his family connections--his older brother, Viktor, is the right-hand man of "Mikhas," a former hotel waiter, now boss of the notorious Solntsevo Gang; Mikhas was recently arrested on money laundering charges in Switzerland.

This was the crowd that Vladislav Listiev, the TV producer, decided to take on.

On Feb. 20, 1995 Listiev announced that he was breaking Lisovsky's advertising monopoly and instituting a temporary moratorium on advertising until ORT could work out new "ethical standards."

"I knew he would be killed--the people he was dealing with were totally criminal," says one close friend of Listiev's. Two weeks later Listiev was gunned down by professional assassins at the entrance to his apartment building. FORBES has obtained documents on the case from the organized crime unit of the Moscow police department.

According to these documents, Listiev knew that he was a marked man. He knew law enforcement authorities in Russia are powerless against the kind of opposition he faced. So Listiev gathered a group of his closest friends and explained the reason he might be killed.

This is the tale he told them.

When Listiev announced that he would be ending the advertising monopoly, Lisovsky demanded $100 million in damages. Listiev found a European company (name undisclosed) willing to buy the ORT advertising franchise. Listiev asked Boris Berezovsky to act as transfer agent and hand over the $100 million to Lisovsky. Berezovsky took the cash and stalled Lisovsky; he would get his money in three months, Berezovsky explained.

Thus the reforming Listiev was caught between two ruthless characters. He paid with his life.

Now Berezovsky effectively controls ORT with 36% of the network's voting stock, and Lisovsky is again the sole agent for its advertising.
In June Sergei Lisovsky was caught by security guards as he was coming out of Russian government headquarters with $500,000 stuffed into a cardboard box. The matter is still "being investigated."

The public outcry over Listiev's death was immense. Thousands of mourners showed up at his funeral. But the subsequent investigation was a tragic farce. Lisovsky's and Berezovsky's offices were searched by the police immediately after the murder.

Five months later the federal prosecutor's office announced that it had closed the Listiev case, and identified the names of both the people who ordered the killing and those who had carried it out. The very next day the prosecutor's office recanted, saying that the investigation was continuing. Two months later the prosecutor-general was fired and thrown in jail on charges of corruption.

Berezovsky denies that he had anything to do with Listiev's killing. He blames unnamed advertising and production companies that were being hurt by Listiev's reorganization of the network.

-- Godfather of the Kremlin? The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism and Boris Berezovsky and the looting of Russia, by Paul Klebnikov


By 1994, Berezovsky had secured control of ORT, the largest TV station in Russia at the time, and he installed Badri as First Deputy General Director. Badri and Berezovsky then use the station's influence to assist Boris Yeltsin to victory in the 1996 presidential election....

[11 years later, in Georgia, where Badri fled to avoid prosecution in Russia], as Badri lost favour with Saakashvili's government in 2007, numerous allegations of corruption were made against him. He was impeached as president of the Georgian National Olympic Committee, and also quit as a president of the Georgian Business Federation. Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV, a channel controlled by Saakashvili's government, linked his name with several notorious murders in Russia and Georgia, including the assassination of Vlad Listyev [Listiev].

-- Badri Patarkatsishvili, by Wikipedia


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[Felix Braynin] Tragic, isn’t it, these people? They fought in World War II, they worked so hard all their lives, and now look at them. They are forced to sell their war medals to survive.

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[George Gorton] It is tragic. We’ve got to do something for these people.

[Felix Braynin] Yeah, we should.

***

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[Joe Shumate] There’s not much you can do. Those 60+ have every reason to go Commie. Their life-savings have been wiped out by inflation, their pensions are worthless, if they get them. And to tell you the truth, they are not really equipped to cope with capitalism. I mean, there’s not a lot that we can say to change any of that.

[George Gorton] Yes, except that maybe Yeltsin and his reforms will –

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[barging into Joe’s room and turning off his cellphone] be good for their children.

[Joe Shumate] That’s good, that’s good. We should test that: “Vote Yeltsin for the sake of your children.” I’m going to call Vasso.

***

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[Workmen putting up new sign on building wall: VOTE YELTSIN: For the sake of your children]

***

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[April 1, 1996. 87 days until election. Yeltsin = 12%, Zyuganov = 24%]

[George Gorton] [Receiving fax] Oh! Brother Joe, brother Dick. We’re seeing double digits, baby.

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[Joe Shumate] I guess that puts us on top of the democrat pile.

[George Gorton] Poor old Zhirinovsky’s going to have to put off his invasion of Alaska.

[Dick Dresner] It doesn’t hurt that the Russkie press did a complete U-turn. When we first got here, we couldn’t find a positive story on Boris. Now we can’t find a negative one.

[Joe Shumate] They could see the numbers. Yeltsin’s the only one who can beat Zyuganov, and believe me, they know which side their bread is buttered on. If the Communists win, their little tryst with the freedom of the press is kaput.

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[George Gorton] Man, what a way to run a campaign with the Press in your pocket! Are we good, or are we good?

[Dick Dresner] I say, we are very good.

[Joe Shumate] Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the unlimited resources of Don Lugov. [Makes a toast] Salud!

[Everyone downs a drink]

[Joe Shumate] [Gestures quiet and to go out on the balcony away from the bugs]

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Here’s the deal. I’ve been tracking this Russian company Lukoil. On Wall Street, it’s 24 a share which is way, way under value, because everyone is jittery about the election. You see, if Boris loses, the Communists de-privatize the oil industry, and Lukoil is dead. But if he wins, [whistles and gestures upward].

[Dick Dresner] How much?

[Joe Shumate] A modest estimate: the stock quadruples in the first week.

[George Gorton] Oh, baby!

[Joe Shumate] So, anybody calling their brokers?

[Dick Dresner] What, are you nuts? Fuck, no!

[Joe Shumate] Yeah. Just thought I’d mention it.

Privatization

The essence of economic restructuring, and a critical consideration for foreign loans and investment in Russia's economy, is the privatization program. In most respects, between 1992 and 1995 Russia kept pace with or exceeded the rate established in the original privatization program of October 1991. As deputy prime minister for economic policy, the reformist Chubays was an effective advocate of privatization during its important early stages. In 1992 privatization of small enterprises began through employee buyouts and public auctions. By the end of 1993, more than 85 percent of Russian small enterprises and more than 82,000 Russian state enterprises, or about one-third of the total in existence, had been privatized.

On October 1, 1992, vouchers, each with a nominal value of 10,000 rubles (about US$63), were distributed to 144 million Russian citizens for purchase of shares in medium-sized and large enterprises that officials had designated and reorganized for this type of privatization. However, voucher holders also could sell the vouchers, whose cash value varied according to the economic and political conditions in the country, or they could invest them in voucher funds.

By the end of June 1994, the voucher privatization program had completed its first phase. It succeeded in transferring ownership of 70 percent of Russia's large and medium-sized enterprises to private hands and in privatizing about 90 percent of small enterprises. By that time, 96 percent of the vouchers issued in 1992 had been used by their owners to buy shares in firms directly, invest in investment funds, or sell on the secondary markets. According to the organizers of the voucher system, some 14,000 firms employing about two-thirds of the industrial labor force had moved into private hands.

The next phase of the privatization program called for direct cash sales of shares in remaining state enterprises. That phase would complete the transfer of state enterprises and would add to government revenues. After that procedure met stiff opposition in the State Duma, Yeltsin implemented it by decree in July 1994. But the president's commitment to privatization soon came into question. In response to the monetary crisis of October 1994, Yeltsin removed Chubays from his position as head of the State Committee for the Management of State Property, replacing him with little-known official Vladimir Polevanov. Polevanov stunned Russian and Western privatization advocates by suggesting renationalization of some critical enterprises. Yeltsin reacted by replacing Polevanov with Petr Mostovoy, a Chubays ally. In the ensuing eighteen months, Yeltsin made two more changes in the chairmanship position.

In 1995 and 1996, political conditions continued to hamper the privatization program, and corruption scandals tarnished the program's public image. By 1995 privatization had gained a negative reputation with ordinary Russians, who coined the slang word prikhvatizatsiya, a combination of the Russian word for "grab" and the Russianized English word "privatize," producing the equivalent of "grabification." The term reflects the belief that the privatization process most often shifted control of enterprises from state agencies to groups of individuals with inside connections in the Government, the mafiya [mafia], or both. Distrust of the privatization process was part of an increasing public cynicism about the country's political and economic leaders, fueled by the seeming failure of Yeltsin's highly touted reform to improve the lot of the average Russian (see Social Stratification, ch. 5).

The second phase of the privatization program went ahead with the sale of state-held shares for cash. Although the process was virtually complete by the end of the first quarter of 1996, the Government failed to garner expected revenues. Meanwhile, Yeltsin's June 1996 bid for reelection brought a virtual halt in privatization of state enterprises during the campaign period. In February 1996, the Procuracy announced a full-scale investigation into privatization practices, in particular a 1995 transaction in which state banks awarded loans to state firms in return for "privatization" shares in those enterprises (see The Procuracy, ch. 10). This loans-for-shares type of transaction characterized the second phase of privatization; banks provided the government badly needed cash based on the collateral of enterprise shares that banks presumably would be able to sell later. But most of the twenty-nine state enterprises originally slated to participate withdrew, and the banks that received shares appeared to have a conflict of interest based on their role in setting the rules of the bidding procedure. In the most widely publicized deal, the Uneximbank of Moscow received a 38 percent interest in the giant Noril'sk Nickel Joint-Stock Company at about half of a competing bid. Other banks and commercial organizations joined the traditional opponents of privatization in attacking the loans-for-shares program, and in 1996 the Government admitted that the program had been handled badly. As a result of corruption allegations, the State Duma formed a committee to review the privatization program. And Prime Minister Chernomyrdin requested off-budget funds to buy back shares from the banks.

Because the faults of the Yeltsin privatization program were an important plank in the 1996 presidential election platform of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (Kommunisticheskaya partiya Rossiyskoy Federatsii--KPRF), the strongest opposition party, Yeltsin's campaign strategy was to reduce privatization as far as possible as a campaign issue (see The Executive Branch, ch. 7). Part of that strategy was to shift the privatization process from Moscow to the regions. In February 1996, a presidential decree simply granted shares in about 6,000 state-controlled firms to regional governments, which could auction the shares and keep the profits.

After Yeltsin's reelection in July 1996, his financial representatives announced continuation of the privatization program, with a new focus on selling ten to fifteen large state enterprises, including the joint-stock company of the Unified Electric Power System of Russia (YeES Rossii), the Russian State Insurance Company (Rosgosstrakh), and the St. Petersburg Maritime Port. The Communications Investment Joint-Stock Company (Svyazinvest), sale of which had failed in 1995, was to be offered to Western telecommunications companies in 1996.

The new, postelection privatization stage also was to reduce the role of enterprise workers in shareholding. Within the first years of such ownership, most worker shares had been sold at depressed prices, devaluing all shares and cutting state profits from enterprise sales. Therefore, to reach the budget target of 12.4 trillion rubles (about US$2.4 billion) of profit from privatization sales in 1996, distribution was to target recipients who would hold shares rather than sell them immediately.


-- Russia: A Country Study, by Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, edited by Glenn E. Curtis
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:20 am

Part 5 of 8

***

[Two weeks later]

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[Joe Shumate] Now this is fun. We are staring at the virtual corpse of Communism.

[Dick Dresner] Communism is alive and well, kicking our butts at the poll. Papa’s talked out. The Commies haven’t given up any ground. Fucking none.

[Joe Shumate] It would help if Tatiana would let us go negative, George.

[Dick Dresner] Well, if she could convince that putz to do some TV ads.

[George Gorton] It’s not going to happen. I’ve talked to her a bazillion times.

[Joe Shumate] I’ve met 12-year-old children who are less naïve than her.

[George Gorton] She’s not naïve, she’s an idealist.

[Dick Dresner] Trust me, whatever she is, I just hope we can change it.

[Joe Shumate] You know what I’m thinking? This might be a good time for you to call your pal, Morris.

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[Dick Dresner] What? Are you nuts? What for?

[Joe Shumate] Tatiana is never going to convince Papa. We’ve got to get to him somehow. Who’s the most influential guy you know?

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[George Gorton] That’s a great idea, Joe! I see where you’re going.

[Dick Dresner] I’m not calling Morris for any favors.

[George Gorton] Favors? No, no, no. You’d be doing him a great big favor. If Russia suddenly goes Red in June, his guy’s dead in the water come November.

[Dick Dresner] [Shaking his head no.]

[George Gorton] What? What?

[Joe Shumate] Come on, Dick. You know Morris owes you.

***

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[White House, Dick Morris’s Secretary] Mr. Morris, Dick Dresner on line 2.

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[Dick Morris] Dick, good to hear from you, buddy. How’s the weather in Moscow?

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[Dick Dresner] You know where I am?

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[Dick Morris] Yeah! I got me a magic mirror. Listen, Bill thinks it’s extra-bitchin’ you’re there doing what you’re doing.

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[Dick Dresner] He does? Well, how would he feel about making a long-distance call to lend a gentle, guiding hand to Boris as he takes his first steps towards democracy?

