Campaign gurus and godfathers behind Fidesz and MSZP

Since the Israeli campaign guru Ron Werber has been "reactivated" by the Socialists, "Werberisme" has resurfaced in the communications toolbox of the ruling party, even though we know that almost all political forces use foreign experts, including Fidesz. However, their current political position always seems to determine their acceptance and evaluation. Fidesz has had a long working relationship with a well-known Republican consultant team, hallmarked by the names of George E. Birnbaum and Arthur Finkelstein, which team has been assisting the Fidesz election campaigns and appearances for a long time. Finkelstein, of whom the weekly Magyar Narancs has recently published a detailed portrait, who has earned the international reputation of the "Godfather of dirty politics", who played a key role in Ronald Reagan's campaign for example, and who can be tied to the government alliance of Israeli far-right and moderate right-wing and may also be thanked for the five cycle long senatorship of the American Jesse Helms. Regarding this last point - the portrait reads -, many also note a peculiarity: despite the fact that Finkelstein has admittedly been living with another man, he has helped the homophobic Helms. The other half of the Fidesz adviser duo, Birnbaum used to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's adviser and former cabinet chief and gave advice to Viktor Orbán and his party at the time of the 2008 referendum. The press reported that the Birnbaum-Finkelstein team has not been directly consulting with Viktor Orbán and Fidesz, but with the Századvég Group and the prime minister's chief adviser Árpád Habony on a monthly basis.

The MSZP and the socialist governments have also employed foreign consultants. The Israeli campaign guru Ron Werber has already helped the Socialists in previous election cycles. He had an important role in Péter Medgyessy's victory for example. Later on, Werber left (temporarily) after clashes between himself and the circle of the Prime Minister.

It is not uncommon for advisers to become leading politicians, who themselves will eventually work with consultants. Ex Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány - before he was appointed Minister of Sports - used to be one of Medgyessy's strategic advisers. Gyurcsány later had a rather large Prime Ministerial staff, which included at the time economist László Andor and communications and marketing expert Róbert Braun. The former has been appointed European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, the latter has become one of the MSZP Pest county constituency responsibles, that is a possible candidate for Member of Parliament. Braun has also worked as adviser for Iván Pető and Péter Medgyessy besides Ferenc Gyurcsány, and most recently, he has helped the work of the President of the National Bank András Simor. Viktor Szigetvári, a former MSZP campaign manager and communications consultant, has also entered politics – he is currently vice president of the Patriotism and Progress Public Policy Foundation, and is expected to become a leading politician of the Together 2014 movement. It should also be mentioned that one of Viktor Orbán's former personal advisers, the ex MDF Member of Parliament József Debreczeni has continued his career as vice president of the Gyurcsány Democratic Coalition party.

Source: Népszabadág

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11