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader's political allies.

"What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?" a concerned Clinton asked.

[President Bill Clinton] What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?

[President Boris Yeltsin] That would be good. Those regional leaders who were supporting the opposition are now changing their support to us. But nonetheless, this kind of regional support would be very useful.

[President Bill Clinton] I will have my people follow up with yours on that issue.


Kevin Rothrock
@KevinRothrock
Here's Bill Clinton in 1993 offering to help Boris Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by earmarking some foreign aid for opposition-leaning regions.
10:52 AM - Aug 30, 2018


Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that "this kind of regional support would be very useful." Clinton then promised to have "his people" follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: "Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion," he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could "use his influence" to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

[President Boris Yeltsin] Thank you, Bill. I intend to take a risk and fly down to Chechnya. I will try to have all three parties at the negotiating table. When I say all three parties, the troika, I mean the Chechen government, the field commanders -- since there is no Dudayev and no successor now -- and the Federal government, that is, the Chernomyrdin state commission. I hope they'll be sitting at the table by the time I leave. Hassan might be of great help.

[President Bill Clinton] That is a very courageous decision. Everyone will see you are trying to bring about peace and restrain the military action. That's good. If there is anything else I can do, let me know. I'm ready.

[President Boris Yeltsin] Okay. Thank you for your help with the Hassan II, and if anything else can be done, I'll tell you.

And I have another question, Bill. Please understand me correctly. Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion.


Emily Tamkin
@emilyctamkin
Replying to @emilyctamkin
To think that, while I was getting ready to graduate kindergarten, Yeltsin was asking Clinton for a 2.5 billion loan for his election.
8:49 AM - Aug 30, 2018


[President Boris Yeltsin] Bill, thank you. Thank you very much for your comments. One thing I wanted to ask has to do with the IMF loan in the amount of nine billion dollars [$9 billion]. I will be meeting Camdessus here and would like to ask you to use your influence to perhaps add a little, from nine to 13 billion dollars -- to deal with social problems in this very important pre-election situation and help the people.

[President Bill Clinton] I support concluding a new agreement. I'll see what can be possible; I will do some work on it.


Kevin Rothrock
@KevinRothrock
Here's Boris Yeltsin in February 1996 asking Bill Clinton to “use his influence” to add a few billion dollars to an IMF loan to help Yeltsin during his reelection campaign.
11:12 AM - Aug 30, 2018


-- 'Smart' Putin & election loans: 5 must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges released, by Russia Today


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[Dick Morris] I think he’d be tickled pink! I’ll tell him whatever you want. You give me the laundry list, and I’ll fluff and fold.

Although Bush did not develop a close relationship with Yeltsin, his successor as president of the United States, Bill Clinton did. Wilsonian ideals infused President Clinton’s thinking about Russia. In an address devoted to U.S.-Russia relations on the eve of his first trip abroad as president to meet Yeltsin in Vancouver in April 1993, Clinton argued:

Think of it – land wars in Europe cost hundreds of thousands of American lives in the twentieth century. The rise of a democratic Russia, satisfied within its own boundaries, bordered by other peaceful democracies, could ensure that our nation never needs to pay that kind of price again. I know and you know that, ultimately, the history of Russia will be written by Russians and the future of Russia must be charted by Russians. But I would argue that we must do what we can and we must act now. Not out of charity, but because it is a wise investment … While our efforts will entail new costs, we can reap even larger dividends for our safety and our prosperity if we act now. [93]


During his first meeting with Yeltsin as president at the Vancouver summit, Clinton not only pledged financial support for the Yeltsin government in Russia but openly endorsed the Russian president as America’s horse in the show-down between the president and parliament, saying to Yeltsin in front of the press, “Mr. President, our nation will not stand on the sidelines when it comes to democracy in Russia. We know where we stand…. We actively support reform and reformers and you in Russia.” [94] When the conflict with parliament escalated into violence in October 1993, Clinton yet again defended Yeltsin’s use of military force and demonized the parliament as antireformist communists. In his first public reaction to Yeltsin’s dissolution of parliament, Clinton affirmed, “I support him fully.” [95] Clinton officials said Yeltsin’s precarious hold on power was a reason for the U.S. Congress to support with even greater speed the administration’s $2.5 billion aid package for the region. U.S. officials subsequently praised the new constitution ratified by popular referendum in December 1993.

After his victory in the October confrontation, Yeltsin presented the country with a new draft constitution that gave the president near-dictatorial powers. Under the proposed constitution, the Supreme Soviet would be replaced with a smaller body, the State Duma, which would have virtually no control over the executive branch. The president would have the power to appoint without interference all ministers except the prime minister, who would have to be confirmed by the Duma. If the Duma rejected three of his candidates for prime minister, the president would be able to dissolve the Duma. The president would have control over the budget and appoint the director of the Central Bank and the justices of the Constitutional Court. Removing the president would require a two-thirds majority of the parliament as well as approval by the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. Laws would be passed by the Duma, but they could be vetoed by the president, and the veto could be overridden only by a two-thirds vote of the Duma, a near impossibility in a parliament expected to contain numerous factions.

The draft constitution was put to a vote simultaneously with elections to the new parliament on December 12, 1993, only a month after the publication of the text. In the referendum, 54.4 percent of eligible voters were said to have participated, with 58.4 percent voting for and 41.6 percent against the new constitution. [44] The constitution was thus supported by about 30 percent of the electorate. Technically this was enough: Yeltsin had established a rule whereby only 25 percent of eligible voters had to vote yes for the constitution to become law. [45] There were immediate suspicions, however, that the approval was fraudulent. Particular concern was focused on the appearance of nearly nine million unexplained ballots. [46] An independent analysis by Alexander Sobyanin of the pro-government Russia’s Choice Party showed that only 46.1 percent of the electorate had voted, not the 54.4 percent the government claimed, in which case the turnout was 3.9 percent short of the required minimum. The presidential team never explained the origin of the extra ballots and ignored all demands for an investigation. It is highly likely that the 1993 Constitution was never approved by the population. [47]

-- The Less You know, the Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin, by David Satter


Democracy, Financial and Technical Assistance

The rhetorical devotion to democracy’s advance especially during the Clinton administration was not matched by actual deeds, however. Facilitating economic reform, not democratic transition, became the real focus of Clinton’s aid to Russia after the Soviet collapse. Beginning with a first meeting on February 6, 1993, a senior group in the new administration met for three months to devise an overall strategy toward Russia and the other newly independent states. [96]

At this early stage, officials at the Treasury Department (including Larry Summers and David Lipton) and on the National Security Council (NSC) staff had different priorities, and despite the lead of Clinton’s special ambassador at large to the former Soviet states Strobe Talbott in these talks, the State Department was relatively less important in this area, primarily because Talbott by all accounts (including his own) had little expertise in economic matters. During his tenure, he focused primarily on traditionally defined strategic issues in the U.S.-Russian relationship, which had been the subject of many of the books he had written earlier in his career. Many former Clinton officials reported that Talbott was not engaged in the technical issues of privatization, stabilization, or social policy reform. [97]

In retrospect, the former acting prime minister of Russia in 1992, Yegor Gaidar, believed that the absence of a major political figure behind the aid effort had negative consequences. “I don’t think that the leaders of the major Western powers were unaware of the magnitude of the choices they faced. The trouble, in my view, was that there was no leader capable of filling the sort of organizing and coordinating role that Harry Truman and George C. Marshall played in the post war restoration of Europe.” [98]

In the early years, Summers and Lipton provided the intellectual guiding principles for assistance to Russia in the Clinton administration. They prevailed in large part because they had a plan for reform, a theory behind it, and a clear idea of the tools needed to implement it. These two Treasury officials believed in the imperative of sequencing economic reform ahead of political reform. As Lipton recalls, “Our view was that America should make clear its support for reform in Russia. We thought that U.S. support for reform in Russia with Yeltsin, with the elites, with the public would be helpful to people who wanted to carry out reform.” [99] The thinking was that if Russia could not stabilize its economy, then democracy would have no chance.

After the failed putsch in August 1991 and the dissolution of the USSR in December of that year, there was a consensus within the Russian government that Yeltsin had a popular mandate to initiate radical economic reform. It is not surprising that Yeltsin’s supporters within the United States endorsed this idea as well. Finally, Russian economic reformers believed that they had a finite reserve of time before trust in Yeltsin and support for reform would wane. Driven by this perceived time constraint, Russia’s reformers wanted to transform the economy as fast as possible to make reforms irreversible before they were forced out of office. Their American counterparts, particularly in the Treasury Department, shared their view.

The budgets to support economic versus political reform reflected these priorities. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which focused almost exclusively on economic reform, played the central role in aiding Russia in the beginning of the 1990s and throughout the decade. [100] U.S. bilateral assistance – the package of aid handled directly by the U.S. government and not by the multilateral financial institutions – also reflected the “economics first” strategy. Of the $5.45 billion in direct U.S. assistance to Russia between 1992 and 1998, only $130 million or 2.3 percent was devoted to programs involved directly in democratic reform. [101] When U.S. government expenditures channeled through the Department of Commerce, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency are added to the equation, the primacy of economic reform becomes even more clear.

There were no officials working on democratization to serve as counterparts to the Clinton officials in the Treasury engaged in assisting with Russian economic reform. Instead, the job of promoting democracy was delegated to lower-level officials working primarily at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Clinton never made democracy a top issue in U.S.-Russian relations. The United States and Russia had established joint commissions on defense conversion, the environment, and trade at the 1993 Vancouver summit but did not create a similar working group for political reform.

Given the strong rhetoric from senior U.S. officials about the importance of Russian democracy, the relatively small amount of aid for democracy and rule of law assistance is curious. It may be that democracy promotion was deemed too politically sensitive and might imperil progress in the area of economic reform. Another argument is that democracy assistance did not need as much money because this kind of aid was cheaper to provide than economic assistance. As Brian Atwood explains, “Democracy programs don’t cost that much money. Even if it’s a case of running a successful election, you may spend 15-20 million dollars on the mechanical equipment and ballots: that’s not a lot of money.” [102]

USAID did join with the National Endowment for Democracy to fund the operations of the International Republic Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and the Free Trade Union Institute (funded by the AFL-CIO) in Russia. USAID also supported democratic assistance programs run by ABA-CEELI, ARDO-Checchi, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Internews, the Eurasia Foundation, and a host of other nongovernmental organizations (NGOsd). [103] These groups focused on fostering the development of political parties, business associations, trade unions, and civic organizations, as well as promoting electoral reform, the rule of law, and an independent press. Their budgets were only shadows of the amounts spent on economic and technical assistance. NGOs, though, did help introduce Russian politicians to the effects of different types of voting systems. For instance, in 1992 NDI convened a series of working-group meetings on the relationship between electoral systems and parties, which included electoral experts on the American single-mandate system as well as the Portuguese, German, and Hungarian electoral regimes. [104] NDI also translated into Russian electoral laws from several countries. All of Russia’s key decision makers on the electoral law at the time and senior officials from Yeltsin’s presidential administration participated in these meetings. Facilitated by Western actors, the Western idea of proportional representation was brought to Russia and incorporated into law.

-- Transitions to Democracy: A Comparative Perspective, by Kathryn Stoner, with Michael McFaul


***

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[Team Yeltsin riding in limo]

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[Dick Dresner] They knew we were here. How the hell did they know?

[George Gorton] You know, sure they knew. We were dumb to think they wouldn’t.

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[Joe Shumate] When Felix said, “We were highly recommended,” how high do you think he meant?

***

[Lisa shows George into Tatiana’s presence] Please sit.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] Papa said “yes.” He will do the television ads. I don’t know why he changed his mind! He was so against it.

***

[George Gorton] [Dictating in his underwear] Let’s film Yeltsin for a couple of hours at a time over the course of like seven days. Um, make sure he’s well-rested, lots of rehearsal. We just need five-second soundbites. Um, you know, he should be walking, walking, you know, through a crowd, through the woods, or dancing. Maybe he’s dancing on a stage.

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[Yeltsin on TV dancing, holding up babies, meeting generals, speaking to crowds, shaking children's hands, smiling]

***

[Phone rings early morning in George’s room]

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[George Gorton] Hello.

[Dylan, CIA Man] Hey, you guys are good, you know. Really good.

[George Gorton] Who is this?

[Dylan, CIA Man] My name is Dylan, and I’m calling from Virginia. Do you have a minute? We could talk. It won’t take long.

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[George Gorton] Well, gee, I’m sorry. This isn’t the best time to talk, or place.

[Dylan, CIA Man] Understood. We just want to let you know that everyone at The Company is rooting for you and your team. But we are, however, concerned about the “loss scenario.” Per our sources, Zyuganov has come up with a secret maximum plan he’ll implement if he wins. Now, we don’t know what it is exactly, but it can’t possibly be good for us. So good luck, and keep up the good work, and we’ll be watching. [Hangs up]

***

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[Elvis Impersonator] [Singing] Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll see you later. Thank you very much.

[Team Yeltsin at the bar]

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[Dick Dresner] CI-Fucking-A. Is there anybody who doesn’t know we’re here?

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[George Gorton] I’m telling you, when I realized who it was, you know, I had a heart attack! You know, if they overhear that, they think we’re spies.

[Dick Dresner] “We’ll be watching you”. What does that mean? How? How? Watching what?

[Joe Shumate] It’s just the way spooks talk. What’s this “secret maximum plan” deal? How come we never heard about that?

[Dick Dresner] It wouldn’t be a secret if we had heard about it.

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[Elvis Impersonator has come up to the bar] I heard about it. Give me a drink and I’ll tell you.

[Dick Dresner] [Scoots bottle and glass to him] Help yourself.

***

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[George Gorton on balcony, dictating into his machine] A drunk Elvis impersonator told us about Zyuganov’s “secret maximum plan.” In a nutshell, the pinkos want to take the country back to the Dark Ages. Old USSR borders, re-nationalize the economy, and a vigorous prosecution of the Reformists.

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Of course, it’s just a rumor, but Russians are pretty paranoid if it leaks. Zyuganov may lose a vote or two. So we’ve got to leak it like crazy, of course.

THE CRITERIA OF A SUCCESSFUL RUMOR

The creation of a successful propaganda rumor is more an accomplishment of art than of science. Despite this concession to the intangible character of the good rumor, the following rules are submitted as tentative criteria of the successful story. These rules are neither mutually exclusive, nor are they all of equal importance. They are intended merely as necessarily rough guide posts to be used in appraising the merit of a particular example.

The successful propaganda rumor, as we define it, is self-propelling in a high degree, retains its original content with a minimum of distortion, and conforms to strategic requirements. The following are the characteristics of the successful rumor as defined above:

1. The successful rumor is easy to remember.

a. It is sufficiently brief and simple to survive in memory of successive narrators.

b. It concerns familiar persons, places and circumstances, and incorporates suitable “local color.”

c. It contains striking concrete detail.

d. It often incorporates stereotype phrase or slogan.

e. It contains a humorous twist when possible.

2. The successful rumor follows a stereotyped plot.

a. Its plot recapitulates precedents and traditions in the history and folklore of the group.

b. It observes the peculiar national dispositions of the group.

c. “It is the oldest story in the newest clothes.”

3. The successful rumor is a function of the momentary interests and circumstances of the group.

a. It is provoked by and provides an interpretation or elaboration of some isolated current happening or event.

b. It serves to supply information which is needed to fill a knowledge gap.

c. It stands upon the shoulders and derives support from other rumors or events.

d. It contains some accepted or verifiable detail.

4. The successful rumor exploits the emotions and sentiments of the group.

a. It expresses a widespread emotional disposition shared by members of the group.

b. It provides justification for suppressed fears, hatreds, or desires.

c. It serves to articulate a sentiment common to the group.

5. The successful rumor is challenging because:

a. It purports or appears to come from inside sources and usually has the character of “forbidden” information.

b. It is usually incapable of direct verification.

c. It is neither too plausible nor too implausible.

-- Doctrine Re Rumors, by Office of Strategic Services Planning Group


***

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[White House]

[Dick Morris’s Secretary] Mr. Morris, it’s Dick Dresner.

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[Dick Morris] Hey, Dick. My guy is headed your way. Now we have an opportunity here. He can give your guy a few pointers. Nobody ever accused him of being “Slick Boris.” Whatever you want my guy to say, he’ll say it. Just send a memo.

***

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[The G7 Summit, April 19, 1996]

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[Team Yeltsin watching Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin on TV]

[President Bill Clinton] First, let me thank President Yeltsin for initiating and then hosting yesterday's nuclear summit. It is fitting that this summit was held in Moscow. For 3 years, the President and I have worked together in trying to make the world a safer place by reducing the nuclear threat that all our citizens face…. We've worked hard to take down the old barriers to trade and to investment. Thanks to President Yeltsin's leadership, 60 percent of Russia's economy is now in the hands of its people, not the state. Inflation has been cut; democracy is taking hold. Since 1993, trade between the United States and Russia is up 65 percent. And the U.S. is now the largest foreign investor …

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[Dick Dresner] … in this great nation.

[President Bill Clinton] in this great nation.

[Dick Dresner] [Turns off TV]

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[Joe Shumate] How did he do?

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[Dick Dresner] Well, let’s see. “Asked to be patient with reforms.” Check.
“Congratulate on the beginning of the pullout from Chechnya.” Check.
“Compliment on the privatization of the economy.” Check.
“What about Zyuganov’s ‘maximum plan’”? Check.

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I mean, bulls-eye boys. He covered practically everything in our memo.

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[Everyone laughing, toasting & drinking]

[George Gorton] [Dictating into his machine] Uh, note for another book: Two Presidents sell out the interests of their own countries in order to get each other re-elected.

[More toasting and drinking]

[Joe Shumate] I want a piece of that book.

[Dick Dresner] Amen!

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[Joe Shumate] [Phone rings] Hello.

[Vasso] This is Vasso. You’ll love this. The numbers are WAY up.

[Joe Shumate] Really? That’s great.

[Vasso] Alright. Bye.

[Joe Shumate] Goodbye Vasso.

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[Dick Dresner] What’s going on?

[Joe Shumate] Prelims are starting to come in. Apparently, the Russians LOVED the Summit. Papa’s numbers are up BIG. He and Zyuganov are almost neck and neck.

[Dick Dresner] Wow!

[George Gorton] I mean, call me crazy, guys, but we may actually win this thing.

***

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[Team Yeltsin on the balcony, each talking on their cell phones.]

[George Gorton] Hi, Frank, this is George Gorton here. Ah, nothing every changes here in Sacramento. You know that. Look, I wanted to talk to you about a stock called Lukoil. Yeah, like Skywalker. How much? Everything I got in the account. Great. Thanks.

[Dick Dresner] Yes, John. Dick Dresner. Look, I wanted to talk to you about a stock called Lukoil. I’m a little short of cash, I know.

[Joe Shumate] I’ve been on vacation. Look, I wanted to talk to you about a stock called Lukoil. Uh, 500. Okay.

[Everyone ends their phone call at the same time]

***

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[Two limos drive up to President Hotel, and Oleg Soskovets and others gets out]

[Team Yeltsin looking down from balcony]

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[George Gorton] Wow, it’s Soskovets finally making an appearance?

[Dick Dresner] Who are the other two wise men?

[Joe Shumate] The guy with the comb-over is Alexander Korzhakov, former KGB general, and Papa’s new head of security.

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[Felix Braynin] And also his main confidant, tennis partner, drinking buddy. The other guy that’s Mikhail Barsukov.

[Joe Shumate]… Chief of Secret Police.

[Felix Braynin] You’re a scary man, Joe.

[Joe Shumate] Not as scary as those guys. What do they want with us?

[Felix Braynin] Well, I don’t think they are coming to see you. I just think they are going to the 10th floor.

[George Gorton] To see the campaign managers? Why? How come?

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[Felix Braynin] Who is to know?

[Dick Dresner] Bullshit, Felix. You is to know.

[Felix Braynin] Me? I don’t know anything.

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[Dick Dresner] Oh, yeah! You know something! And you’re going to tell us, too. Or I’m going to march over to Tatiana’s office and tell her you’re plotting something behind her back.

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[Takes him out to the balcony] Enough of this baloney – I want the truth! What is going on?

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[Felix Braynin] Okay. Soskovets, Korzhakov – they are known as “The Party of War.”

[Dick Dresner] I hope that’s a loose translation.

[Joe Shumate] Oh, no, no, no. Those are the guys that pushed Yeltsin into Chechnya.

[Felix Braynin] That’s correct. If they all came here, that means they are very worried.

[George Gorton] What about? We’re doing good. We’re kicking butt!

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[Felix Braynin] That’s why they are worried. They want to cancel the election.

[Dick Dresner] What?!

[Felix Braynin] They think it’s too risky to have one.

[George Gorton] But Yeltsin is probably going to win. They don’t want him to win?

[Felix Braynin] No, they would love it if he won. It’s the “probably” part they can’t afford, because if the Communists win, they lose everything: their power, their stolen fortunes, and maybe their lives. That’s why they want to cancel.

[George Gorton] Well, that’s ridiculous. You don’t cancel an election. It’s not a dentist appointment.

[Joe Shumate] Wait a minute. Back up. Soskovets hired us. Why would he spend all of that money if he just wanted to cancel?

[Felix Braynin] Yeltsin worships all things American. The Party of War assumed that you would take one look at the numbers, and convince him that he has no chance.

[Dick Dresner] Pretty good assumption.

[Joe Shumate] They didn’t count on us turning it around. They didn’t count on Tatiana getting involved. I’ll bet anything, they didn’t count on the numbers going up.

[Dick Dresner] And they still don’t think that we can do it, do they?

[Felix Braynin] You are my friends. You’ve become a major nuisance for them.

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[Dick Dresner] And Lugov’s involved too, right? Thank you, Felix. Thanks for warning us.

[Joe Shumate] [Sighs and turns away]

[Felix Braynin] I’m sorry, my friends. But those people – you know, the KGB never went away. They just changed the name on the door. I would really watch my back if I were you.

[George Gorton] Who is going to watch yours? You’re the one who brought us here.

[Felix Braynin] It wasn’t me. I’m just the middleman. Tonight I’m getting on a plane back to Sausalito. I’ve got some business to attend to.

[Dick Dresner] I’ll bet!
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:31 am

Part 6 of 8

***

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[George Gorton] Such bullshit! We were hired to dump the election?! It’s like Oliver Stone! Phooey!

[Joe Shumate] Soskovets said it himself. “If you think he’ll lose, let us know so we can take steps.” It makes perfect sense, George.

[George Gorton] Who knows what they are up to? But we’re professionals, we’re American citizens. If they want to take “steps,” then let them!

[Dick Dresner] That’s great, George. In case you hadn’t noticed, they are called “The Party of War.” Not “The Party of Peace, Friendship, or Brotherhood.” “The Party of War.”

[George Gorton] I think that’s a nickname.

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, like “Son of Sam” is a nickname. I say we get the fuck out of here.

[George Gorton] Dick! Dick! This is history in the making. We’re right smack in the middle of it. It’s our big comeback, and as long as the numbers are climbing, the Party of War has no cards.

[Dick Dresner] What if the numbers stop climbing?

[George Gorton] If they stop, we dump Lukoil and run as fast as we can.

[Joe Shumate] He’s right, you know. As long as we keep showing Yeltsin good numbers, they have no choice but to stay behind us.

[Dick Dresner] That’s where they are going to have to be to do what they are going to do to us.

***

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[Three black limos screech up to President’s Hotel]

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[Andrei Lugov comes storming into restaurant with newspaper] Look at this! The Wall Street Journal.

[George Gorton] [Reading newspaper] “Moscow Mystery: GOP circles swirl with the rumor that California Governor Wilson’s former campaign manager George Gorton is helping Yeltsin’s Presidential campaign in Russia.” Um, that's what rumors do. They swirl.

[Andrei Lugov] Call the Wall Street Journal. Call them and say it's not true.

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[George Gorton] No, I can't do that. Never lie to the press. You can mislead them.

[Andrei Lugov] Do you understand that if this breaks in Moscow, then you'll be gone in three seconds, and Yeltsin will deny your existence.

[Dick Dresner] What do you mean “deny”?

[Joe Shumate] “Gone.” “Gone”, how?

[Andrei Lugov] Gone, gone.Unless you find a way to control American press.

[Dick Dresner] Control the American press? Sure! Piece of cake, Andrei.

***

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[Telephone rings in Dick’s bedroom]

[Dick Dresner] Hello.

[Michael Kramer] Dick, that you?

[Dick Dresner] Who's this?

[Michael Kramer] I'll be damned, it is you. What you doing in Moscow, Dick?

[Dick Dresner] Call me back on my cell.

***

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[Dick Dresner] [Gesturing to George] Come here, come here, come here. Okay. Here's the bad news first. Michael Kramer has tracked us down.

[George Gorton] What? Time Magazine?

[Dick Dresner] Look, I've known Kramer for a long time. He must've read that piece in the Journal and figured I was in Moscow too. But here's the good news, here's the good news: he may be willing to make a deal with us.

[George Gorton] That's the good news? We can't talk to him. If Lugov finds out, then it's goodbye, gone, we're denied our existence.

[Joe Shumate] He never did say how we'd be gone: by land, by sea, or by bullet.

[Dick Dresner] Look, if we don't deal with him, he's gonna dig around on his own. He's gonna tell the story anyway, and we're really gonna be screwed.

[George Gorton] Wow! I guess this is it, then. We get out now. We get our passports somehow, and that's it.

[Joe Shumate] Flee.

[Dick Dresner] Kramer did mention the cover.

[Joe Shumate] The cover of the Time Magazine?

[Dick Dresner] Uh hum.

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[Joe Shumate & George Gorton, simultaneously] Set a meeting.

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[Dick Dresner] Absolutely.

***

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[Team Yeltsin leaving hotel grounds]

[George Gorton] We're gonna go on a little walk.

[Courtyard Guard] Alone? Nyet! Not advised.

[George Gorton] No, no. We'll be okay. Thank you. Thanks so much.

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[Courtyard Guard] [Nods yes to the gatekeeper who opens the gate]

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[Joe Shumate] I don't hear any gunfire.

[George Gorton] We could have been going out every night!

***

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[Team Yeltsin at McDonalds]

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[Dick Dresner] There he is, there he is.

[Joe Shumate] Jesus!

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[George Gorton] Be casual. Don't stand up.

[Michael Kramer] Hi, guys.

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[Dick Dresner] [To Joe re George] Why is he standing up?

[Joe Shumate] Demonstrating casual.

[Michael Kramer] California dreaming?

[George Gorton] Listen, we’ve got five minutes. We're under strict orders not to talk to the media.

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[Michael Kramer] Oh, that must be painful for you, George. [Takes out his cellphone]

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[Team Yeltsin all grab his cellphone]

[Michael Kramer] What? What? What?

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[Dick Dresner] We're being watched.

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[Michael Kramer] By who?

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[Dick Dresner] The CIA, the KGB, the secret police, the mafia, the communists, the capitalists, the Party of War, even our own bodyguards. Everyone.

[Michael Kramer] They're all watching you?

[Dick Dresner] Yeah.

[Joe Shumate] It's a theory. Yeah.

[Michael Kramer] Give it back.

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[Dick Dresner] Under the table, under the table. [Gives him back his cellphone]

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[Michael Kramer] I’m going to need everything, okay?. The dates, the whos, the hows, and how often.

[George Gorton] Well, first you got to guarantee us that you're not going to run anything until after the election, or we’re dead meat.

[Michael Kramer] Right. Are you sure there's gonna be an election?

[Dick Dresner] Sure. Hell, yeah. We’ll make sure there is one.

[George Gorton] And we're gonna win.

[Joe Shumate] And if we don't, we'll give you six bullet points as to why we didn't.

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[Michael Kramer] You guys are aware that the universe spins without your input, don’t you?

[George Gorton] Dick said you mentioned the cover?

[Michael Kramer] Well, that depends.

[Dick Dresner] On what?

[George Gorton] On what?

[Michael Kramer] I want an exclusive.

[Dick Dresner] Okay. Done.

[George Gorton] What else? That’s acceptable.

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[Michael Kramer] And I need verification. I mean no offense, but I can't run the story on just your say-so.

[Dick Dresner] What? What kind of verification?

[Michael Kramer] I want to see your offices at The President.

[George Gorton] Oh, no, no, no.

[Dick Dresner] Remind me to laugh at that one later.

[George Gorton] Look, Michael. We're scared to be there ourselves. Do you know what they'd do to us if they caught us sneaking in a reporter?

[Michael Kramer] No, what?

[Joe Shumate] Actually, we don't know either. It's not good.

[Michael Kramer] Look guys, I believe you. I really do. I believe you guys. Okay? But it's very simple. No proof, no pudding.

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In Moscow an economic oligarchy, composed of politicians, banks, businesspeople, security forces, and city agencies, controlled a huge percentage of Russia's financial assets under the rule of Moscow's energetic and popular mayor, Yuriy Luzhkov. Unfortunately, organized crime also has played a strong role in the growth of the city (see The Crime Wave of the 1990s, ch. 10). Opposed by a weak police force, Moscow's rate of protection rackets, contract murders, kickbacks, and bribes--all intimately connected with the economic infrastructure--has remained among the highest in Russia. Most businesses have not been able to function without paying for some form of mafiya [mafia] protection, informally called a krysha (the Russian word for roof).

Luzhkov, who has close ties to all legitimate power centers in the city, has overseen the construction of sports stadiums, shopping malls, monuments to Moscow's history, and the ornate Christ the Savior Cathedral. In 1994 Yeltsin gave Luzhkov full control over all state property in Moscow. In the first half of 1996, the city privatized state enterprises at the rate of US$1 billion per year, a faster rate than the entire national privatization process in the same period. Under Luzhkov's leadership, the city government also acquired full or major interests in a wide variety of enterprises--from banking, hotels, and construction to bakeries and beauty salons. Such ownership has allowed Luzhkov's planners to manipulate resources efficiently and with little or no competition. Meanwhile, Moscow also became the center of foreign investment in Russia, often to the exclusion of other regions. For example, the McDonald's fast-food chain, which began operations in Moscow in 1990, enjoyed immediate success but expanded only in Moscow. The concentration of Russia's banking industry in Moscow gave the city a huge advantage in competing for foreign commercial activity.

-- Russia: A Country Study, by Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, edited by Glenn E. Curtis


***

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[Team Yeltsin drives up to the President Hotel in a cab]

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[George Gorton] [To Courtyard Guard] Can we -- This guy's a friend of ours.

[Michael Kramer] Hi.

[George Gorton] [To Courtyard Guard] This is Mike. Do you know "friend"?
[To Joe] Friend. How do you say friend in Russian?

[Joe Shumate] "Drug".

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, I think that's what they said in "Clockwork Orange". Drug, drug.

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[Courtyard Guard] Ah, Kubrick.

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, Kubrick.

[Courtyard Guard] Very nice.

[George Gorton] Wow, you speak a little English!

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[They are allowed in]

***

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[Dick and Joe go up first, and call George on phone]

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[George Gorton] Hello?

[Dick Dresner] Come on up. The coast is clear.

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[Tatiana, Lisa, and bodyguards exit their suite and pass by Joe and Dick]

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[George & Michael Kramer enter elevator]

[Dick Dresner] Shit, mayday, mayday.

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[Tatiana, Lisa, and bodyguards wait for elevator]

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[George’s phone rings]

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[Dick Dresner] Abort! Abort! Stay down there!

[Michael Kramer] What?

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[Elevator opens, with George and Michael Kramer in it.]

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[George Gorton] Tatiana.

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] [Shakes her head at George, enters elevator with Lisa and guards, as George and Michael Kramer exit elevator]

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***

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[Michael Kramer] [Takes pictures of office]

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[Team Yeltsin on balcony]

[Michael Kramer] [Taking picture of Team Yeltsin] Say hi to the world, guys.

***

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[Meeting]

[George Gorton] We're great in the cities.

[Joe Shumate] Five or six solid over Zyuganov. In the countryside, he's holding ground. We're not gaining any.

[Lisa] [Translating in Russian]

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] It's okay. I can understand. Um, ideas?

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[George Gorton] Tatiana, you’re English! So good! Coming along, heh?

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] Uh hum. Give ideas, please.

[George Gorton] Okay, um. Well, the peasants are unhappy. We should give them something.

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[Andrei Lugov] We already gave them democracy.

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[Dick Dresner] Alright. Well, now we gotta give them something with fewer syllables.

[George Gorton] We were thinking land. Here we are in a supposedly free-market economy, and the land still belongs to the state? That's gotta piss the peasants off.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] Papa tried many times to give off land, but Duma, our Congress, doesn't want to pass it.

[George Gorton] Find a way to get it passed. Whatever's stalling it, get it unstalled.

***

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[46 days until election. Yeltsin = 20%, Zyuganov = 22%]

[Team Yeltsin in Peasant country, with pigs and chickens]

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[Dick Dresner] We’re outside a service area. No wonder the people are unhappy.

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[Vasso] Maybe we should do the focus group over there. That's the only building that's big enough.

[Joe Shumate] No, it's perfect: a barn. Where else you going to focus a 20-house one-water-pump village? We're breaking new ground, boys.
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:32 am

Part 7 of 8

***

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[Russian Peasants] [Speaking in Russian]

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[Lisa] [Translating in English] What the hell do I need this land?

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I need a tractor and seeds. Then maybe I would want the land. Why? Why would you want the land? You can't even fix our chimney. No one needs this land. We need money. We need our salaries back.

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[George Gorton] They don't want the land?!

The Yeltsin regime has attempted to address some of the fundamental reform issues of Russian agriculture. But agricultural reform has moved very slowly, causing output to decline steadily through the mid-1990s. Reform began in Russia shortly before the final collapse of the Soviet Union. In December 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Republic enacted a number of laws that were designed to restructure the agricultural sector and make it more commercially viable. The Law on Peasant Farms legalized private farms and allowed them to operate alongside state and collective farms, to hire labor, and to sell produce without state supervision. The same session of the congress passed the Law on Land Reform, which permitted land to be bequeathed as an inheritance from one generation to the next, but not to be bought or sold. The government also established the State Committee for Agrarian Reform, whose responsibility was to oversee the transfer of available land to private farming.

The main thrust of Yeltsin's agricultural reform has been toward reorganizing state and collective farms into more efficient, market-oriented units. A decree of December 1991 and its subsequent amendments provided several options to state and collective farmers for the future structure of their farms. The decree required that farmers choose either to reorganize into joint-stock companies, cooperatives, or individual private farms, or to maintain their existing structure. Under the first two arrangements, workers would hold shares in the farms and be responsible for managing the enterprises. An individual farmer could later decide to break from the larger unit and establish private ownership of his or her share of the land, as determined by an established procedure.

This restructuring program has progressed slowly. Although 95 percent of the state and collective farms underwent some form of reorganization, about one-third of them retained essentially their earlier structure. Most of the others, fearing the unstable conditions of market supply and demand that faced individual entrepreneurs, chose a form of collective ownership, either as joint-stock companies or as cooperatives. The conservatism of Russia's farmers prompted them to preserve as much as possible of the inefficient but secure Soviet-era controlled relationships of supply and output.

As of 1996, individual private farming had not assumed the significance in Russian agriculture that reformers and Western supporters had envisioned. Although the number of private farms increased considerably following the reforms of 1990, by the early 1990s the growth of farms had stalled, and by the mid-1990s the number of private farms actually may have dropped as some individuals opted to return to a form of cooperative enterprise or left farming entirely. By the end of 1995, Russia's 280,000 private farms accounted for only 5 percent of the arable land in Russia.

A number of factors have contributed to the slow progress of agricultural reform. Until the mid-1990s, the state government continued to act as the chief marketing agent for the food sector by establishing fixed orders for goods, thus guaranteeing farmers a market. The government also subsidized farms through guaranteed prices, which reduced the incentive of farmers to become efficient producers.

Perhaps most important, effective land reform has not been accomplished in Russia. The original land reform law and subsequent decrees did not provide a clear definition of private property, and they did not prescribe landholders' rights and protections. The nebulous status of private landholders under the new legislation made farmers reluctant to take the risk of proprietorship. In March 1996, President Yeltsin issued a decree that allows farmers to buy and sell land. However, in April 1996 the State Duma, heavily influenced by the antireform KPRF and its ally, the Agrarian Party of Russia (representing the still formidable vested interests of collective and state farms), passed a draft law that prohibits land sales by anyone but the state. Recent opposition to the new notion of private landownership is based in a strong traditional Russian view that land must be held as collective rather than individual property.


However, in 1996 several factors were exerting pressure on the agricultural sector to become commercially viable. The federal government has retreated from its role as a guaranteed purchaser and marketer, although some regional governments are stepping in to fill the role. And private markets are emerging slowly. Increasingly, Russian agricultural production must compete with imported goods as the gap between domestic prices and world prices narrows. In addition, the fiscal position of the federal government has forced it to reduce subsidies to many sectors of the economy, including agriculture. Subsidies are among the targets of major budget cuts to comply with the standards of the IMF and other Western lenders and achieve macroeconomic stabilization.

Like the rest of the economy, the Russian agricultural sector has experienced a long, severe recession in the 1990s. Even before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the output of grains and other crops began to decline, and it decreased steadily through 1996 because of the unavailability of fertilizers and other inputs, bad weather, and major readjustments during the period of transition. In 1995 overall agricultural production declined 8 percent, including a drop of 5 percent in crop production and 11 percent in livestock production. That year Russia suffered its worst grain harvest since 1963, with a yield of 63.5 million tons.

The most dramatic declines occurred in livestock production. Farmers reduced their holdings of animals as the price of grains and other inputs increased. As meat prices rose, the composition of the average consumer's diet included less meat and more starches and vegetables. Reduced demand in turn exacerbated the decline in livestock production.


-- Russia: A Country Study, by Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, edited by Glenn E. Curtis


[Lisa] [Translating in English] But it's not as hard as before, as during the war. At least no one's trying to kill us.

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Yes, they are. In Chechnya, getting our boys killed in Chechnya.

[Joe Shumate] So much for swinging the rural vote!

[Dick Dresner] You know what? Get Vasso in here, man. There's one more question I'd like to ask.

[Lisa] [Translating in English] The last question. If Zyuganov wins, will there be bloodshed or a civil war?

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No. No more bloodshed. And why not? The communists always brought war. They'll kill everyone. Except us. We don't have anything. They'll kill the rich, then the rich will hire people to kill communists.

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God forbid the communists win. The last thing we need is another war.

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[Dick Dresner] Bingo. That's it. It's civil unrest, stupid.

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***

[Tatiana, Lisa and bodyguards exit President Hotel]

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[George Gorton] [Chasing after Tatiana as usual] Tatiana, Tatiana. We have five weeks left. We gotta go negative. Not only negative, double negative. We have to hit hard, create a drumbeat. War is an overwhelming fear in this country. We got to let them know that's exactly what they have to expect if the communists win: civil unrest, bloodshed, millions will die. That's the message.

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] But we don't know if it's true.

[George Gorton] In this business, “true” is sometimes not. If you want “true true,” then go home and sing your kids to sleep. But right here, right now, the only true is we got to scare the crap out of everybody, or we're probably going to lose. You know, our only hope is that in the battle between somebody they hate, and somebody they fear, the voters will hopefully choose somebody they hate: your father.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] No! No! My father still has dignity. And we cannot stoop to that level.

[George Gorton] Clinton, Bush, Reagan -- they all stooped to that level. That's the name of the game, Tatiana. Everybody knows it, everybody plays it. Everybody stoops.

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] Mr. Gorton, in this group, you do suggestions, and I do decisions. And my decision is no.

***

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[Elvis Impersonator] Love me sweet and tender, darling

[Team Yeltsin in the Bar]

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[Joe Shumate] She's not stooping? That's her answer: “I will not … she actually said that, "I will not stoop"?

[George Gorton] That's right. No stooping for that girl. No, sir. You know, maybe it's a good thing.

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[Joe Shumate] How's that, George? What do we do, spin it? "Vote Yeltsin for he will not stoop"? [Laughing]

[George Gorton] They have a culture here, you know: history, a way of doing things. Maybe not stooping is part of it. You know, who are we to come in and tell them what to do? It's not our country. Why are we messing with it?

[Dick Dresner] What are you talking about, “not our country” George? It's not like you know, Russia is Snow White, and we're the evil stepmother.

[George Gorton] No, we're Uncle Sam.

[Dick Dresner] Damn straight, Sam I am, and proud of it. I mean, democracy is our biggest export.

[George Gorton] But that doesn't give us the right to manipulate, and corrupt their political process.

[Joe Shumate] [Yelling] “Corrupt?” Jesus, George. When did you turn into Ralph Nader? These people don't need any help “corrupting” their process. As far as I can see, they've managed that all by themselves.

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Am I right, Elvis?

[Elvis Imipersonator] That's right. Very right. Boris marches around, says all the back wages got repaid. And I say, “bullshit! Bullshit, Boris!” Me, I don't remember last time I got paycheck. And most people I know, the same.

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Zero.

During most of 1995, the government maintained its commitment to tight fiscal constraints, and budget deficits remained within prescribed parameters. However, in 1995 pressures mounted to increase government spending to alleviate wage arrearages, which were becoming a chronic problem within state enterprises, and to improve the increasingly tattered social safety net. In fact, in 1995 and 1996 the state's failure to pay many such obligations (as well as the wages of most state workers) was a major factor in keeping Russia's budget deficit at a moderate level (see Social Welfare, ch. 5). Conditions changed by the second half of 1995. The members of the State Duma (beginning in 1994, the lower house of the Federal Assembly, Russia's parliament) faced elections in December, and Yeltsin faced dim prospects in his 1996 presidential reelection bid. Therefore, political conditions caused both Duma deputies and the president to make promises to increase spending....

For the first half of 1996, the inflation rate was 16.5 percent. However, experts noted that control of inflation was aided substantially by the failure to pay wages to workers in state enterprises, a policy that kept prices low by depressing demand.

-- Russia: A Country Study, by Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, edited by Glenn E. Curtis


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[Dick Dresner] What about that foreign relief money? Where did that go? I'll tell you where: stolen. Neatly divided between Yeltsin's drinking buddies. Come on. I mean, you know, Watergate was preschool compared to this place.

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[Joe Shumate] Guys, forget about Russia.

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We have a much bigger problem. If we do not go negative, there is no way in hell that we’re going to catch Zyuganov.

[Dick Dresner] What are you suggesting? That we ix-nay on the Lukoil-lay?

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[Joe Shumate] I think that would be the prudent thing to do. We doubled our oney-may. Let's not get reedy-gay.

***

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[37 days until election. Yeltsin = 20%, Zyuganov = 22%]

[Team Yeltsin on balcony, everyone on their cellphones to their brokers]

[Dick Dresner] Yeah, all of it.

***

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[Lisa] [Comes barging into office & starts packing] This is bad. This is very bad.

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[George Gorton] What's the matter? What's “very bad?”

[Lisa] Boris Nikolayevich is missing.

[George Gorton] What do you mean, “missing?” Is he dead?

[Lisa] Who is to know? All his meetings are cancelled. Tatiana doesn't return my calls. Nobody's talking.

[George Gorton] Give us a minute, we'll find out what's going on, Lisa.

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[Lisa exits and slams the door]

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[George Gorton] [On phone] Thank you.
[Hangs up] Lugov is unavailable.

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[Dick Dresner] Braynin's number in Sausalito has been disconnected.

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[Joe Shumate] The net is flooded with rumors. Nothing confirmed.

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[George Gorton’s cell phone ringing] Yep. Uh, hang on one second. Yeah, one second.

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[Gestures to guys to go out on the balcony.]

[Dick Dresner] What, what, what, what, what, what, what?

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[George Gorton] This is the CIA. They want to know if Yeltsin's alive.

[Joe Shumate] Oh, Jesus.

[Dick Dresner] What? What kind of freaking spies are they? That's their job to know.

[George Gorton] I can't tell them we don't know. We're Yeltsin's personal consultants. They'll think I'm hiding something.

[Joe Shumate] Or they're gonna think we're idiots.

[George Gorton] I don't want these guys on our ass.

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[Dick Dresner’s cellphone ringing] Hello. Richard! Uh huh, yeah. No, no, it's nice to hear your voice too. Uh huh. Can you just give me a second? Yeah, yeah.

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[To guys] Richard Morris wants to know where Yeltsin is. What do I tell him?

[George Gorton] Not that we don't know.

[Dick Dresner] I got to tell him something.

[Joe Shumate’s cellphone ringing] Hello. Hi, Mike. Yeah. We were actually just talking about that.

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Mike, could you hold on one second, please?

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It's Kramer. He wants to know about Yeltsin.

[Dick Dresner] What are we going to do?

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[George Gorton] There's only one thing we can do. Remember that thing we did in Iowa that time?

[Joe Shumate] No, George, no, no, no. George!

[George Gorton] One, two, three...

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[Dick Dresner] Yeah, Dick... Sorry? I’m sorry, we're breaking up. I can't hear you. What? Really? I can't hear you. I think we got a dead battery or something. I'll call you, I’ll call you.

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[Joe Shumate] Hi, Mike, I'm back. Yeah, Well, look, you know apparently everybody down here. Hello? Hello? Damn battery! Mike? Hello?

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[George Gorton] Oh for God sakes, this damn battery. I' sorry. I'm gonna lose you. Geez, I’m so sorry. I’m going to lose you! Okay, I’ll call you back!

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[Everyone hangs up their phone at the same time]

***

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[Lisa bringing Team Yeltsin to Tatiana]

[Tatiana Dyachenko] Papa had infarct.

[Joe Shumate] Papa had what?

[Lisa] Heart attack. Infarct.

[George Gorton] Oh, Tatiana, I'm so sorry. Is he going to be ...

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] It was mild. He will maybe live. Probably. But we don't know if he can campaign anymore.

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So, what do we do? How do we spin this?

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[Dick Dresner] Well, I think the first thing we do is we kill the rumors. And we kill them fast. We say that Papa's been campaigning very hard, and he needs a rest.

[Joe Shumate] Yeah. Stay away from the flu and cold stuff. Everyone knows that's Russian code for deathbed.

[Dick Dresner] And I got to tell you, it might not be enough. There's five weeks to go, and Zyuganov and his goons are on every corner waving a red flag. His lead is tiny, but it's holding. We can't afford to have empty airwaves.

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] They will not be empty. We are going negative: ads, slogans, truth squads -- I want everything. Let's make the drum beat.

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[She exits]

[Dick Dresner] Wow, when did that happen?

[Joe Shumate] What?

[George Gorton] She became...

[Joe Shumate] …a politician.

***

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[TV ad] In 1917, nobody in Russia knew the Communists would kill millions of people,

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and wipe out entire communities. Communists didn’t change their name, they won’t change their methods. It’s not too late to prevent civil unrest.

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KEEP RUSSIA SAFE.

***

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[8 days until election]

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[Vasso] Don't blame me. Blame capitalism.

[Joe Shumate] What does that mean?

[Dick Dresner] It's Russian for bullshit.

[George Gorton] Dick, wait a minute, wait a minute. Vasso, why won't you give us the latest poll? Did you sell it to somebody else?

[Vasso] I neither confirm nor deny. Who is to know?

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[Dick Dresner] I've had enough of this shit! Give us our fucking poll.

[Joe Shumate] Look Vasso, you don't give us the poll, we don't give you the money.

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[Vasso] You think you know so much, do you gentlemen? You think you can come here and play us like some baseball? Pardon my English, but you don't know shit.

[Dick Dresner] That's where you're wrong. We do know shit. Like for example, that you're full of it.

[Vasso] Oh, the Yankee arrogance. This is precisely why you're so despised everywhere. Now step aside, you're blocking the show.

***

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[George Gorton] What do you think: it's the commies, it's the bottom of the night, and they're getting desperate?

[Joe Shumate] Vasso would never sell out to them. He may be greedy, but he’s not insane.

[Dick Dresner] What about the Chechens? They'd do anything to sabotage Boris.

[George Gorton] I doubt it. He's too patriotic to deal with the enemy.

[Joe Shumate] You figure he's out fifteen grand for the polls, and now he's walking away from our 60. He's gotta be dealing with somebody.

[Dick Dresner] Well, it's obvious. It's got the fingerprints of the Party of War all over it.

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***

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[3 black limos come screeching up to President Hotel]

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[Andrei Lugov & bodyguards come barging into office]

[Andrei Lugov] [Slams newspaper on table] Front page. Vasso's poll. Yeltsin is behind Zyuganov by twenty points.

[Joe Shumate] What? Ridiculous. Yeltsin's ahead.

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[Andrei Lugov] Mr. Shumate, how can you be so sure?

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[Joe Shumate] Because it's science. Yeltsin's ahead by three points.

[Andrei Lugov] Not according to Vasso's poll.

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[Dick Dresner] Look, we know that the Party of War paid Vasso not to give us that poll. Then they print this 20-points crap. It's bullshit.

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[Andrei Lugov] What if three points is not enough? What if margin of error jumps up and bites us in the ass? Then what?

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[Joe Shumate] Then nothing. Up or down, Zyuganov and Yeltsin are only a few points apart. No one's going over 50. There's going to be a runoff.

[Andrei Lugov] You think, but you can't guarantee it?

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[George Gorton] Andrei, that's democracy. No guarantees. It's kind of the whole idea.

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[Andrei Lugov] George, George, that's your country. Because in your country, it doesn't matter who wins or loses. Next morning, they find each other on the same talk show. The election, it will be canceled. Do you understand that? The Party of War will convince Papa to cancel. 20 points behind, and he will listen.

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[George Gorton] Well, we'll just have to convince him otherwise through Tatiana.

[Andrei Lugov] I don't think so. You will do just opposite. You will tell her her father cannot win.

[George Gorton] No, no, no, we don't lie to the employer.

[Andrei Lugov] George, I'm not asking you. I'm telling you.

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[Dick Dresner] Are you threatening us?

[Andrei Lugov] If Yeltsin loses, whose balls will be cut first? Huh? Mine!

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[Speaking in Russian] It was my stupid idea to bring you here to Russia. Russia doesn't need to import all American political tricks. All this hand-shaking, baby-kissing stuff.

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[George Gorton] Hey! It's better to kiss the babies than shoot the fathers.

Through using these strategies, autocrats have learned a simple but sad truth: it is easier to stay in power by rigging elections than by not holding them at all. So often we hear it said that the number of democracies in the world is rising — and we imagine that must mean world government is improving. Perhaps we want to believe it, and a willingness to be fooled — or, at least, a reluctance to ask too many questions — is part of the problem. But it is now time to wake up.

-- How to rig an election: In the digital age, democracy is becoming a delusion, by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas




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[Andrei Lugov] Gentlemen, gentlemen, do you think you can just lose the election for us, and then go back to Sacramento? Huh? Think one more time. I know where to find you.

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[He exits]

***

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[Dick Dresner] This is great. "American consultants come to Russia, and destroy democracy." This is going to look like shit on Nightline.

[Joe Shumate] I think I hear a very fat woman singing somewhere in the distance.

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[Dick Dresner] I'm glad you’ve got a sense of humor about this, Joe, since this is your fault.

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[Joe Shumate] My fault? How do you get it's my fault, Dick? I'm sorry. Explain that to me.

[Dick Dresner] You said, “Come on. This will be the biggest election in the history of democracy.

[Joe Shumate] I answered the phone, Dick. I picked up the telephone. I seem to remember the words, "hotter than wildfire, world stage". Doesn’t that ring a bell to you?

[Dick Dresner] I was bored. I was bored. I wanted to get out of here since the minute we landed.

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[Pointing accusingly at George] But you, Mr. Big Mouth, you talked me out of it. Because you got “my book deal” fairies running around in your head.

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[George Gorton] This isn't the time to bicker and argue about who killed who.

[Dick Dresner] No, we'll have plenty of time to do that on the way home. Let’s go pack!

[George Gorton] Pack? We have a Tatiana meeting in ten minutes.

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[Dick Dresner] Oh, why don't you go and kiss her goodbye, slip her the tongue if the spirit moves you.

[George Gorton] What are we going to tell her?

[Dick Dresner] Nothing! We tell her absolutely nothing. “Good luck canceling the election.” That's it. There's a plane leaving in two hours. I say we're on it. Come on, guys. We gotta be unanimous on this.

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[Joe Shumate] It's, you know, the safe thing to do.

[Dick Dresner] George?

[George Gorton] I'm unanimous.
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Postby admin » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:32 am

Part 8 of 8

***

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[Tatiana Dyachenko] You have seen the poll? 20 points. What do you advise we do?

[George Gorton] There's only one thing to do.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] We cancel election, right?

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[George Gorton] No. Fire General Korzhakov, fire Barsukov, fire Soskovets. Get rid of the whole Party of War. They bought the real poll from Vasso, and released a fake instead.

[Tatiana Dyachenko] What? Are you accusing our generals?

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[George Gorton] They don't want this election, Tatiana, and they never did. Tell your father he's gonna win. It's in the bag. I guarantee it. A memo to that effect is going to be on your desk tomorrow.
[He leaves]

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[Dick Dresner] Excuse us.

***

[Dick and Joe walk out to balcony and meet George]

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[Dick Dresner] When was it, George, exactly when was it, when did you lose your mind?

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Did you realize that you just pitted us against some of the most powerful criminals in Russia?

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[Joe Shumate] Tell me this is not happening. Tell me you did not just guarantee a win?

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[George Gorton] Why not? He's gonna win by three. That's what you said.

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[Joe Shumate] [Screaming] I don't know shit, George! I said it. I don't wanna die for it. A guarantee? Oh, God, are you out of your mind? That is the biggest fucking no-no of consulting, and you up and, you just give it to them without even asking us first!

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Pinch me, George, before I throw you off this fucking balcony!

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[George Gorton] I didn't ask you first because, you know, I couldn't believe I was doing it myself.

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But it's either that or, you know, that's it. It's over.

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[Dick Dresner] So what? So what? It's just a gig.

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[George Gorton] For us, yeah, but for Russia. If those twits get the election canceled, who knows? Zyuganov, can you blame him, retaliates. Half the army supports him already. Civil war here ain't going to be civil. Everything we've been scaring them about in the ads, that's going to be reality. And the U.S. -- you don't think we're going to get screwed? And even now these A-holes have no clue where they keep their A-bombs. Can you imagine if anarchy suddenly rules? Jesus! Talk about the new world order. Well, we can't allow it. Somebody has to stand up and throw the tea in the harbor and say “no, we won't go gently into that good night.”

[Dick Dresner] George, George, George, George! George, we are political consultants. That's it. We are paid by the client to predict polls. That's it!

[George Gorton] We are always backstage, under the table, in the shadows. You know, we're never going to get elected or impeached, or sacked in the end zone. We’re not rich enough, we're not thoroughbred enough. We're behind the scenes. We're the Making Of. Let's face it.

[Joe Shumate] Is that it, George? You want to get sacked in the end zone. Is that it?

[George Gorton] Just once that would be, you know, beautiful.

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[Dick Dresner] You know that if Yeltsin loses, Lugov's going to have us killed. You realize that, right?

[George Gorton] I know. That's why you guys have to take off on out of here.

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[Joe Shumate] [Laughing] You, you are really something, George.

[George Gorton] I'm sorry, I’m sorry. I had to do it.

[Joe Shumate] No, no, I mean, here Dick and I do all the work, and now you want to stick around by yourself to take all the credit?

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[Dick Dresner] In your wet dreams, pal.

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[George Gorton] I forget. Have I ever told you that you're both assholes?

[Joe Shumate] Has he?

[Dick Dresner] Yeah.

[Joe Shumate] Yeah, many times. And it's starting to hurt.

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[Dick Dresner] We came as a team, and we're going to leave as a team. You're the quarterback, make the call.

***

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[George Gorton] [Reading memo from computer screen to Team Yeltsin] “From us to you. The Party of War is trying to cancel the election. We strongly disagree with that position. We believe Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin will win by three. The election is in the bag.

***

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[Election Day, June 16, 1996]

***

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[George Gorton] [Dictating into his machine on the balcony] The memo was a big hit, or a big miss. We're not sure. The election isn't canceled. At least not yet.

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But Tatiana has disappeared. So have all her cronies. Everybody's playing possum. Elvis is spreading rumors about a military coup. He thinks it's going to happen whether Yeltsin wins or loses. Is he right? It's hard to tell.

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[Runs into office] Snipers on rooftops! Somebody's getting ready for something. Are any numbers in yet?

[Dick Dresner] No, just frigging soaps.

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[Joe Shumate] They won't announce anything until the polls are closed. My hands are shaking. Why are my hands shaking?

[George Gorton] We'll know sooner at the Election Central.

[Joe Shumate] Yeah, but we can't go in there.

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[George Gorton] Well, we're sitting ducks here. We got to get out of the hotel.

[Dick Dresner] No, no, no. This is exactly where we’re not sitting ducks. If they were gonna kill us here, they would've done it already.

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[George Gorton] Maybe. Maybe not. Who is to know?

[Dick Dresner] Don't start with the "who is to know?"

[George Gorton] Hey, it's better if we split up. They can't kill one of us without killing all of us. It wouldn't make sense. There is no way to damage control.

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[Joe Shumate] George? George?

***

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[George Gorton] [Wandering through streets to Post Office] Hello. Can I make a call? To the United States? America?

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[Post Office Clerk] Nyet. Lines nyet. No calls.

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[George Gorton] Hi, this is me, George Gorton. I’m calling from Moscow, Russia. It’s June 16, 1996, about 4:00 p.m. my time. The reason I am calling is I may be killed today –

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[disconnects] Hello. Hello.

***

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[Dick Dresner] [Piling up furniture against the office door when phone rings]

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Hello.

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[George Gorton] We're dead.

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[Dick Dresner] Tell me something I don't know.

[George Gorton] I was leaving a message on my office machine. It got cut off. The Operator said all the lines are out. I can't get international on my cell. If you ask me, somebody's gearing up for major bloodshed. They're cutting off connection to the outside. They're dusting off the –

[Dick Dresner] George, you gotta get a hold of yourself. Your paranoia's getting the better of you.

[George Gorton] You know what? Screw it.

[Dick Dresner] Screw what?

[George Gorton] I'm heading down to the Election Central. At least, I'll see the returns as they are coming in.

[Dick Dresner] No, no, no. You can't go down there. Lugov's down there.

[George Gorton] Here I go, Dick, before you change my mind.

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[Hangs up]

[Dick Dresner] George! George! Shit!

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[Slams down phone]

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[To Joe] He's gone down to Election Central.

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[Joe Shumate] [Laying on couch with coat over his face, waves him away]

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[Dick Dresner] Joe, he's gone down to Election Central. What are we going to do?

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[Joe Shumate] Okay. Alright. I'm going too.

[Dick Dresner] You are?

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[Joe Shumate] Oh, think about it, Dick. (1) George goes down there all alone and catches all the action by himself; (2) knowing George, we never hear the end of it; and (3) when he writes the book, we are going to look like a couple of chicken shits.

[Dick Dresner] How can he write a book if he's fucking dead?

[Joe Shumate] You don't know George. [Goes to door and see it’s blocked with piled furniture]

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Help me move this stuff.

***

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[George Gorton] [Buying a newspaper outside Election Central]

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[Dick Dresner] [Taps George on arm and scares him] If anything happens to us, I'm going to make sure they kill you first.

[George Gorton] Wimp.

[Dick Dresner] Chicken.

[George Gorton] [Takes a big breath of relief] Let's get in there.

[Joe Shumate] Remember, guys, it's a science. He's going to win by three.

***

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[Team Yeltsin enters Election Central]

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[Dick Dresner] The numbers are down in the Far East.

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[Joe Shumate] He's going to win by three. Don't worry. He’ll win by three.

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[George Gorton] Look at Moscow, neck-in-neck. We should be sweeping there.

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[Joe Shumate] Polls are still open. Win by three.

[Dick Dresner] We're losing the election. We aren't wining by three, Joe.

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[Joe Shumate] Look at the wheres, not the whys. Most of the early numbers are rural. We're going to move up.

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[Dick Dresner] [Sees Lugov] The shit's about to hit the ceiling fan. Look who's here.

[George Gorton] Did he see us?

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[Dick Dresner] We're still alive, aren't we?

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[Joe Shumate] Yes, we are. And we are going to win by three.

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Who is this? Who is this?

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[Election Lady makes announcement that Yeltsin wins]

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[Joe Shumate] What did she say?

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[George Gorton] [Grabs journalist who passes by] Excuse me. Do you speak English?

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[Male Russian Journalist] Yes.

[George Gorton] What's going on here? Can you tell us what she's saying?

[Male Russian Journalist] She's predicting Yeltsin winning by three.

[George Gorton] By three?

[Male Russian Journalist] Yes.

[George Gorton] She said that? What else? Anything else?

[Male Russian Journalist] She's also saying, based on the exit polls, the only thing Russians like less than Yeltsin is the prospect of upheaval.

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[Dick Dresner] What did I tell you? We scared the shit out of them!

Q657 Simon Hart: A final point on this, and I think we will come back to the data element. There is a sense of irony in the way you seem to have found yourself to be the victims of misinformation being peddled online, which is arguably one of the accusations that is made about your company since you assist people in playing to the fears of vulnerable sections of the electorate in order to alter their voting plans. Do you set a moral compass anywhere in the manner in which you advise clients on vulnerable-voter sections in order to try to move them from one position to another? Do you see that as a positive contribution to society or do you just say, “They are paying the bills, therefore we will provide whatever it is they want”? Where does the social responsibility sit in all this?

Alexander Nix: I think that is another entirely unfair question that stems from a total misunderstanding about what it is that we are trying to do and how we help our clients. We are trying to use data and technology to allow campaigns to engage with voters in a more informed and relevant way. We are trying to make sure that voters receive messages on the issues and policies that they care most about, and we are trying to make sure that they are not bombarded with irrelevant materials. That can only be good. That can only be good for politics, it can only be good for democracy and it can be good in the wider realms of communication and advertising.

Q658 Simon Hart: It is not an unfair question to simply report the fact that some people consider the manner in which the data is used for electoral purposes is quite subliminal. It is arguably manipulative. I am simply asking for comment; I am not expressing a view myself. Quite a lot of political parties wish they could afford your services, I suspect, but they do not. I am simply asking whether there is any element of this that causes you concern. If you are trying to nudge—we were all watching the presentation you made yesterday, where you are trying to help people move from one voting position to another. It is not anything that is particularly drastic; it is just moving a couple of notches on the dial. Do you have any comments about whether it is unusual when you see a political party using the advice that you have given perhaps to alarm certain sections of the voting community into taking a position on the basis of what, in the old-fashioned term, would be subliminal advertising? Is that an unfair accusation?

Alexander Nix: Let’s start by establishing the fact that the use of big data and predictive analytics in political campaigns was something that was really championed by Obama’s campaign in 2008. They were the ones who made the significant advances in what is known now as micro-targeting—the use of data to start to look at the electorate as very small groups of people, hopefully, ideally as individuals as opposed to homogeneous masses, and to start to serve them most relevant messages. Again in 2012, the Democrats pioneered the use of addressable advertising technology in order to improve the way that they use this data to target people as individuals.

As Mr Collins well knows, they have been using these sorts of techniques in the realm of advertising to personalise advertising for many years—decades even—as they seek to build relationships between brands and their consumers such that you do not get blanketed with generic messaging but everything becomes more relevant to you. That is an entire industry that is moving in this direction. It is not Cambridge Analytica. All we have simply done is look at the industry—the advertising industry—and at what is going on in the political industry, and we have taken the best practices and in a very short of time we have replicated them and, I would like to say, improved on some of these techniques and methodologies and served them up to a different political party in order to help them have an equal chance of competing in a free and fair democracy.


***

Q662 Chair: Following up, you took umbrage at one of Simon’s questions about playing on people’s fears, but you gave a presentation about your work for the Ted Cruz campaign where you demonstrated that, based on the psychological profile of the audience, you might use an advertisement that played on a woman’s fear of being attacked in her own home to support the gun lobby. You might say that techniques like that are used by other people, but is that not a good example of the sort of campaign that Mr Hart was referring to?

Alexander Nix: Both sides used fear of spending and fear of economic exclusion as arguments for staying and remaining in Europe. I think presenting a fact that is underpinned by an emotion is not fearmongering. If you believe that yourself, it is very sensible. I think there is an argument to say that, in the particular instance you are talking about, there are people who look to the second amendment for self-protection. In fact, I would say there are quite a lot of people who fall into that bucket.

Q663 Chair: In that example there that you gave, fear was the emotion that you were playing on.

Alexander Nix: You are looking at the drivers that are going to influence the decision making.

Chair: In that case, the driver that was selected in that example for that decision maker was fear.

Alexander Nix: The fear of being unable to protect yourself.

Chair: The answer to that question is yes?

Alexander Nix: Yes, in that case.


-- Witness: I: Alexander Nix, Chief Executive, Cambridge Analytica, Oral evidence: Fake News, HC 363, by Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee


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[Joe Shumate] See? Trust science. Just trust science.

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Take Azerbaijan’s 2013 elections, when President Ilham Aliyev sought to boost his democratic credentials by launching an iPhone app that enabled citizens to keep up to speed with the vote tallies as ballot counting took place. Touting its commitment to transparency, the regime said that the new technology would allow anyone to watch the results in real time. But those who were keen to try out the new technology were surprised to find that the results were posted on the app the day before the polls opened. Technology was being used to fix the process, not make it more robust.


-- How to rig an election: In the digital age, democracy is becoming a delusion, by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas


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The destruction of the Supreme Soviet also assured Yeltsin an apparently undeserved second term in office. After the parliament was disbanded by force, the communists were apparently too intimidated to seriously contest an election. Yeltsin was believed to have won the 1996 presidential election, albeit with the help of massive violations of the campaign financing rules. But in February 2012, at a meeting with four members of the opposition, President Dmitri Medvedev said that this was not the case. When the four protested the falsification of the results of the previous December’s parliamentary elections, Medvedev indicated that falsification is not unusual: “There is hardly any doubt who won [the 1996 presidential election]. It was not Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin.” [49]

Victor Ilyukhin, a communist who in 1996 was the head of the Duma Security Committee, said in an interview with the site Gazeta.ru that Zyuganov did not protest the theft of the election because in light of the events in October 1993, he was afraid of triggering a civil war. “The Yeltsin entourage was ready to use force in the event of a victory by Zyuganov,” Ilyukhin said. “They did not hesitate to say to us, ‘We will not simply hand over power.’” There were fifty thousand armed guards in Moscow, many of them Afghan veterans who were on Yeltsin’s side, and “This force could have been used and that was more terrible than an open confrontation. When tanks move, they are visible but this could be used to attack from behind. At the same time, besides the Alpha unit, Yeltsin was creating more specialized military units.” [50] According to Ilyukhin, declaring the elections falsified would have meant calling people into the streets, and this could have caused the communist leaders to be arrested or killed. [51]

Anatoly Chubais, who was Yeltsin’s campaign manager at the time, said that “of course” there were violations in the campaign, but if the 1996 vote were to be dismissed as a fraud, “then we automatically have to deem both of President Putin’s terms illegitimate along with the presidency of Medvedev…. There would be nothing left of Russia’s post-Soviet history.” [52]


By July 1996, when Yeltsin began his second term as president, parliament’s role was so reduced that Yeltsin was able to rule effectively alone. Ironically, it was then that his health began to fail, making him unable to wield the power he had taken such pains to accumulate. He surrendered authority to his daughter, Tatyana Dyachenko, and Valentin Yumashev, the journalist who in the 1980s had helped his write his first volume of memoirs.

-- The Less You know, the Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin, by David Satter


***

[Team Yeltsin walking out of Election Central]

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[Joe and Dick shake hands and hug while George gazes lovingly on Election Central, then all three hug]

***

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[Team Yeltsin driving to airport, Dick and Joe on their cellphones]

[Dick Dresner] Tell him we do want the gig, we’re just going to be a little late. Tell them to keep their pants on.

[Joe Shumate] I'm great. We won, didn't we? Okay. Bye.

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[Dick Dresner] Look at this traffic! We're never going to make our flight.

[Joe Shumate] We'll make it, with twenty to spare. We should never have dropped Lukoil. The stock’s quadrupled since we bought it. That’s the last time I listen to you, George.

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[George Gorton] [Gets out of car]

[Joe Shumate] Hey, what are you doing?

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[George Gorton] [Buys a Russian hat, gets back in car and puts it on]

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[Dick Dresner] It's June, George.

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[Team Yeltsin singing and humming]

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[TIME MAGAZINE COVER: YANKS TO THE RESCUE: THE SECRET STORY OF HOW AMERICAN ADVISERS HELPED YELTSIN WIN]

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CAST:

George Gorton: Jeff Goldblum
Dick Dresner: Anthony LaPaglia
Joe Shumate: Live Schreiber
Felix Braynin: Boris Krutonog
Titana Dyachenko: Svetlana Efremova
Lisa: Shauna MacDonald
Andrei Lugov: Gregory Hlady
Vasso: Vladimir Radian
Elvis Impersonator: Ilia Volok
Oleg Soskovets: Konstantin Kazakov
Michael Kramer: Judah Katz
Female Journalist: Maria Syrgiannia
Post Office Clerk: Ola Sturik
Dick Dresner’s Wife: Gillian Vanderburgh
Hotel Desk Clerks: Serge Timokhin, Victoria Shaevich, Lucy Necrasova, Tatiana Galagen
Courtyard Guard: Dmitry Chepovetsky
Focus Group: Sergei Prisselkov, Sergiy Osadchuk, Leonid Berdichevsky, Mila Kanev, Tatiana Chouljenko, Nina Kazakova
Male Russian Journalist: Stefen Hayes
Female Russian Journalist: Yelena Pavlova
Nightline Man: Jason Jones
Woman on Street: Nadia Belova
Balinese Masseuse: Ellora Patnaik
Braynin’s Bodyguard: Zoltan Buday
War Room Staff: Kevin Etherington, Reuben Thompson
Stunt Coordinator: Alison Reid
Stunts: John MacDonald, Robert Racki, Kevin Rushton
Production Manager: Regina Robb
First Assistant Director: Annie Bradley
Second Assistant Director: Jack Boem
Costume Designer: Joyce Schure
Set Decorator: Erica Milo
Lead Set Dresser: Andrew McKendy
Set Buyer: Lesley Jones
Set Dressers: Erich Entner, Luis Camara, Robert Walshaw, Steve Butler

Production Coordinator: Sheena Graham
Asst. Production Coordinator: Christine Bird
Production Accountant: Karen de Montbrun
First Assistant Accountant: Virginia Alves
Second Assistant Accountant: Ryan Heimpel
Chief Financial Officer: John Weber
Post-Production Supervisor: David Bailey
Post-Production Coordinator: Renay McGowan
Post-Production Assistants: Patrick Clark, Lee Garrison
Production Manager: Janice Jacobs
Russian Consultants: Anna Bondarenko, Irena Meldris
Executive in Charge of Production: Steve Wakefield
Executive in Charge of Post Production: Tim King
Filmed on Location in Toronto, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, Moscow, Russia
Copyright 2003 This Motion Picture Hallmark Entertainment Distribution, LLC.
This story is based upon certain actual events and persons. However, some of the characters, incidents and names are fictionalized.

A Presentation of Showtime Networks, Inc., A Viacom Company
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Re: Spinning Boris, directed by Roger Spottiswoode

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Russia: A Country Study -- Economic Reform in the 1990s
Federal Research Division, Library of Congress
Edited by Glenn E. Curtis
Headquarters, Department of the Army
Research completed July, 1996

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[This volume is one in a continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the Department of the Army.]

Two fundamental and interdependent goals--macroeconomic stabilization and economic restructuring--mark the transition from central planning to a market-based economy. The former entails implementing fiscal and monetary policies that promote economic growth in an environment of stable prices and exchange rates. The latter requires establishing the commercial, legal, and institutional entities--banks, private property, and commercial legal codes--that permit the economy to operate efficiently. Opening domestic markets to foreign trade and investment, thus linking the economy with the rest of the world, is an important aid in reaching these goals. Under Gorbachev, the regime failed to address these fundamental goals. At the time of the Soviet Union's demise, the Yeltsin government of the Russian Republic had begun to attack the problems of macroeconomic stabilization and economic restructuring. As of mid-1996, the results were mixed.

The Yeltsin Economic Program

In October 1991, two months before the official collapse of the Soviet regime and two months after the August 1991 coup against the Gorbachev regime, Yeltsin and his advisers, including reform economist Yegor Gaydar, established a program of radical economic reforms. The Russian parliament, the Supreme Soviet, also extended decree powers to the president for one year to implement the program. The program was ambitious, and the record to date indicates that the goals for macroeconomic stabilization and economic restructuring programs may have been unrealistically high. Another complication in the Yeltsin reform program is that since 1991 both political and economic authority have devolved significantly from the national to the regional level; in a series of agreements with the majority of Russia's twenty-one republics and several other subnational jurisdictions, Moscow has granted a variety of special rights and powers having important economic overtones.

Macroeconomic Stabilization Measures

The program laid out a number of macroeconomic policy measures to achieve stabilization. It called for sharp reductions in government spending, targeting outlays for public investment projects, defense, and producer and consumer subsidies. The program aimed at reducing the government budget deficit from its 1991 level of 20 percent of GDP to 9 percent of GDP by the second half of 1992 and to 3 percent by 1993. The government imposed new taxes, and tax collection was to be upgraded to increase state revenues. In the monetary sphere, the economic program required the Russian Central Bank (RCB) to cut subsidized credits to enterprises and to restrict money supply growth. The program called for the shrinkage of inflation from 12 percent per month in 1991 to 3 percent per month in mid-1993.

Economic Restructuring Measures

Immediately after the dissolution of the Soviet Union was announced, the Government lifted price controls on 90 percent of consumer goods and 80 percent of intermediate goods. It raised, but still controlled, prices on energy and food staples such as bread, sugar, vodka, and dairy products. These measures were to establish a realistic relationship between production and consumption that had been lacking in the central planning system.

To encourage the development of the private sector, fundamental changes were made in the tax system, including introduction of a value-added tax (VAT--see Glossary) of 28 percent on most transactions, a progressive income tax, and a tax on business income; revisions in the system of import tariffs and export taxes; new taxes on domestic energy use to encourage conservation (a necessary step because energy prices were still controlled); and new taxes on oil and natural gas exports to narrow the gap between subsidized domestic prices and world prices and to prevent domestic energy shortages (see Taxation, this ch.). A fixed exchange rate was to be established for the ruble, which then would become convertible. Many restrictions on foreign trade and investment also were to be lifted to expose Russia to the discipline of world prices.

Monetary and Fiscal Policies

In 1992 and 1993, the Government expanded the money supply and credits at explosive rates that led directly to high inflation and to a deterioration in the exchange rate of the ruble. In January 1992, the Government clamped down on money and credit creation at the same time that it lifted price controls. However, beginning in February the RCB loosened the reins on the money supply. In the second and third quarters of 1992, the money supply had increased at especially sharp rates of 34 and 30 percent, respectively, and by the end of 1992, the Russian money supply had increased by eighteen times.

The sharp increase in the money supply was influenced by large foreign currency deposits that state-run enterprises and individuals had built up and by the depreciation of the ruble. Enterprises drew on these deposits to pay wages and other expenses after the Government had tightened restrictions on monetary emissions
. Commercial banks monetized enterprise debts by drawing down accounts in foreign banks and drawing on privileged access to accounts in the RCB (see Banking and Finance, this ch.).

Government efforts to control credit expansion also proved ephemeral in the early years of the transition. Domestic credit increased about nine times between the end of 1991 and 1992. The credit expansion was caused in part by the buildup of interenterprise arrears and the RCB's subsequent financing of those arrears. The Government restricted financing to state enterprises after it lifted controls on prices in January 1992, but enterprises faced cash shortages because the decontrol of prices cut demand for their products. Instead of curtailing production, most firms chose to build up inventories. To support continued production under these circumstances, enterprises relied on loans from other enterprises. By mid-1992, when the amount of unpaid interenterprise loans had reached 3.2 trillion rubles (about US$20 billion), the government froze interenterprise debts. Shortly thereafter, the government provided 181 billion rubles (about US$1.1 billion) in credits to enterprises that were still holding debt.

The Government also failed to constrain its own expenditures in this period, partially under the influence of the conservative Supreme Soviet, which encouraged the Soviet-style financing of favored industries. By the end of 1992, the Russian budget deficit was 20 percent of GDP, much higher than the 5 percent projected under the economic program and stipulated under the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) conditions for international funding. This budget deficit was financed largely by expanding the money supply. These ill-advised monetary and fiscal policies resulted in an inflation rate of over 2,000 percent in 1992.


In late 1992, deteriorating economic conditions and a sharp conflict with the parliament led Yeltsin to dismiss economic reform advocate Yegor Gaydar as prime minister. Gaydar's successor was Viktor Chernomyrdin, a former head of the State Natural Gas Company (Gazprom), who was considered less favorable to economic reform.

Chernomyrdin formed a new government with Boris Fedorov, an economic reformer, as deputy prime minister and finance minister. Fedorov considered macroeconomic stabilization a primary goal of Russian economic policy. In January 1993, Fedorov announced a so-called anticrisis program to control inflation through tight monetary and fiscal policies. Under the program, the Government would control money and credit emissions by requiring the RCB to increase interest rates on credits by issuing government bonds, by partially financing budget deficits, and by starting to close inefficient state enterprises. Budget deficits were to be brought under control by limiting wage increases for state enterprises, by establishing quarterly budget deficit targets, and by providing a more efficient social safety net for the unemployed and pensioners.

The printing of money and domestic credit expansion moderated somewhat in 1993. In a public confrontation with the parliament, Yeltsin won a referendum on his economic reform policies that may have given the reformers some political clout to curb state expenditures. In May 1993, the Ministry of Finance and the RCB agreed to macroeconomic measures, such as reducing subsidies and increasing revenues, to stabilize the economy. The RCB was to raise the discount lending rate to reflect inflation. Based on positive early results from this policy, the IMF extended the first payment of US$1.5 billion to Russia from a special Systemic Transformation Facility (STF) the following July.

Fedorov's anticrisis program and the Government's accord with the RCB had some effect. In the first three quarters of 1993, the RCB held money expansion to a monthly rate of 19 percent. It also substantially moderated the expansion of credits during that period. The 1993 annual inflation rate was around 1,000 percent, a sharp improvement over 1992, but still very high. The improvement figures were exaggerated, however, because state expenditures had been delayed from the last quarter of 1993 to the first quarter of 1994. State enterprise arrears, for example, had built up in 1993 to about 15 trillion rubles (about US$13 billion, according to the mid-1993 exchange rate).

In June 1994, Chernomyrdin presented a set of moderate reforms calculated to accommodate the more conservative elements of the Government and parliament while placating reformers and Western creditors. The prime minister pledged to move ahead with restructuring the economy and pursuing fiscal and monetary policies conducive to macroeconomic stabilization. But stabilization was undermined by the RCB, which issued credits to enterprises at subsidized rates, and by strong pressure from industrial and agricultural lobbies seeking additional credits.

By October 1994, inflation, which had been reduced by tighter fiscal and monetary policies early in 1994, began to soar once again to dangerous levels. On October 11, a day that became known as Black Tuesday, the value of the ruble on interbank exchange markets plunged by 27 percent.
Although experts presented a number of theories to explain the drop, including the existence of a conspiracy, the loosening of credit and monetary controls clearly was a significant cause of declining confidence in the Russian economy and its currency.

In late 1994, Yeltsin reasserted his commitment to macroeconomic stabilization by firing Viktor Gerashchenko, head of the RCB, and nominating Tat'yana Paramonova as his replacement. Although reformers in the Russian government and the IMF and other Western supporters greeted the appointment with skepticism, Paramonova was able to implement a tight monetary policy that ended cheap credits and restrained interest rates (although the money supply fluctuated in 1995). Furthermore, the parliament passed restrictions on the use of monetary policy to finance the state debt, and the Ministry of Finance began to issue government bonds at market rates to finance the deficits.

The Government also began to address the interenterprise debt that had been feeding inflation. The 1995 budget draft, which was proposed in September 1994, included a commitment to reducing inflation and the budget deficit to levels acceptable to the IMF, with the aim of qualifying for additional international funding. In this budget proposal, the Chernomyrdin government sent a signal that it no longer would tolerate soft credits and loose budget constraints, and that stabiliza-tion must be a top government priority.

During most of 1995, the government maintained its commitment to tight fiscal constraints, and budget deficits remained within prescribed parameters. However, in 1995 pressures mounted to increase government spending to alleviate wage arrearages, which were becoming a chronic problem within state enterprises, and to improve the increasingly tattered social safety net. In fact, in 1995 and 1996 the state's failure to pay many such obligations (as well as the wages of most state workers) was a major factor in keeping Russia's budget deficit at a moderate level (see Social Welfare, ch. 5). Conditions changed by the second half of 1995. The members of the State Duma (beginning in 1994, the lower house of the Federal Assembly, Russia's parliament) faced elections in December, and Yeltsin faced dim prospects in his 1996 presidential reelection bid. Therefore, political conditions caused both Duma deputies and the president to make promises to increase spending.

In addition, late in 1995 Yeltsin dismissed Anatoliy Chubays, one of the last economic reform advocates remaining in a top Government position, as deputy prime minister in charge of economic policy. In place of Chubays, Yeltsin named Vladimir Kadannikov, a former automobile plant manager whose views were antireform. This move raised concerns in Russia and the West about Yeltsin's commitment to economic reform. Another casualty of the political atmosphere was RCB chairman Paramonova, whose nomination had remained a source of controversy between the State Duma and the Government. In November 1995, Yeltsin was forced to replace her with Sergey Dubinin, a Chernomyrdin protégé who continued the tight-money policy that Paramonova had established.

By mid-1996 many Duma deputies raised concerns about the Government's failure to meet its tax revenue targets. Revenue shortages were blamed on a number of factors, including a heavy tax burden that encourages noncompliance and an inefficient and corrupt tax collection system. A variety of tax collection reforms were proposed in the parliament and the Government, but by 1996 Russian enterprises and regional authorities had established a strong pattern of noncompliance with national tax regulations, and the Federal Tax Police Service was ineffectual in apprehending violators (see Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), ch. 10).

Inflation

In 1992, the first year of economic reform, retail prices in Russia increased by 2,520 percent. A major cause of the increase was the decontrol of most prices in January 1992, a step that prompted an average price increase of 245 percent in that month alone. By 1993 the annual rate had declined to 840 percent, still a very high figure. In 1994 the inflation rate had improved to 224 percent.

Trends in annual inflation rates mask variations in monthly rates, however. In 1994, for example, the Government managed to reduce monthly rates from 21 percent in January to 4 percent in August, but rates climbed once again, to 16.4 percent by December and 18 percent by January 1995. Instability in Russian monetary policy caused the variations. After tightening the flow of money early in 1994, the Government loosened its restrictions in response to demands for credits by agriculture, industries in the Far North, and some favored large enterprises. In 1995 the pattern was avoided more successfully by maintaining the tight monetary policy adopted early in the year and by passing a relatively stringent budget. Thus, the monthly inflation rate held virtually steady below 5 percent in the last quarter of the year. For the first half of 1996, the inflation rate was 16.5 percent. However, experts noted that control of inflation was aided substantially by the failure to pay wages to workers in state enterprises, a policy that kept prices low by depressing demand.

Exchange Rates

An important symptom of Russian macroeconomic instability has been severe fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble. From July 1992, when the ruble first could be legally exchanged for United States dollars, to October 1995, the rate of exchange between the ruble and the dollar declined from 144 rubles per US$1 to around 5,000 per US$1. Prior to July 1992, the ruble's rate was set artificially at a highly overvalued level. But rapid changes in the nominal rate (the rate that does not account for inflation) reflected the overall macroeconomic instability. The most drastic example of such fluctuation was the Black Tuesday (1994) 27 percent reduction in the ruble's value.

In July 1995, the RCB announced its intention to maintain the ruble within a band of 4,300 to 4,900 per US$1 through October 1995, but it later extended the period to June 1996. The announcement reflected strengthened fiscal and monetary policies and the buildup of reserves with which the Government could defend the ruble. By the end of October 1995, the ruble had stabilized and actually appreciated in inflation-adjusted terms. It remained stable during the first half of 1996. In May 1996, a "crawling band" exchange rate was introduced to allow the ruble to depreciate gradually through the end of 1996, beginning between 5,000 and 5,600 per US$1 and ending between 5,500 and 6,100.

Another sign of currency stabilization was the announcement that effective June 1996, the ruble would become fully convertible on a current-account basis. This meant that Russian citizens and foreigners would be able to convert rubles to other currencies for trade transactions.

Privatization

The essence of economic restructuring, and a critical consideration for foreign loans and investment in Russia's economy, is the privatization program. In most respects, between 1992 and 1995 Russia kept pace with or exceeded the rate established in the original privatization program of October 1991. As deputy prime minister for economic policy, the reformist Chubays was an effective advocate of privatization during its important early stages. In 1992 privatization of small enterprises began through employee buyouts and public auctions. By the end of 1993, more than 85 percent of Russian small enterprises and more than 82,000 Russian state enterprises, or about one-third of the total in existence, had been privatized.

On October 1, 1992, vouchers, each with a nominal value of 10,000 rubles (about US$63), were distributed to 144 million Russian citizens for purchase of shares in medium-sized and large enterprises that officials had designated and reorganized for this type of privatization. However, voucher holders also could sell the vouchers, whose cash value varied according to the economic and political conditions in the country, or they could invest them in voucher funds.

By the end of June 1994, the voucher privatization program had completed its first phase. It succeeded in transferring ownership of 70 percent of Russia's large and medium-sized enterprises to private hands and in privatizing about 90 percent of small enterprises. By that time, 96 percent of the vouchers issued in 1992 had been used by their owners to buy shares in firms directly, invest in investment funds, or sell on the secondary markets. According to the organizers of the voucher system, some 14,000 firms employing about two-thirds of the industrial labor force had moved into private hands.

The next phase of the privatization program called for direct cash sales of shares in remaining state enterprises. That phase would complete the transfer of state enterprises and would add to government revenues. After that procedure met stiff opposition in the State Duma, Yeltsin implemented it by decree in July 1994.
But the president's commitment to privatization soon came into question. In response to the monetary crisis of October 1994, Yeltsin removed Chubays from his position as head of the State Committee for the Management of State Property, replacing him with little-known official Vladimir Polevanov. Polevanov stunned Russian and Western privatization advocates by suggesting renationalization of some critical enterprises. Yeltsin reacted by replacing Polevanov with Petr Mostovoy, a Chubays ally. In the ensuing eighteen months, Yeltsin made two more changes in the chairmanship position.

In 1995 and 1996, political conditions continued to hamper the privatization program, and corruption scandals tarnished the program's public image. By 1995 privatization had gained a negative reputation with ordinary Russians, who coined the slang word prikhvatizatsiya, a combination of the Russian word for "grab" and the Russianized English word "privatize," producing the equivalent of "grabification." The term reflects the belief that the privatization process most often shifted control of enterprises from state agencies to groups of individuals with inside connections in the Government, the mafia, or both. Distrust of the privatization process was part of an increasing public cynicism about the country's political and economic leaders, fueled by the seeming failure of Yeltsin's highly touted reform to improve the lot of the average Russian (see Social Stratification, ch. 5).

The second phase of the privatization program went ahead with the sale of state-held shares for cash. Although the process was virtually complete by the end of the first quarter of 1996, the Government failed to garner expected revenues. Meanwhile, Yeltsin's June 1996 bid for reelection brought a virtual halt in privatization of state enterprises during the campaign period. In February 1996, the Procuracy announced a full-scale investigation into privatization practices, in particular a 1995 transaction in which state banks awarded loans to state firms in return for "privatization" shares in those enterprises (see The Procuracy, ch. 10). This loans-for-shares type of transaction characterized the second phase of privatization; banks provided the government badly needed cash based on the collateral of enterprise shares that banks presumably would be able to sell later. But most of the twenty-nine state enterprises originally slated to participate withdrew, and the banks that received shares appeared to have a conflict of interest based on their role in setting the rules of the bidding procedure. In the most widely publicized deal, the Uneximbank of Moscow received a 38 percent interest in the giant Noril'sk Nickel Joint-Stock Company at about half of a competing bid. Other banks and commercial organizations joined the traditional opponents of privatization in attacking the loans-for-shares program, and in 1996 the Government admitted that the program had been handled badly. As a result of corruption allegations, the State Duma formed a committee to review the privatization program. And Prime Minister Chernomyrdin requested off-budget funds to buy back shares from the banks.

Because the faults of the Yeltsin privatization program were an important plank in the 1996 presidential election platform of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (Kommunisticheskaya partiya Rossiyskoy Federatsii--KPRF), the strongest opposition party, Yeltsin's campaign strategy was to reduce privatization as far as possible as a campaign issue (see The Executive Branch, ch. 7). Part of that strategy was to shift the privatization process from Moscow to the regions. In February 1996, a presidential decree simply granted shares in about 6,000 state-controlled firms to regional governments, which could auction the shares and keep the profits.

After Yeltsin's reelection in July 1996, his financial representatives announced continuation of the privatization program, with a new focus on selling ten to fifteen large state enterprises, including the joint-stock company of the Unified Electric Power System of Russia (YeES Rossii), the Russian State Insurance Company (Rosgosstrakh), and the St. Petersburg Maritime Port. The Communications Investment Joint-Stock Company (Svyazinvest), sale of which had failed in 1995, was to be offered to Western telecommunications companies in 1996.

The new, postelection privatization stage also was to reduce the role of enterprise workers in shareholding. Within the first years of such ownership, most worker shares had been sold at depressed prices, devaluing all shares and cutting state profits from enterprise sales.
Therefore, to reach the budget target of 12.4 trillion rubles (about US$2.4 billion) of profit from privatization sales in 1996, distribution was to target recipients who would hold shares rather than sell them immediately.

Despite periodic delays, the inept administration of the program's more recent phases, and allegations of favoritism and corrupt transactions in the enterprise and financial structures, in 1996 international experts judged Russia's privatization effort a qualified success. The movement of capital assets from state to private hands has progressed without serious reversal of direction--despite periodic calls for reestablishing state control of certain assets. And the process has contributed to the creation of a new class of private entrepreneur.
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